During recent online conversations with several commentators, I heard an oft repeated refrain about science: science is only a model, it has nothing to do with reality; our models may get closer to reality over time, but we have no way of knowing that they have gotten to reality, nor do we know that they will eventually get there. I was taken aback by this line of argument, because I thought we still had some faith in something. I personally could not imagine an existence in which faithlessness pervades our minds to an extent that we treat all possibility of knowing truth as impossible, and be so comfortable with it. After I recovered from this shock, I decided to explore this idea more thoroughly in a post.
The below is a modified version of a response I wrote recently on Google+ in response to a question about the conflict between reason and faith. The response is also detailed in my recent book Uncommon Wisdom. This essay will argue that the manner in which science has construed the use of reason (and experience) – i.e., the path to discovery – cannot deliver truth. There is, however, another notion about reason which works in conjunction with faith to verify rather than discover the truth. Faith and reason are contradictory when reason is defined as the method of truth discovery. But they are not contradictory when reason is used for verifying the truth. In this case, it would mean that if you found the truth from someone and accepted it on faith to begin the verification, then you could use reason (and experience) to verify, and upon verification you would confirm your faith. If the proposal is false, you should be able to disprove it.