Has science disproved God?

Grow up and stop believing!
A numbers of years ago a girl told me about her younger brother. He had gone to his parents and said, ‘you know the way you told me about the tooth-fairy, and it was you; you told me about Santa and it was you; are you God?’

Professor Richard Dawkins suggests that belief in God is similar to belief in the tooth-fairy and Santa. It is merely a childish thing that should be left behind by people who are capable of evidence-based thinking. In 2003 he said, on BBC radio four’s Thought for the Day, humanity ‘can leave the crybaby phase, and finally come of age.’

A man called Alister McGrath disagrees. He traces his belief in the opposite direction that Dawkins suggests should be the case. He went from being an atheist to believing Christianity. Having gained a doctorate in molecular biology in Oxford, and intending to spend his life in scientific research, he changed direction and is now Professor of Historical Theology in Oxford.
The American scientist Professor Francis Collins, director of the Human Genome Project, has received numerous awards and honours. He also went from an atheistic world-view to a Christian one.

It is interesting that probably the greatest scientist who ever lived, Sir Isaac Newton, said, ‘a little knowledge leads away from God, but much knowledge leads towards him.’

Science can’t prove God doesn’t exist!Science has its limits. To start with, science is limited to what we might call the material world. But God is not contained in the material world. The Bible says that God is spirit (John 4:24a). He is not found in physical form. This means that we can’t bring him into a laboratory and measure him. Science can’t prove that a non-material divine being doesn’t exist

Then take the miracle of Jesus being raised from the dead. Each of the gospels says that the tomb was empty, and the Apostle Paul says that the risen Jesus appeared to more than five hundred people (1 Cor. 15:6). A scientist could observe that this does not normally happen. But only if the scientist makes the assumption that God does not exist and never does extra-ordinary things can it be said that this could not have happened. But science can’t prove that God does not exist. So if the New Testament is a reliable source (a topic for another occasion) there is no definitive reason for discounting its claims.

Science does show God in actionWhile science can not prove that God does not exist, Christians believe that it does show God in action. We believe in a God who upholds and sustains creation. He is involved in every movement in the universe. Because the Bible clearly points to a God of order and faithfulness, rather than one of chaos, it comes as no surprise that science shows so many pictures of regular predictable action—what might be called the laws of nature.

John Polkinghorne was formerly Professor of Mathematical Physics at the University of Cambridge. He resigned his chair to become an Anglican minister. He believes that science compliments a belief in God, claiming that as scientists study the universe it becomes evident that there needed to be an intricate and delicate balance for the emergence of life. A balance that can’t just be attributed to chance!

Conclusion—How to help the fools!The fool says in his heart, “There is no God” (Psalm 14:1a).
We need to realise that in the wisdom literature of the Old Testament the ‘fool’ is not a person who is necessarily unintelligent. Foolishness here is not to do with an absence of knowledge. Rather the problem with the fool is that they are hard of heart. Their refusal to believe is moral more than intellectual. In this instance their refusal to submit to God’s authority takes them to the extreme of denying God’s very existence.

As Christians we should be confident that what we believe is credible and defensible. We should be prepared to explain and defend our faith. We should seek to be patient and clear with the person who is genuinely seeking. But we should not be so naive as to imagine we can simply debate people into the kingdom. The non-believer’s primary problem is in their heart rather than their mind. We need to be praying that God would soften them and open their eyes to see the truth.

Science has not disproved the existence of God! There are very credible scientists who see no conflict between their beliefs and their scientific research. Indeed science and faith need not be opponents. So let’s not despise learning, let’s not fear discussion, and let us pray that God opens people’s minds that they would see his truth and know his salvation.

Recommended Reading: Alister McGrath, Bridge-building, IVP.
Alister McGrath, The Dawkins Delusion, SPCK.
Kirsten Birkett, Unnatural Enemies, Mathias Media.
Ernest Lucas, Can we believe Genesis Today? IVP.