Are Science and God Incompatible?

by Amir D. Aczel

A barrage of recent books, newspaper and magazine articles, videos, public lectures, and even a widely-viewed documentary will have you think that science has by now disproved the existence of God. And some of the people making these claims are well-known scientists, such as the British biologist Richard Dawkins, who has made a career of arguing that modern science makes religion obsolete. But in fact, these pronouncements are premature, and the last time that science won decisively against religion was as far back as the 19th century.

Starting in 1829 and continuing throughout the 1800s, discoveries of Neanderthal remains in Belgium, Gibraltar, and Germany have shown that humans were not the only hominids to occupy Earth, lending strong support to the then-emerging theory of evolution. Published by Charles Darwin in 1859, evolution dealt a deadly blow to creationism—the belief that organisms were created, rather than evolved from lower animals. And in 1851, Leon Foucault, a self-trained French physicist, proved definitively that the Earth rotates—rather than staying in place as the Sun went around it, as might be inferred from Scripture—using a special pendulum he had devised, now named after him, whose circular motion caused by the Earth’s rotation he demonstrated dramatically to a large audience in Paris. Equally, geological discoveries made over the same century dealt a death knell to the “young earth” theory. We now know that the Earth is billions—not thousands—of years old, as some had thought by counting generations back to the Biblical Adam. All of these discoveries devastated literal interpretations of Scripture: that the Earth and its plants, animals, and humans were all created over six days, a few score generations ago, and that the Sun rotates around a static Earth, viewed as the center of all creation.

But has modern science proved that there is no God, as some scientists are now claiming? The answer is a resounding no! Science is a wonderful undertaking: it teaches us about life, the world, and the universe. And it has brought us immense amounts of information: Human knowledge is said to double every few years. But none of it has so far disproved the existence of some kind of supreme force that exists outside our universe—a force some people choose to call God…


Are Science and God Incompatible? – Speakeasy – WSJ