Does Science Need God?

More than one accomplished scientist has said that nature can be explained without referring to God. What they mean by this is that, according to them, we find no measurable evidence of God. Everything that we see happening can be explained, they say, in terms of other things that we already know. They reject any explanation of natural events that rely on the words, “God did it,” as not leading to scientific progress.
According to many, belief in God has led us to abominations, while science has led us to enlightenment. But has it?
Certainly, science has explained much. But there are also vital questions that science has not answered, and perhaps never can. Some of them are relatively mundane questions, such as, what is dark matter? Such questions carry with them an assumption that while we may not yet know what dark matter is, we are confident that we will find an explanation, and that the explanation will not need to refer to God.
But there are more fundamental questions for which science has no clear answer, not just as of yet, and perhaps never will. What is consciousness? Does anyone have free will, and if so, then what is it? The answers to these questions entail much more than a cursory description of outwardly observed phenomena. They involve our innermost core of experience. Such questions will surely require much more than a few additional measurements of quantifiable data. They will require a paradigm shift, a rethinking of our world view, and perhaps a reexamination of our fundamental scientific assumptions.
No less a scientist than Albert Einstein understood that science was missing some fundamental element, some basic idea, to explain the workings of nature. To be sure, Einstein did not believe in a personal God. But he did seem strongly to believe that reality makes sense, that it is not a cacophony of random events, but a coherent design. He strongly alluded to “the mind of God.” It is very likely, judging from his words, that Einstein believed that, underlying all of reality is a divine, intelligent creator who is forever beyond our ultimate understanding.
There is a great difference between saying that we have no ability to measure God, and saying that, therefore, God does not exist. Some scientists cross that line. It is one thing to say that we cannot progress from details to God, but quite another to say that we should disbelieve in God. Some step over that boundary.
If the question were merely academic, then we could safely ignore it. But the question is far more vital than any academic exercise. It deals with our very survival. That is not an overstatement.
World view is crucial in every aspect of our lives. If we regard each other as mere physical creatures with no spiritual dimension, then in essence, we reduce ourselves and each other to physical objects, to biological phenomena. Many people would dismiss that as inconsequential, especially in the short run. Perhaps it is, in the short run. Atheists can be moral people. But there is strong evidence from history, and from current events, to indicate that such a world view, given time, eventually leads to the utmost barbaric atrocities imaginable.
The concentration camps and gulags of the twentieth century attest to that fact, as do the abortion mills of the twenty-first.
Atheists will point to the Spanish Inquisition and similar atrocities committed by religious institutions during medieval times. But they omit to point out that those institutions were guided not by the moral values taught in their scriptures, but rather, by considerations of political power and economic wealth for the few.
There should be no doubt that natural science has brought enormous benefits to humankind. But without a bedrock moral foundation, it also poses the greatest destructive power ever available by men to unleash against humanity. The very survival of our species is threatened.
Fortunately, we do not need to rely on so-called blind faith to believe in God. Neither must we ignore scientific fact. What we do need, is to ask the right questions in the right way, and to challenge those assumptions that lead inevitably to absurd conclusions, no matter how authoritatively those assumptions are pronounced.
Some of them are dead wrong.


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