SCIENCE DOES NOT PROVE THE EXISTENCE OF GOD

vibrant night sky with lots of stars, beside a tree's silhouette (from here)
vibrant night sky with lots of stars, beside a tree’s silhouette (from here)

The posts at Silence of Mind are relatively infrequent, but they are always interesting. silenceofmind‘s latest, How Molecular Biology Proves the Existence of God, proved to be especially good. argues that the code contained in the DNA molecule proves the existence of God. lays out a carefully reasoned and orderly argument. Here is his conclusion.

So where is God in all of this scientific palaver?

Well, when we pull down our genes and take a close look we see coded information that is used to manufacture products specifically spelled out by that coded information.

That undeniable, scientifically proven fact demonstrates the existence of intelligence. (from here)

Where do I disagree with ? It is a small but significant detail in semantics. Here is how I briefly described ‘s accomplishment in a comment on his post.

All silenceofmind said is that the ordered nature of DNA — the presence of a code required to grow a life form — logically suggests that an intelligent being is responsible for creating the code. That is an exercise in logic, not a science experiment. (from here)

Since equates the code in DNA with scientific proof that God exist, he questioned my comment. Therefore, we had this exchange.

  • Citizen Tom,

    But my entire post is all about the FACT the existence of God has been proven through scientific experiment.

    When we do science, God stares us in the face actually, practically and experimentally.

    • @silenceofmind

      I suppose I have a relatively narrow view of what science does. I don’t dispute the fact that what we know about creation proves the existence of God. However, we knew that before men started formally practicing the art of science.

      Psalm 19:1 Authorized (King James) Version (AKJV)

      The heavens declare the glory of God;
      and the firmament sheweth his handywork.

      Science doesn’t have the tools to study God. We use science to understand the order within God’s creation. With mathematics we can model cause and effect relationships. However, when God is the direct cause, how can we model what he does? We can logically infer God’s existence and character, but we cannot reproduce what He done. We cannot create something from nothing.

      The study of God is not science. Science can neither proof nor disprove God. What science does, however, is allow us to marvel at what our Lord has done. Just as the firmaments above declare the glory of God, so does intricate code contained by a single molecule.

reached the correct conclusion, and he used information provided by science, but science cannot support his conclusion. Here must rely upon logic.

We use science to model cause and effect relationships. God is a spirit. He is not subject to the laws of His own Creation. Thus, God is outside the realm of scientific study. Nobody conducts reproducible experiments that directly involve God. Scientists study God’s Creation.

Why is this important? Christianity does not depend upon science. Proof of God’s existence does not depend upon science. Science, to be conducted fruitfully and ethically depends upon Christianity.

Long before men studied science, God expected our ancestors to know of Him. The Apostle Paul put the matter in no uncertain terms.

Romans 1:18-23 New King James Version (NKJV)

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, 21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.

So are we to hate and despise every unbeliever? Are all unbelievers going to Hell? Let’s hope not, but that is for Jesus to decide. We don’t have the competence to judge each other. We are just suppose to love other Christians and help non-Christians to become Christians.

The Bible makes it clear is that those who receive the Gospel have a greater obligation to believe than those who do not (Luke 12:48).  Nevertheless, the Bible also makes it clear that we have no business judging each others souls. Jesus is our judge (Matthew 25:31-46 and John 5:19-23).

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23 thoughts on “SCIENCE DOES NOT PROVE THE EXISTENCE OF GOD

  1. Thank you for point this out! It’s somewhat unnerving to me how the doctrine of Scientism seems to have seeped down into our culture, affecting even apologists and philosophers. Many people don’t seem to understand that science itself rests on metaphysical assumptions, and that science needs philosophy/logic to even interpret its results.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s somewhat unnerving to me how the doctrine of Scientism seems to have seeped down into our culture, affecting even apologists and philosophers.

      I would tend to agree here, especially in politically sensitive topics such as “catastrophic anthropogenic global warming.” People are assuming that this must be true, since 97% (or 98% or 99%) of “scientists” agree. This relies on some degree of acceptance of the pronouncement of scientists.

      And the percentage ignores that (1) the scientists involved are the tiny subset whose incomes are derived from supporting the notion, or whose careers would be threatened if they did not, and (2) that all they agreed to was some amount of warming has occurred over an unspecified time frame, and that mankind has had some effect. Nothing about being “the cause,” nothing about the fact that most records are started in the middle of the 1970s cold period, and nothing about this warming being bad, let alone catastrophic.

