What Is the Scientific Basis for Dismissing Belief in God? And Why Do Many Governments and Business Organizations officially Accept Science but Reject Theology?
The answer to this title question is: No objective reasons can be given. Scientific research cannot or apparently has never shown empirical proof there is no God. In the absence of such evidence, for or against the existence of God it is unclear, if not mystifying, why scientists make statements that reject God’s reality, which all believers assert, on faith-based evidence. As such the results from a survey are intriguing. These results are described in an article titled: “Eminent scientists reject the supernatural: a survey of the Fellows of the Royal Society” by Michael Stirra and R. Elisabeth Cornwell dated December 2013 (in the Online Journal, Evolution: Education and Outreach). A majority of the Fellows responded with “Strongly Disagree” to the statement: “I believe that there is a strong likelihood that a supernatural being such as God exists or has existed” as well as to: “I believe in a personal God, that is one who takes interests in individuals, hears and answers prayers, is concerned with sin and transgressions, and passes judgment.”
Coming from scientists, are these responses justified however, as no scientific process has ever been applied to such assertions whereby to legitimize the scientific viewpoint? In other words it is not by applying the fundamental process of scientific inquiry and knowledge acquisition that these scientists in particular and others at large base their refutation of the existence of God. This means, probably no one has done a review of evidence-based literature describing the results of previous investigations or of bodies of literature for and against the topic. Normally this approach is used to support what the research hopes to discover, which in this case is to advance knowledge about the actual existence of God, as against feelings about the subject. 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 invalidate 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 the claims of believing there is a divine God.
The procedures outlined immediately above that have endured for several centuries represent the standard scientific method, which tells scientists that any belief 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, apparently 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. The challenge also goes out to news reporters and especially some mainstream media outlets to disclose the basis of the verified information that so often they use to vilify people who express religious beliefs.
In like manner some believers in a Deity expect scientific claims are invalid unless they acknowledge the Hand of God. A person does not have to believe in God to arrive at a science-based conclusion. So there is no reason for the theological 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.
As such, it is somewhat unbelievable that some educated and otherwise intelligent individuals cannot grasp this dichotomy; and complicit in this indefensible bias are political, governmental and business entities as well as 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. Yet some people continue to defame Christianity in order to extol Science, supported by their organizations.
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 own area of expertise or familiarity without taking an adversarial stance against the other. The colleagues of the people who feel compelled mainly to criticize and denounce all of Christianity or Science should seriously question these individuals’ respectability and maturity. The action of those who reject without evidence, usually because they have an advantage (favorable attention or airtime), amounts to shameless bullying behavior. Otherwise an honorable goal of Science and Theology would be to share 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 starting 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 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 the biblical creation process as realistic.
Science has the following to say about how everything came to be:
“We don’t know. To even address these questions we need to have a quantum theory of gravity. We have a quantum theory, and we have a gravity theory, but these two theories somehow need to be combined. We know that our current gravity theory does not apply to the conditions of the earliest moments of the Big Bang. This is exciting research now in progress!”1
This scientific explanation of the beginning is totally understandable. They don’t know. But like the Christian view of God causing creation ex nihilo (out of nothing) however, Science came up with “… an unimaginably hot, dense point”2 as the starting point of the universe. 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 precise 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 that started the inflation? These are questions ordinary believers in the scientific origin of the world need to ask. Surely it is not because of fully understanding the scientific view of the origin of the universe that the average Science advocate does not ask these questions. Are they not asking out loud because they cannot risk losing face or the economic benefits of their organizational positions?
Because so much makes the scientific view difficult to comprehend one wonders what answers average persons have to these questions that allow them to be comfortable with accepting 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 with 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. They need to be changed because they are sources of unnecessary competition and strife. With mutual acceptance, together both can teach and contribute so much more. Don’t you agree?