Defending the Faith: Science isn't the only road to knowledge

Published: Thursday, Aug. 29 2013 5:00 a.m. MDT

(On the other hand, of course, reading about them, as well as scientifically surveying them and chemically analyzing geological samples from them, provides a kind of knowledge that merely hiking in them can’t supply. Both are important. Neither can replace the other.)

There is no litmus test to tell you whom to marry or what career to pursue. No stratigraphic analysis can answer the question of how to improve a relationship. No radio telescopic data can substitute for the knowledge gained through long and intimate acquaintance with another person—or another Person.

Finally, some questions are simply beyond definitive answer by any secular means, scientific or not. Does God exist? Does life have a purpose? Is there an objective moral law? These things, it’s true, can’t be proven. But neither can they be disproven. In that regard, those who demand that we disbelieve anything not demonstrable by science go, themselves, beyond what science can demonstrate.

Daniel Peterson teaches Arabic studies, founded BYU's Middle Eastern Texts Initiative, directs, chairs, blogs daily at, and speaks only for himself.

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