Here are three statements that if you are an non-believer, an atheist or an agnostic, you may have said, …or at least thought.
- Science relies on evidence. Since there is no evidence of God, God does not exist.
- Science and religion are opposites. Science is for thinking, open-minded people; and religion is for non-thinking, closed-minded people.
- Religion causes wars.
I’m going to respond all three of these statements; but, I’ like to take number 3 first, and then discuss numbers 1 and 2, together.
Religion causes wars. Seriously? Let’s think about that for just a bit.
There are many causes of war and they are (most often) intricately interwoven. Some of the causes you will find are: land, race, finance, political intrigue, power, form of governance and human nature. Even wars usually thought of as “religious wars” have had many of the previous reasons hidden behind that term, “religious war”. Can we agree that religion is often miss-used to justify action taken for far different reasons.
And here is the most important point. God did not cause any of them. God may (and, He does) permit wars; but, He does NOT cause them. You will, on the other hand , find Satan heavily involved in the process. (More about this later).
Moving on, has it occurred to you how science has aided and abetted war. How each successive war has found so many new and improved ways of killing people. Yes, the use (miss-use?) of science has greatly increased not only the destruction, but also the body count of modern wars. Many would even argue that science and technology increase the likelihood of future wars. So, let me ask you, …does science cause wars?
OK. I get it. Stop screaming! But, saying religion (and by extension, God) causes wars, is just as much a gross over-simplification (and just as ridiculous) as saying science causes wars.
There are two points of view about human nature; It’s either basically good or basically evil. So, let me ask you, why do we have laws and police? If there were no laws and no police, what would the human situation be on this planet? If you think it would be a paradise, I’d like to ask you to come back to planet Earth and take a look around. Why are things in such a mess?
The answer is, when God finished His creation, He called it, “…very good”. (Ge 1:31) So what changed it? Satan, who wars with God, saw an opportunity to attack God – through God’s creation. He approached Adam and Eve and convinced them to willingly disobey their creator. The result has been catastrophic for the earth and mankind, ever since. Since we are all descendents of Adam and Eve, we are all, flawed. And that is what really causes wars, along with every other evil thing on Earth. (Not to worry, we also know that Satan’s power on earth is limited; and will come to an end. God, will be victorious!) In the meantime, we rely on laws to control our society. And, if you’re still having a problem with this, let me ask you, just where did our laws come from? What is the basis for morality?
Now let’s look at the two statements dealing with science. There are a great many people whose god/religion is science. After all, you can make a god out of pretty much anything. It’s just a question of who or what you worship. But, speaking of true science, it is pursued using scientific method.
Scientific Method Model
Make Observation → Form Question → Research Question → Form Hypothesis → Test Hypothesis → Collect Data → Draw Conclusions → Report Results
Above is a diagram of the steps involved in the scientific method. And, while this model works very well, there are a several areas within the model that have, …weaknesses.
Let’s start with “Test Hypothesis”. This frequently involves designing an experiment that will create the data to be collected and evaluated. But, if the experiment is poorly designed, the resulting data is corrupted.
The next step, “Collect Data” can become skewed if all data is not collected for evaluation. This may happen as a result of poor experiment design, accident, inattention, or (in rare cases) bias and intent.
“Drawing Conclusions” is also not immune to error. Have you ever seen multiple individuals view the same scene, or read the same book, and then give very different reports on what they observed or read? It happens all the time, and there are many reasons for it.
“Report Results”. This may not seem so important; but actually, it is perhaps the most important step in the process. Results are reported so the work can be replicated, …by other scientists, in multiple labs. This either verifies the original research or finds errors and/or bias. (Unintended bias sometimes occurs as scientists find either what they expect to find, or want to find). And, infrequently, results are reported that are simply not true. Again, verification serves as the scientific “watchdog”. Assuring correct results has resulted in a mantra, of sorts, for scientists, “…go only where the evidence leads.”