      A small subset trucks out a continuous stream of doomsday predictions, such as the one this week that global warming will cause more rapes. Lobsters will get bigger because of global warming! Lobsters will get smaller because of global warming! Keeping track of the predictions can be the source of some amusement, offset by the knowledge that trillions of dollars not to mention liberty are at stake. But…

      Many people don’t seem to understand that science itself rests on metaphysical assumptions, and that science needs philosophy/logic to even interpret its results.

      I don’t think this reflects science, per se. You can do anything badly, and the global warming farce is people practicing politics and pretending it’s science.

      But the scientific method, the core of the practice of science, does not rely upon assumptions, metaphysical or otherwise. For example, it is often described as requiring the “assumption” that the rules of the universe are everywhere the same. But this notion is tentatively held, always ready to be updated, and tested frequently with sometimes surprising and counter-intuitive results.

      Take the speed of light, for example. We don’t “assume” that it’s the same everywhere (and everywhen, since time more-or-less translates to distance across the universe. We set up thought experiments. If the speed of light had changed over time, how would we be able to tell? Beyond a very narrow constraint, we would see this change in a variety of effects as we look back in time some 13 billion years. We don’t see these effects. So we tentatively use that notion, but it is not an “axiom” so much as a working rule always subject to updating as we work out better thought experiments positing better predictions, and better instruments to detect whether such predictions are true.

      In the process, we have learned that what happened in the beginning stages of the Big Bang, and what happens near a black hole, do break the “rules” — but we didn’t throw up hands because the “assumptions” were wrong, we simply improved our understanding of these exotic situations and thought more about the implications, made new predictions, and went looking to see if those checked out.

      Philosophy, as a general thing, comes up with hypotheses as science does. But philosophy does not roll up its sleeves and go into the field or the lab and test these hypotheses. This is why philosophies can have so many opposing theories for phenomena, whereas science tends to weed out the ones that don’t work in practice.

      You can call some aspects “assumptions” if you like. There are many common words that have more narrow definitions in the scientific method than in common parlance. If an “assumption” is a statement constantly tested, as it is in the scientific method, then it doesn’t much resemble the way it’s used in other contexts.

      Scientists of all faiths or none either reach the same conclusions, or publish what they do come up with that will improve understandings or get corrected. Their faiths are not part of this process, though they can be very important to the scientists as people. Sometimes this takes a while, but it works inexorably.

      When politics are involved, or one lets religious faith dictate results, then things go awry. But you can tell if you can check the data and process. The global warming catastrophists do not often share their data and process, and the ones that do are very frequently caught with their thumbs on the scale. And for them, catastrophism is very much a religion, with the evident goal of sacrificing mankind (or at least our standard of living) to global governance to protect the planet.

      ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

      Liked by 1 person

      1. @Keith

        Thanks for stopping by. 3:35 AM is a late hour. Hope you are resting well.

        I agree with most of your comment. I do think how we conduct science is designed to avoid false assumptions. Hence, scientists strive to model cause and effect relationships in the “real world.” Even so, we cannot avoid metaphysical assumptions.

        I think, therefore I am. — René Descartes

        Unless we believe the world is real and follows certain rules, the pursuit of math and science does not make much sense. Why reason out the rules if you are living in a dream?

        Other assumptions arise because of our limitations and the abuse of language. Much of what we call science we have not tested because we cannot test the theory. The Theory of Evolution is largely accepted, for example, but untested. Because the preponderance of the data seems to support the theory {and nobody has a more popular alternative), biologists accept evolution as proven.

        Similarly, we use lots of drugs because they “work” but we are not quite sure what they do. Biochemistry still has many frontiers to explore.

        Psychology, Sociology, and other such soft sciences are, well, almost entirely speculative disciplines.

        The goal is as you say, to rigorously test each assumption. Nevertheless, even among the most conscientious, there is an “art” to science, and part of that art is what each man chooses to believe is true and important.

