Science is often portrayed as the final bastion of truth in an otherwise meaningless and secular existence. Furthermore scientists are talked as if they are a new priesthood, providing guidance and light for the masses.
However, as a scientist I can tell you this portrayal often far from the truth. It is often a competitive world where politics is often a deciding factor on what is considered truth. Where results are selectively analysed and where everyone is just trying to scramble for the very limited funds to stay in a job.
While science is often the pursuit of truth and knowledge, it often falls short because of those who conduct it. This is emphasised in a recent article in New York Times describing the huge amounts of academic fraud committed by one researcher.
This particular high profile manufactured data in over 50 studies in psychology, because he found real-world data too complex to draw straight-forward conclusions.
There is also the famous case of a researcher faking results showing a link between vaccines and autism, which turned out to be for personal financial profit.
There are numerous other high-profile researchers who have been found of faking data, and undoubtedly many more who are committing it without being caught. Science will always have flaws because humans are flawed.
Part of the problem I believe is that science in of itself does not bring meaning to our lives. It is excellent for describing our lives and the world around us. Science tells us how we exist, but it cannot ever tell us 'why we exist' in a philosophical sense.
It does not even tell us if or why truth is important.
I believe without the external and eternal truth provided by God, science can provide no more meaning to our existence than equation for gravity. Science does not inform us of what is morally right and wrong, and without a sense of right of wrong in science it quickly goes off-track.
Unless you consider truth to be morally important, as I do, it is easy to stray from valid science to something based more of personal gain.
As a Christian I see science as an extension of my faith in God. The only way to have a relationship with God is through Jesus, who is the embodiment of truth.
If scientist knew this truth they would never be motivated to deceive for personal profit. Because, "when you heard about Christ and [you] were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus." (Ephesians 4 verse 21)
Nathanael Yates from Perth, Western Australia, is an award winning young scientist completing a PhD in the neurobiology of schizophrenia
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