Unfortunately some people are not so open-minded about this. An example is Richard Dawkins. Mr. Dawkins, an evolutionist biologist is the founder of the ‘Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science’. It’s stated mission is, “…to support scientific education, critical thinking and evidence-based understanding of the natural worldin the quest to overcome religious fundamentalism, superstition, intolerance and suffering.”(Italics mine-AG). Obviously Mr. Dawkins has an agenda; and, I respect him for being ‘up-front’ about it. Now to quote Mr. Dawkins speaking about the Cambrian Explosion, during which there occurred the sudden appearance of all the species of plants and animals we live with today (with one plant exception). Mr. Dawkins said: “It is as though they [these species] were just planted there, without any evolutionary history.”iLater, he states, “…the only alternative explanation of the sudden appearance of so many complex animal types in the Cambrian era is divine creation, and [we] both reject this alternative.”ii[Italics mine-AG]
Without launching into a full-blown discussion of evolution, I would simply like to point out that Mr. Dawkins certainly operates from a biased position; and he calls his own objectivity into question by rejecting, out-of-hand, even the possibility of “God”. What happened to “open-minded” scientists, willing to go where the evidence leads. It seem to me this ‘lack of any other evidence’, leads directly to God.
That said, would it surprise you to know that Albert Einstein said, “Science without religion is lame. Religion without science is blind.” I, can’t say exactly what Einstein was thinking when he made that statement. But it sounds to me like he believed both disciplines are necessary for the complete understanding of our environment – even, (especially?) on the cosmic scale.
Unfortunately many scientists (and others) have prematurely called evolution “a proven fact”. But saying “…evolution is a proven fact” and it being a proven fact, are two very different things. The fact of the matter is, it is not a proven fact, and anyone who says it is, is ignoring a huge (and growing) body of evidence denying a majority of evolutions claims. Major problems exist on the molecular bio-chemistry level, and the entire macro-evolution hypothesis is unsupported by fossil evidence. It simply doesn’t exist.
Astronomers and other scientists place the age of the universe at about 15 billion years; and geologists believe the age of the earth to be about 4.5 billion years old. This makes the earth much older than Darwin thought. He was working with the best figures available to him in the mid-19th century. And, while this might be considered a positive development by evolutionists (providing more time for evolution to transpire) that has so far proven not to be the the case – thus, working against them. It doesn’t help them with the lack of fossil evidence, nor with the mathematical probability evidence.
For evolution to make sense, it has to start at the molecular level. But there are huge problems for evolutionists at that level. It has created far more problems for them than solutions. When we add mathematics and probability science to the equation the picture gets even more bleak for evolutionists. Scientists show that the probability of complex life (plants and animals) evolving on earth by Darwin’s evolutionary model is extremely small. Statistically, zero. According to most mathematical calculations, a universe even 100 billion years old is still not old enough for even a single cell to have developed on earth.iii Now, remember the Cambrian Explosion? …It happened only 550 million years ago.
Regarding the scientific explanation for the creation of the Universe itself, we come to the Cosmic Expansion/Big Bang, first proposed in 1914. There is a lot of scientific evidence for the theory. And, it’s the best science has come up with; but there is one teeny-weenie problem. It’s that singularity. Or that, …whatever it was “exactly”, that went BANG and released all of the mass and energy of the entire universe. What’s with that? Where did it come from? What triggered it? How does it ‘square’ with the scientific Laws of Thermodynamics? Those are all problems for the scientists. Personally? I think it’s as simple as, ‘God spoke’.
So, (and right up front, I grant you it is ‘indirect’); but never-the-less, it seems that the indirect scientific evidence keeps coming back to something that many scientists (not all, by any means) have a great deal of trouble accepting – or even contemplating. That is, a “cause” – outside their normal measurement systems (something supernatural) – that had (and has) a physical effect on this universe, including planet Earth.
Whoa! Scientific blasphemy! Reminds me of Galileo and the Catholic Church – in reverse.
i Dawkins, R., The Blind Watchmaker, W.W. Norton & Company, New York (1996)
iii RW Research, Inc., Creation and Evolution, Rose Publishing, Inc., Torrance, CA (1999)