        Like

      2. Hi Kieth,
        I hope my comment didn’t come across as somehow against science or the scientific method in general. Science is an amazing tool and means by which to learn about physical reality. Rather, my comment was directed towards “scientism,” which is the belief that science ALONE can offer us real knowledge, which is just blatantly false. (Here’s a brief article by philosopher Edward Feser explaining why this is the case: http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2010/03/1174/)
        He also discusses in that article (I believe it’s in this one. The article is an altered version of a chapter in his book Scholastic Metaphysics, which goes much more in depth) how the scientific method does in fact rest upon metaphysical “assumptions.” What this means is not that the scientific method makes blind presuppositions; but rather that the scientific method requires certain facts to be true, which it itself cannot even in principle validate. For example, the scientific method rests on assumptions such as that there is an external reality at all, that human beings are capable of real knowledge of that external reality, that causation is a real feature of the world and that there is a real causal link between the external world and our knowledge thereof. So for example, science cannot “demonstrate” one way or another whether causation is real, because science just assumes in order to operate that there is a causal relation between the external world and our knowledge thereof. This is not a bad thing about science; science just wasn’t built to answer these questions. That’s what metaphysics and philosophy more generally is for.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Harrison,

      Experimental results are not scientism but the essence of science.

      And it is through experimental results that the existence of God has been proven.

      What is shocking is the that so many Christians think exactly like atheists in their denial of science.

      That science proves the existence of God is obvious and self-evident.

      Further, it is neither accident nor coincidence that modern science was invented and developed in the Christian West.

      And both atheists and post-modern Christians completely miss another obvious fact:

      Christian Western Civilization is the only civilization in human history that advance past the slave and beast of burden as engines of the most powerful economies.

      It is modern science, developed in the Christian West that made possible the greatest, most prosperous, most just, most technically advanced civilization in human history.

      Additionally, that modern science has proven the existence of God should be a no-brainer, since God evangelizes his existence in everything he has created.

      When we understand the biblical teaching that God evangelizes his existence in everything he has created, it follows directly that eventually, modern science would prove his existence.

      So not only is the premise of this post a denial of modern science, it is a denial of biblical teachings.

      And that means that the postmodern Christian is an atheist in sheep’s clothing who preaches not the Word of God but the exact opposite.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Hi Silence Of Mind,
        I think I agree mostly with the sentiment of what you’re saying, but I think we’re using terms in different ways. Like I said in a comment above to Keith, I am not in any way demeaning the power and accomplishments of modern science; they are truly incredible. Likewise, I am not denying the ability of science to aid in helping establish the existence of God. I never claimed that “experimental results” are Scientism. Experimental results are indeed part of the scientific method. Scientism is simply the belief that the scientific method ALONE can give us real knowledge, and that I absolutely deny. Philosophy, logic, history, math, etc. are all forms of knowledge separate than science but which give us real truth about the world. I think also we are using the term “prove” differently. For me, a “proof” is an absolute logical deduction. The scientific method is based in induction (reasoning to the best explanation) rather than strict deduction (absolute logical certainty). I think that scientific findings can provide “evidence” which can then be used in philosophical arguments to “prove” the existence of God. But scientific discoveries alone are not equivalent to logical deductions. Thus science ALONE cannot strictly “prove” the existence of God. I do not disagree with you on your other points, that the Christian west produced modern science, that the Christian west is one of the most advanced civilizations, etc. Again, I am a Christian who believes God create the universe and can be known through his creation. I think our difference is just in how we use the terms.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Hmmm. Well, I get myself into all kinds of trouble suggesting that neither science or logic can ever prove the existence of God because those are both left brain activities that rely heavily on man’s ability to reason. Proof of God actually lies beyond our ability to reason, something to be found more in our right brains. So we have art, music, even those dark nights of the soul that John of the Cross wrote about. People all through history have had close encounters of the God kind when they have died to self, often through some traumatic event that knocked their ability to reason offline. We Christians don’t like to say such things because people already call us irrational or delusional, so we cling to pride, reason, logic, science, things the culture perceives as having more value. In ancient times, it was understood that the fastest way to acquire proof of God was to just have Him whack you over the head on the way to Damascus.

    I enjoyed Silence’s post, however. I too often see God in biology, proof that He is worthy of all praises, proof that we did not spring forth randomly from nothingness.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. @insanitybytes22

      As usual, you speak wisely, and that will get you in trouble.
      🙂

      I think there is more than one reason God hates pride. The one that has application here is that in our pride we refuse to acknowledge He exists.

      There are number of logical proofs for the existence of God. Are any of these proofs so obvious we cannot refuse them? Apparently, some people can. There is also the simple observation that we need Him so much that saying He doesn’t exist is pointless. If God does not exist, our lives have no meaning, no purpose. It may seem brave and honorable to those who deny His existence, but to what end? Pride. The pride of those who don’t need God.

