Science and other gods

When one has the view that God – as in the Creator-God of Judaism and Christianity – does not exist, one unknowingly must “worship” other gods.  Those who hold to this view insist that they are of a somehow superior intellect.  They insist that nothing that can’t be “proven” using the scientific method is real.  God cannot be proven, therefore God is not real.

Among the best treatment of this I have seen is this, from “krietsauce” (

testtube“I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not a scientist. I don’t have a degree in one of the sciences, I don’t teach science, and I’m not an expert in any particular scientific field. The only “science” I am skilled in is computer science. I do have a love for reading about scientific discoveries, and I have always had a love for astronomy. All that being said, there are a few things that even I, a lowly school teacher, know that science can’t do. I’ve decided to put this in a list form to make this a relatively easy read.

  1. Science cannot analyze or explain things that are neither matter nor energy.
  2. Science cannot analyze or explain abstract concepts such as love, truth, and beauty. It may analyze the effects of such concepts on a person physiologically or statistically, but it can’t empirically examine such things.
  3. Science cannot identify the origin of the universe. If it assumes it was created by the eternal God, then it is assuming a supernatural act which falls outside of the boundaries of science. If it assumes that Darwinism is correct then it is assuming an eternal universe, which is in contradiction to the understanding of modern science. In either case, an assumption is made.
  4. Science cannot identify the purpose for the universe.
  5. Science cannot analyze or explain things that exist outside of our universe. (If you happen to believe in a multiverse, I would further explain that I mean things outside of ALL universes.)
  6. Science cannot set moral or ethical boundaries (although moral and ethical boundaries can be set using the information that arises from science.)
  7. Science and the scientific process cannot be employed independently of moral and ethical boundaries, biases, and opinions.
  8. Science cannot prove that something does not exist using inductive reasoning.
  9. Science cannot state anything with absolute certainty. New information may (and almost always does) arise which changes our understanding of the natural world, which means that we only have maximum certainty that things are true.
  10. Science cannot prescribe what must always happen in the universe. It can onlydescribe what does generally happen in the universe. Ergo, supernatural events do not “break” the laws of nature. This does not mean that a “God in the gaps” method of looking at the universe should be accepted. It simply means that miracles should not be discounted simply because they have not been observed happening in our world today.

My point is that there is NO conflict between science and Christianity. I can believe in the law of gravity and the resurrection of Jesus Christ without compromise. The realconflict (if you can call it that) is not between the Christian and the scientist but between the Christian and the materialist. It all comes down to worldviews, not reason.”

Amen!  I have no idea who kiretsauce is, but he (she?) and I are completely in agreement on these points.

The loud and obnoxious atheistic scientists (and pseudo-scientists) rail against metaphysics, philosophy and religion.  They deny the existence of anything spiritual or supernatural.  They tell us that science has proven this or that, when in truth, they started with the “no God” assumption, then found (surprise, surprise!) supporting evidence for it.  The truth is that they could have started with the “God is” assumption and found even more – and better – evidence for that.  But as krietsauce says, it all comes down to world views.  And whatever one we settle on, we will never be 100% sure of it.  Even Mother Theresa struggled with her faith from time to time!  And there will be things we don’t understand.  We will never know it all.  But that’s OK.  As Rich Warren says, there’s a lot he doesn’t understand about how digestion works, but that doesn’t keep him from eating a meal!

We all must make a basic assumption: God exists, or he does not.  The question is, which one is true?  And it is not just an important choice.  It’s the most important one there is!  On this one question hangs all of eternity.  

And it’s a heads-you-win and tails-you-don’t lose proposition.  Assume that God is, and if you end up being wrong, you still end up dead – you lost nothing.  Ah, but if you’re right?  

“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him”  (1 Corinthians 2:9)


7 thoughts on “Science and other gods

  1. John, great post as always. I myself always have believed that there can be a happy balance between science and Christianity. I never understand why it had to be one or the other. Who’s to say when God spoke and created the earth that it didn’t happen in the form of a big bang making both sides theoretically correct (I guess).

  2. I like this post.

    To me it seems science is an endless game of coming across new contradictions about old “facts” (which is most apparent in the quantum physics level).

    Limitations are what make physical life physical, not proof that physical life is the only life.

    I don’t understand why it’s so easy for most people to accept whatever they can observe about reality as being all there is. We are limited to our senses, we can’t imagine anything else. Imagine if we couldn’t smell-how would someone who could get us to understand what it’s like? Other beings (perhaps “aliens”) with more senses might feel sympathetic toward us, like we feel toward the blind or deaf.

  3. Rodney Stark, in “The Victory of Reason”, made a case for this idea: That in order for science to be really good science, it has to be grounded in a Christian worldview. He said that a large percentage of the most significant scientific discoveries have been made by scientists living in Christian-dominated geographic regions. So Stark, krietsauce and I would likely agree in contending that science, far from being hierarchically more important and superior to matters of faith, it is subject to them! It’s not a matter of science and Christianity being conflicting views of reality: It’s that an understanding of truth and reality is something to be sought after, and that science is no more important in that seeking than philosophy, religion or metaphysics.

    Thanks to Phillippa and Lauren for chiming in!

  4. thomas

    andj4613, Forgive me for taking so long to follow-up from our correspondence on the Centurion web page. I am not much of a blogger. I suppose this is the place to address the most fundamental issue in metaphysics – is it possible to believe in metaphysical reality outside of material reality? To me, that seems to be the fundamental issue confronting those who would bear Christian witness in the 21st Century. We are dealing with a generation that simply does not hold the metaphysical to be a legitimate category of reality. That makes our time fundamentally different from the 1st Century – a time when people were intensely interested in spiritual matters. In my discussions with non-Christians I often find myself going all the way back to Plato’s Allegory of the Cave. First, you have to convince people that there is reality outside the cave. That is a fundamental challenge in our time.

  5. thomas

    Here is an additional thought. Francis Schaeffer recognized that materialist belief came in two flavors. First, there are the pure materialists. That is, those who say there is no non-material reality – nothing outside the cave. Second, there are those who (under too much influence from Kant) say there may be non-material reality but we can’t know anything about it – you can’t know about what is outside the cave. Schaeffer clearly believed the second category of materialist dominated the intellectual agenda in our times.

    I will be interested in seeing your post on all this. You are dealing with the core issues.

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