How Do Jehovah’s Witnesses View Science?
We respect the achievements of science and believe in scientific findings that are supported by evidence.
“Science is the study of the nature and behaviour of natural things and the knowledge that we obtain about them.” (Collins Cobuild Advanced Learner’s English Dictionary) Although the Bible is not a science textbook, it encourages people to study the natural world and to benefit from the scientific findings of others. Consider some examples:
Astronomy: “Lift up your eyes to heaven and see. Who has created these things? It is the One who brings out their army by number; he calls them all by name.”—Isaiah 40:26.
Biology: Solomon “would speak about the trees, from the cedar in Lebanon to the hyssop that grows on the wall; he would speak about the animals, the birds, the creeping things, and the fish.”—1 Kings 4:33.
Medicine: “Those who are healthy do not need a physician, but those who are ill do.”—Luke 5:31.
Meteorology: “Have you entered the storehouses of the snow, or have you seen the storehouses of the hail . . . ? From where does the east wind blow on the earth?”—Job 38:22-24.
Our literature nurtures respect for science by featuring articles on nature and scientific achievement. Witness parents encourage their children to become educated so that they can better understand the world around them. A number of Jehovah’s Witnesses work in scientific fields, including biochemistry, mathematics, and physics.
The limitations of science
We do not believe that science can answer all of humankind’s questions. a For example, geologists analyze what the earth is made of, and human biologists study how the body functions. But why is the earth so finely tuned for life, and why do the parts of the body function so harmoniously?
We have come to the conclusion that the Bible alone gives satisfying answers to those questions. (Psalm 139:13-16; Isaiah 45:18) Therefore, we believe that a good education includes learning from both science and the Bible.
At times, science may seem to contradict the Bible. However, some apparent contradictions are based on a misunderstanding of what the Bible actually teaches. For example, it does not teach that the earth was created in six 24-hour days.—Genesis 1:1; 2:4.
Some theories that are widely viewed as scientific lack sufficient evidence and are rejected by some well-respected scientists. For example, since the natural world reflects intelligent design, we share the view of many biologists, chemists, and others who have concluded that living things did not evolve through a process of random mutation and natural selection.
a Austrian physicist and Nobel laureate Erwin Schrödinger wrote that science “is ghastly silent about all . . . that is really near to our heart, that really matters to us.” And Albert Einstein stated: “By painful experience we have learnt that rational thinking does not suffice to solve the problems of our social life.”