Does Belief in God Sabotage Science?
Strong & Courageous Blog
Does belief in God ruin science?
This question certainly represents a plausibility structure that is deeply ingrained into our culture. Many people would answer yes to this question. I do not agree with them, and I would like to explain why in this post.
One of the main reasons that people would answer yes to the question is the thinking that faith in God will circumvent the entire scientific discovery process. If your only answer is that God did it, then why would one diligently search for a naturalistic explanation? This is the classic “God in the Gaps” scenario, that is based on the lack of information or the lack of the desire to even research it out.
But is this the case? The answer lies in what has actually taken place historically. The very idea of using inductive reasoning to cause us to strain forward in our understanding of science was actually pioneered predominately by Christians. They were passionate in the pursuit of understanding how things work in order to further look into the glory of God.
The process of inductive reasoning looks for the most likely reason for something to be true based on the evidence at hand. Leslie Newbigin states “Consequently, through the study of things and happenings in the created world, we can arrive at a true understanding of them. That is the foundation on which all science rests.”
The pop-icon atheist Richard Dawkins proclaims in his book titled The Blind Watchmaker, ”evolution is so fulfilling that it makes me an intellectually satisfied atheist.” Even though evolution has no bearing on the origin of the universe which had to have occurred before any life forms were present. So to this I would respond that the amazingly fine-tuned universe which is mathematically impossible to have occurred by chance alone makes me an intellectually satisfied Christian.
I consider this to be of first order in importance. In other words, the supernatural action of the creation of the universe overrides any belief that evolution attempts to explain everything that we see in nature. This is because the creation event occured first and any adaptation of life occured after.
There are many active scientists today that hold this same point of view. Christianity is not necessarily anti-science and it is possible to delight in both science and God. The fields of study in astrophysics and molecular biology have some amazingly intelligent folks who are passionate about serving both God and humanity.
The Heavens declare the Glory of God!