science-vs-God-debate

Short answer: No.

Long answer: Science cannot prove God; neither can it disprove God.

The most science can say is that its observations from the natural world and the interpretations of these observations are or are not consistent with the existence of a God.

While the claim that “new study on ___ affirms that God is real” has more oomph than “findings from recent study accord with Christian/Muslim/(enter other belief system) faith”, the latter statement is the most that science can tell us, and even then the study doesn’t exist to do so.

Science is concerned with the natural world: what we can perceive with our senses and what understanding about ourselves and the world we can draw from these perceptions. To speak of God and religion is to speak of the supernatural, to which science is blind.

At most, science may be called agnostic, since scientific hypotheses and theories depend on that which we can test, and one cannot test for the immaterial with the methods employed in the scientific method.

The influence of science on God/religion for the individual is varied. Louis Pasteur, to whom we have to thank for vaccination and pasteurization, said (as quoted in The Literary Digest), “The more I study nature, the more I stand amazed at the work of the Creator. Science brings men nearer to God.”

In contrast, Charles Darwin gradually fell away from his Unitarian/Anglican background as he studied more and more about the natural world. In a letter to botanist Asa Gray, Darwin admitted, “There seems to me too much misery in the world. I cannot persuade myself that a beneficent & omnipotent God would have designedly created the Ichneumonidae with the express intention of their feeding within the living bodies of caterpillars, or that a cat should play with mice.”

For some science points to God and for others it points away. Why this difference in inclination? Perhaps the bias with which the researchers enters their studies. Perhaps the influence of others. Perhaps a preconception about what God is and is not supposed to be.

Whatever the reason, science itself does not have the power to make atheists or theists. The religious beliefs that emerge are independent of what science aims to accomplish; that is, a greater understanding of how the universe works in biology, chemistry, physics, astronomy, and Earth science and the creation of a framework that best accords with empirical data from these branches.

If for one scientist the existence of a deity makes sense in their framework, fine. If for another this doesn’t make sense, fine.

Science isn’t in the business of validating God.

God-of-the-gaps
Comic by Sidney Harris