by John Henson
What part may science play in the discussion concerning the existence of God? Can scientific discoveries disprove his existence? Should the arguments of science, particularly the theory of evolution, have any validity in the discussion?
Scientists are usually reluctant to admit they can disprove God’s existence. The typical viewpoint of science may be seen in a biology professor’s answer to the question on an Internet page.
This teacher wrote, “What should a scientist expect from an idea? That it be a reasonable advance in knowledge; that it be built on a foundation of evidence; that it be testable; that it should lead to new and useful questions and ideas.”
Other people advocate creating some kind of middle ground between science and religion by first accepting the theory of evolution. John N. Clayton wrote, “The notion that we can legislate atheism out of existence, along with science we disagree with, is not going to work.”
Therefore, Clayton believes there should be a happy medium between science and religion. This is the “middle ground.” You know what the middle ground is on a battlefield, don’t you? It’s where all the artillery shells land.
What’s his reason for creating this delightful Nirvana? “The notion we can legislate atheism out of existence… is not going to work.”
It may be time for one of the 20th Century’s preeminent philosophers to set us straight. Dr. Antony Flew wrote in his 2007 book, “There is a God,” “The competence specific to scientists gives no advantage when it comes to considering this question, just as a star basketball player has no special competence on the dental benefits of a particular toothpaste.”
Why does science have no specific competence disproving the existence of God? The answer is first-semester epistemology. Science only functions in the empirical ? things in the here and now it can measure ? not in trying to disprove the existence of the eternal creator of the universe.
This is why every attempt science has ever made explaining the beginning of the universe comes out sounding more like science fiction. Science cannot prove its theory of evolution because it wasn’t there. It can’t prove it from measurement or from empirical fact. Remember our biology professor? Nothing about evolution can be proven by the evidence nor is it testable or falsifiable.
It’s interesting that Dr. Flew would write that in his book. During his 1976 debate on the existence of God, Dr. Thomas B. Warren pressed him to show how science could disprove God. Flew failed and immediately became an agnostic, later stating that he believed there was a supreme being after all. Science has no basis for attempting to disprove the existence of the eternal God.
by John Henson