Monday, October 20, 2008

Can Science Prove God?

Atheists, agnostics, and perhaps even believers who are sometimes plagued with doubt about God’s existence desire evidence that He exists. More specifically, those who have serious doubts demand empirical evidence for God’s existence, rational handling of that evidence, and welcome healthy skepticism. This is the pattern for critical thinking. Some say this pattern is the essence of the scientific method. But people who doubt God’s existence often reject empirical evidence and rationality, and thereby continue in their state of doubt.

There is plentiful empirical evidence which points to a pre-existing Cause for the ordered, fine-tuned complexity of both physical constants and life forms in this universe. Such empirical evidence, such as the coding of information in the DNA molecule, is well-documented and amply reported in thousands of available sources. In the sphere of rationality there have been many ontological arguments for the existence of God proposed for hundreds of years. These arguments are essentially “thought experiments” which attempt to solve a problem using only the power of human reason and intuition. They do not rely on any empirical data (sense-based experiences).

Scientists who claim “Nature is all there is” commonly accept many unseen causes to explain observed effects, including, for example, many types of electromagnetic radiation which penetrate solid bodies, the universe’s dark matter which is inferred to be responsible for the missing mass of the universe, and even the yet undetected Higgs boson, thought to account for the mass of other particles. The Higgs boson is the missing puzzle piece of the “standard model” of matter. Scientists have searched vigorously, and still search, for the difficult answers concerning cause. But when incontrovertible evidence reveals exquisite design features of the universe and life forms, doubters take a pass on the possibility of a supernatural causative agent. This is not because plentiful and convincing evidence is missing. Perhaps it is because they prefer not to acknowledge an intelligent Creator.

Atheists, of course, do not believe Genesis 1:1, which says, “In the beginning, God…” They believe only matter and energy existed “in the beginning,” or perhaps that matter and energy always existed. Given this, they claim matter and mechanisms, not an intelligent agent, brought the universe and life’s complexity to reality. They claim theism is irrational, but how rational is it to embrace the idea that uncaused, random process brought this universe into existence? Doesn’t this belief involve irrational faith? John Lennox states, “The biblical view that the same rational Creator is responsible for both the universe and the human mind gives a coherent explanation of why we can, at least in part, understand the universe around us is such a way as to make science possible.”

John 1:1-2 (NIV) is a most succinct expression of creation theology. It describes Christ (in Greek logos means agent of reason): “In the beginning was the Word (logos), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.”