Answer: There cannot be any; because scientific research has not shown proof there is no God. It is fair to state that a scientific process has never been applied to that assertion often made in circles projecting the scientific viewpoint. The absence of such a fundamental process of scientific inquiry and knowledge acquisition implies no one has done a systematic review of evidence-based literature describing the results of previous research or of bodies of literature for and against the topic to support what the research hopes to discover to advance knowledge about the existence of God. Since evidence for the existence of God is almost always documented in the Holy Scriptures of the professing religious group the question arises as to whether any scientist opponent (that is any individual, scientific research group or faculty of science) has yet reviewed the main faith document in question to present and refute its tenets within a research context. Apparently no one has ever stated any methodology as to how the data for their proposed study of the existence of God and His miraculous powers will be collected and analyzed to prove or disprove their claims of the fantasy of believing there is a divine God.
The procedures outlined above that have endured for scores of decades, represent the standard scientific method, which tells scientists that anything has validity or not. Some scientists however find it easy to disregard that which officially gives credibility to their craft and go on to make dismissive and sometimes pompous declarations that attempt to discredit the existence of God, without a shred of scientific proof.
If the scientific method has not been or cannot be applied to this question then I submit scientists have no basis for denying that God exists or for rejecting related faith-based phenomena. I also challenge news reporters and especially some mainstream media outlets to disclose the basis of their information that so often they use to vilify people who express religious beliefs.
In like manner some believers in a Deity do not accept scientific claims are invalid unless these acknowledge the Hand of God. A person does not have to believe in God to arrive at science-based conclusions. So there is no reason for the theologically faithful to reject science’s explanation of the world or for the scientific minded to reject the validity of religious commitment. For it is clear science and theology are two different but equally legitimate ways of acquiring knowledge about us our world and beyond. Science uses observable data and experiments to establish knowledge, while for theology Bible-based information and faith are the authority for determining truth. It is somewhat unbelievable that some educated and otherwise intelligent individuals cannot grasp this dichotomy; chief in this group are political, governmental, and as noted, many otherwise respectable media organizations. It is as if employees, management and owners of businesses as well as those in government and related agencies are forced to accept an inviolable imperative code, which entails accepting the superiority of science… or else! As a source of knowledge about the world however, neither science nor theology can be said to be superior or inferior to the other, just different.
Individuals must be allowed to choose where their allegiance will go; whether to one, neither, or both sides and be officially accepted without provoking the ire or disrespect of their colleagues, organization or the public. After all isn’t this what is expected of an enlightened, democratic society? Leading proponents in either field should feel secure in their respective realm to make pronouncements about their area of expertise or familiarity without taking an adversarial stance against the other. The colleagues of the people who feel compelled to criticize and denounce all of Christianity or Science should seriously question those individuals’ respectability and maturity. The action of those who reject without evidence, usually because they have an advantage (favorable attention or airtime), amounts to shameful bullying behavior. Otherwise the honorable goal of science and theology is one of mutual acceptance, respect and peaceful co-existence.
As one contemplates the two systems of education one is struck by the similarity in how they describe the beginning of everything. Both explanations defy the imagination. For both, there was nothing at the beginning! Indeed that would be a logical start point in explaining the origin of the universe and all life. So then from this point some event is required to start the process of universe creation. The Christian understanding is that God appeared, formed the intention and proceeded to do the creating. Because Christian theology accepts that this God has mysterious qualities it is easy for them therefore to accept that history of the creation process as realistic.
Science has the following to say about how everything came to be:
“… We don’t know what, exactly, happened in the earliest times, but it [the Big Bang] was not an explosion in the usual way that people picture explosions. There was not a bunch of debris that sprang out, whizzing out into the surrounding space. In fact, there was no surrounding space.”1
This scientific explanation of the beginning is totally understandable, though like that of Christianity it is still difficult to imagine. Unlike the Christian view of God being responsible for creation however, Science came up with “… an unimaginably hot, dense point”2 as the starting point. This sudden appearance of a “point” on its own is problematic. It is neither natural nor realistic for the human mind to grasp. On top of that the “point” came with qualities or characteristics; it was hot and capable of expansion. So was this “point“ physical? If not what was it? If it were it would be expected to act under physical laws. Did it? Did it have dimensions? We are told: “… the universe doubled in size at least 90 times, going from subatomic-sized to golf-ball-sized almost instantaneously.”2 If this “inflation” as the rapid expansion is called was instantaneous (that is without time to cool off as happened later) what stopped it from continuing to expand under the power of the same heat? These are questions ordinary believers in the scientific origin of the world need to ask. Are they not asking them out loud because they cannot risk losing face or the economic benefits of their positions?
Regardless, Science needs to produce a complete explanatory picture of the world and the universe. Accordingly further questions about a self-perpetuating system of interest to skeptics include the following:
- What is the evidence for: (i) Why and how the different types of objects such as rocks vs. trees vs. animals arose? (ii) Why and how organ differentiation occurred? (iii) How genes evolved?
- Was procreation evolutionary? If so: (i) How did the species come into being before procreation? (ii) How did the genders arise?
- What is the explanation for evolution not re-occurring (as against continuing) if the original environmental conditions under which evolution originally occurred still exist? If not, what removed those conditions?
To the expert some of these questions are likely to have clear and logical answers. Still so much makes the scientific view difficult to comprehend that I wonder what answers the average person has to these questions or to be comfortable with the Big Bang theory.
Be that as it may, the following are clearly undeniable:
- Science and theology have equal educational importance and validity
- There are hard questions (some being unanswerable) each side has for the other
- Both did co-exist before and there is no logical reason why they cannot do so again with mutual acceptance – in business organizations, public school classrooms and in society at large.
- Neither science nor theology has credible grounds on which to invalidate the other
Why then is the scientific view given a prominent and favored status by leaders of organizations and politicians? These decisions, which advantage or disadvantage one side against the other need to be reviewed and revised in order to remove sources of unnecessary strife. With mutual acceptance, together both can teach and contribute so much more. Don’t you agree?