The Limitations of Scientific Truth : Why Science Can’t Answer Life’s Ultimate Questions, by Nigel Brush. Grand Rapids, MI. : Kregel, Academic & Professional, 2005. 300pp. $14.99 ISBN 0-8254-2253-1.
First published in The Christian Librarian 51:50-51 no.1 2008.
Nigel Bush is the assistant professor of geology at Ashland University in Ohio. He has a Ph.D in anthropology and has done post-doctoral work in geology. He is a committed Christian and scientist. He has conducted archaeological, geological, and environmental fieldwork in England, Canada, and the United States.
Limitations of Scientific Truth is not an attack on science. It addresses the myth of the infallibility of science. Dr. Brush addresses “the limitations of the scientific technique as a means for obtaining absolute truth (7).” He thinks that “science is a powerful tool for studying God’s creation (7).”
The book is divided into seven parts. Part 1 addresses the human quest for truth, the ultimate questions of humanity, and alternative paths to truth: religion, philosophy and science. Parts 2 through 6 presents evidence from natural science, social science, and philosophy of science that proves the limitations of scientific truth. Part seven presents an alternative model of science that takes seriously the limitations of scientific truth.
Nigel Brush has effectively argued that science has its limitations and it cannot answer life’s ultimate questions. He has convincingly demonstrated that science is not the only path to truth. On the other hand, he has shown that science is an effective path to knowledge of the universe. This book is highly recommended to all college students and people of religious faith.