Terminology is one of the major difficulties you encounter when discussing topics between believer's and non-believers. It is all too common for people to take a word which has multiple meanings and apply it in a very misleading way, possibly with the hope of ending or maybe avoiding the actual topic under discussion.
Take for example the word faith. Now we all know that faith has multiple definitions and meanings and they are NOT the same as can be seen from these definitions taken from Webster's dictionary...
- Belief in god or in the doctrines or teachings of religion: the firm faith of the Pilgrims.
- The trust in God and in His promises as made through Christ and the Scriptures by which humans are justified or saved.
- Confidence or trust in a person or thing: faith in another's ability.
- Belief that is not based on proof: He had faith that the hypothesis would be substantiated by fact.
To play the old game..one of these is not like the others?
There is little more frustrating then having a religious person make a statement which goes something like this..."Sure I have faith in the bible, but remember that scientists also have faith, the only difference is that their faith is in evolution and our faith is in God"
Well, that certainly seems to put both players on an equal playing field doesn't it? I mean if science has faith in evolution just like Christians have faith in God or creationism then what's the difference? Actually there is a huge difference. Saying that scientists have faith in evolution is a very misleading statement, intentional or not.
What the word faith means in the context of science and evolution is more akin to confidence or trust (#3), it is NOT religious faith (1,2 or 4). Scientific confidence is based on evidence, testing, observation, predictive ability and critical analysis. Religious faith, on the other hand is, well the author of the book of Hebrews said it best when he wrote in Hebrews 11:1 "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."
I am not saying that one is better or worse than the other, but they clearly have different domains of use. To apply the religious definition to a secular statement is clearly an attempt to mislead people or to confuse matters...not to see them more clearly.