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It was suggested to me on another question that, "Yes" we can cite science in our answers to Christian question but one person suggested that all science matters should derive from Christian sources. Is this true? If science is brought up, should it only derive from a Christian source?

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I don't know what you mean by "Christian" sources. Oftentimes, I search my library's databases for academic peer-reviewed journals regarding Religion. The journals themselves may be scholarly, but it's important to remember that they are written by people, and people are not perfect, even if they have a PhD in Theology or Biblical Studies. Likewise, if you're citing scientific information, I'd highly suggest that you search your library's databases for academic peer-reviewed journals regarding Science or a specific scientific topic. The last person I'd cite is some Joe Schmoe on the street with dubious credentials and a shady professional/academic history. I do not think that the religion of a person should matter in regards to science. As long as the scientist - be he Christian or Jewish or Muslim or Buddhist or what-say-you - is trustworthy and conducts significant experiments or observations or contributions in whatever field, I'd think that's good enough.

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  • Certainly that's the philosophy I follow but I'm confused by what the actual rules are for this forum. Thanks for your input however. Maybe others will agree with this perspective. – rpeg Jan 20 '14 at 3:01
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    @rpeg you'll be hard pressed to find more than just guidance. The guidance I'll give is that if the science supports the theology then the source isn't all that relevant. However, here, the theology takes precedence. – wax eagle Jan 20 '14 at 3:18
  • @waxeagle Okay, I appreciate hearing your opinion. So you're saying that theology is preferable over scientific information on all accounts - in your opinion? Do you think there are scenarios where science is ever preferable or no? – rpeg Jan 20 '14 at 3:23
  • @rpeg personally yes, on this site, we're here to talk about what churches teach/Christians believe, not necessarily what is true. We care about accurately reflecting what's being taught, not determining whether or not that's true. Because of this, here, theology wins. – wax eagle Jan 20 '14 at 3:26
  • @waxeagle I get the impression that you take the position that science is antithetical to religion? If that is not true, then why not cite science instead of theology if the two can exist together? Where do you stand? – rpeg Jan 20 '14 at 3:37
  • @rpeg I don't take that position at all. It's just not an authority here. – wax eagle Jan 20 '14 at 3:38
  • @waxeagle I am misunderstanding you. Which position don't you take? a) science is antithetical to religion OR B) Science can coexist with religion with no conflict? – rpeg Jan 20 '14 at 3:47
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    @rpeg fuller explanation here: chat.stackexchange.com/transcript/message/13285278#13285278 and following. – wax eagle Jan 20 '14 at 3:49
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Questions about science are off-topic here. Questions about doctrines related to science are on-topic. To answer what Christians believe you have to use Christian sources in most cases.

A question here should be about "what does the christian group X believe" and not about "is X true?". Anything else would distract from the purpose of the site and would also be rather dangerous as the expertise of the community lies with Christanity, and not with science.

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I think this would depend on why you are citing science in the first place.

In order to answer questions, Christian sources are required. Hand in hand with this, questions are required to ask something about Christianity!

Therefore an answer that cites no Christian sources and presents no Christian position should never be warranted on this site. If you feel such would answer the question, either the question doesn't belong in the first place or you are misreading the gist of the question and only picking up on some background detail.

On the other hand if the gist of your answer does teach something about Christianity, it is possible to cite all sorts of sources for various purposes. I could easily see the usefulness of citing secular science in answer to a question that asked about the relation of some doctrinal position to some scientific case. The difference being the non Christian data would not be the substance of the answer.

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  • A example Christian reference is The Catechism of the Catholic Church. Sometimes, the news will broadcast whatever the pope says. Whatever the pope says can be used as a reference, because he is the head of that church. – Double U Jun 25 '15 at 2:16

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