If the goal of science is to determine exactly what happened rather than to construct the most plausible, naturalistic- rationalization of human origin, then Christians and scientists have more in common that previously thought. We are both truth seekers. The biggest difference, in my opinion, is that people of faith are viewed as biased, where scientists are supposedly neutral in their analysis of what is reality.
Yet a scientist’s view of reality can be blind. If science is defined so that the actions of a supernatural agent are considered out-of-bounds, or even irrational, we should not be surprised if science cannot see God’s handiwork through its self-imposed blindness. Biases against anything that does not fit within the scientific model, continue to play out in its theories and conclusions. However, suppose a scientist is truly open to the possibility that there may be other dimensions that do not fit within the existing scientific model of experimentation?
Some scientists are honest enough to admit that due to the scientific method of testing hypothesis by restricting it to natural, testable observation, it cannot confirm or deny the existence of a Creator.¹
Yet what makes headlines these days are statements from atheist scientists, like Richard Dawkins or Stephen Hawking, who do not ascribe to the above statement. Instead they declare there is no God. What right do they have to draw that line when it is done from within such strict, naturalistic boundaries? They must believe there is nothing beyond the material existence to make such a broad and bold public statement against what the majority of people today believe. Can billions of us be wrong? What right do handful of scientists have to declare there is no God? They have no right, and yet this is done regularly in today’s so-called “objective” field of science.
Do scientists have proof that God does not exist? Absolutely not! So, in essence, what they’re doing is proselytizing their beliefs on a gullible populace who view science as the “truth tellers.” Scientists, in a way, are thus hypocrites because they point their fingers at Christians for proselytizing their beliefs, yet they proselytize through scientific “theories.”
What is a theory? It is an idea based on general principles that are supposed to be independent of the thing to be explained. But most scientists have biases against anything supernatural, so theories are not entirely “independent” of that influence.
“Darwin did not destroy the argument from design. He destroyed only the watchmaker and the watch,” according to Dawkins.² (He did so, I assume, because his 10-year old daughter died of an illness that God did not heal through prayer. Destroying this “watchmaker” then became his mission because he could not understand how a good God would allow his child to die. That is very difficult, and the problem of evil is a stumbling block for many. There are resources that can help people better understand this phenomenon. For example, I wrote a blog called: Is God Justified in Allowing Evil?)
Did Darwin’s theory really destroy the watchmaker? Dawkins made the following statement, which I believe infers a Creator: “Echo-sounding by bats is just one of the thousands of examples that I could have chosen to make the point about good design.” This whole chapter³ is devoted to what Dawkins calls “good design.” Doesn’t this imply a Designer? He goes into elaborate details of how good design evolves, yet further down in the same paragraph, Dawkins says this (in regards to the doppler radar): “The designer’s understanding is embodied in the design of the instrument, but the instrument itself does not understand how it works.”
What Dawkins is implying is that the designer’s understanding is expressed through a visible form yet the form does not understand it. Isn’t this similar to a Christian recognizing that we may not perfectly understand how our Creator designs, but we at least recognize His hand in the design? I definitely see the connection.
If you are a theist, then you would be more apt to recognize the humility in our finite thinking that may never fully comprehend the infinite. If, on the other hand, science is your faith, then you would believe it will solve all the puzzles to life eventually. Even if the foremost scientific expert in the world cannot explain a phenomenon by biological means, it does not mean it’s inexplicable, according to Dawkins, who believes everything eventually will be discovered through science.
That is a statement of faith, not fact.
Keep this in mind when a new “scientific theory” in unveiled, or presented. Science has done much to better our lives, through technology and medicine for example, and for that we should be thankful. What it cannot do, nor where it should go, is to make faith-based declarations on human origins. Scientists should stay within their own naturalistic observations, and keep out the assuming anything supernatural does not exist.
1 Patricia Kelley & Marcus Milling, Evolution and the Fossil Record, a report by the American Geological Institute (agiweb.org), Alexandria, Virginina, 2001, 7.
² Richard Dawkins, The Blind Watchmaker, New York: W. W. Norton, 1986, 21.