      To destroy our pride, God will bring us down. He will force us to admit the emptiness of our boasting pride. Then we will turn our eyes to see who was there all along, our Lord. Then we will stop worshiping ourselves. Then we will kneel and worship our Creator.

      Here is another perspective I suspect you have read, but others may not have.

      The Hound of Heaven
      By Francis Thompson (1859–1907)
      http://www.bartleby.com/236/239.html

      Like

  3. As you say, science can neither prove nor disprove the existence of God. The subject of scientific investigation is that which is measurable in creation, and God exists beyond the measureable. As Kierkegaard pointed out, we seek proof for those things that we doubt. Anyone who relies on proofs of God’s existence is lacking faith in God. J.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Salvageable,
      I would agree with you that science alone cannot prove or disprove the existence of God. But would you also say that other methods such as logic, philosophy, and metaphysics cannot prove or disprove the existence of God? You say, “anyone who relies on proofs of God’s existence is lacking faith in God,” but what about people who through reason and arguments come to have faith in God?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Logic, philosophy, and metaphysics–and, yes, science too–can support faith. I’m not sure that they ever create faith. My understanding is that faith comes through the Word of God. I won’t deny that reason and arguments are found within the Word and that they help us understand the Word. Apart from God’s Word, I do not think reason and arguments lead to faith. J.

        Liked by 3 people

    2. @Salvageable

      Well, we all lack faith. Since He and the Father are one, only Jesus did not to have seek proof.

      Nevertheless, we don’t have to seek proof. We do, but then we discover it exists all about us.

      Philosophers formalize our thoughts of about God, our questions and answers, with logic propositions. Since that seems to be Harrison’s interest, I look forward to your answer to your question.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I firmly believe that God exists, so I am not agnostic in the general use of the term. However, I am agnostic when the question is raised whether logic can lead to knowledge of God. Two reasonable human beings can study the same arguments–Anselm’s ontological proof, God known through creation, God as the foundation of any sense of right and wrong–and come to opposite conclusions. As I said to Harrison, faith comes from the Word of God. Logic and philosophy can then support faith, but I doubt that they ever create faith. J.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: My Article Read (5-22-2016) – Br Andrew's Muses

    1. @Chris
      Interesting comment.

      There is tons of evidence that God exists. But no proof. Evidence is not the same as proof.

      That is a simple, straightforward, almost childlike statement, but true.

      Yet consider the definition.

      proof
      noun
      1. evidence sufficient to establish a thing as true, or to produce belief in its truth.
      2. anything serving as such evidence:
      What proof do you have?
      3. the act of testing or making trial of anything; test; trial:
      to put a thing to the proof.
      4. the establishment of the truth of anything; demonstration.
      5. Law. (in judicial proceedings) evidence having probative weight.
      6. the effect of evidence in convincing the mind.
      7. an arithmetical operation serving to check the correctness of a calculation. (from => http://www.dictionary.com/browse/proof?s=t)

      As your comment indicates, whether we believe in God does not depend upon the availability of evidence. The issue is whether we have sufficient faith in the evidence.

      Hebrews 11:1-3 New King James Version (NKJV)

      11 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 2 For by it the elders obtained a good testimony.

      3 By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.

      What constitutes proof? That’s a gut decision. If we truly believe, then we will act based upon that belief.

      James 2:14 New King James Version (NKJV)

      14 What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him?

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I agree Tom but for different reasons. Science cannot either prove or definitively disprove the existence of God (specifically the biblical God). If he does indeed exist, an idea I now doubt after decades of faith, he by definition lies well outside of the natural and physical universe and as such, by definition, can only be Proven by inference and suggestion guided by a presupposed conclusion of his existence called faith to interpret the evidence to fit the conclusion.
    If God exists, it is highly likely we would never know it or be able to demonstrate it apart from apriori faith.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I recognize the mindset a presuppositions of your response to him. I shared them for decades. Unfortunately, I think your response was rude and disrespectful to him as a person. You should apologize

        Like

  6. Hey mike-
    Perhaps you should know that ‘in many things we offend all………….’ that is, even with pure motives people will take offense.

    It is the thin skin of people who think the world revolves around them which takes offense at everything that is said.

    As far as apologizing? Oh give me a break, cry me a river.

    Liked by 1 person

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