Why Science Does Not Disprove God (and my commentary)
by Melissa Cain Travis
An article on Time Magazine’s website caught my attention today due to some social media buzz. I’d like to link to it here and offer my personal thoughts. The article, Why Science Does Not Disprove God, is written by Dr. Amir D. Aczel, who has recently published a book by the same title. (I’ve not read the book, only the author’s article.) It’s notable that an article with this title is on Time’s website. Maybe their site views were down and they needed something to attract the ever-dependable, vociferous anti-theist internet trolls for the sake of a traffic spike (tongue-in-cheek). Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by the article, but I think some of the language was a bit ambiguous and could be misconstrued, hence my motivation for this post. So, without further ado… Aczel begins:
A number of recent books and articles will have you believe that—somehow—science has now disproved the existence of God. We know so much about how the Universe works, their authors claim, that God is simply unnecessary: we can explain all the workings of the Universe without the need for a “creator.”
Yes, this is an accurate depiction of the common pop-atheism claim. But the argument is a poor one. Dr. John Lennox’s charmingly snarky remark comes to mind here:
It is those scientists who make exaggerated claims for science who make science look ridiculous. They have unintentionally and perhaps unconsciously wandered from doing science into myth-making–incoherent myths at that.
(God’s Undertaker: Has Science Buried God?)
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In reality, science has been woefully unsuccessful in answering some essential questions about the world. Contrary to the claims of some dogmatic materialism devotees, there are areas that seem to be utterly closed to empiricism. Hold this thought–I’ll elaborate in a moment.
Aczel goes on to laud the extraordinary achievements of science, including the mapping of the human genome (a project headed by a devout Christian, mind you) and the elucidation of cellular machinery. But then he makes a statement that I think needs careful clarification:
Science has won major victories against entrenched religious dogma throughout the 19th Century.
We need to understand what “entrenched religious dogma” means here. It does NOT mean essential Christian doctrines, the tenets of the faith that are required for saving knowledge of Christ. The “dogma” Aczel is referring to (I’m giving Aczel the benefit of the doubt here) includes specific interpretations of Scripture held for philosophical and other reasons. The point being, those interpretations aren’t the only options for textual coherence and Christian orthodoxy, so the “major victories” of science he refers to are not victories over Christianity. Science, the study of God’s natural revelation to us, helps our efforts to correctly understand God’s special revelation (Scripture). That’s both a win for science and a win for Christian theology…
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