4 Simple Responses to Science-Based Atheism

by Samuel James

Lack of scientific knowledge can leave Christians feeling vulnerable when talking to unbelieving friends about why faith is superior to skepticism. Many college students discover atheism through science classes; students who enter university as Christians have their faith fiercely tested by their studies, and too many give up the fight merely because they assume a biology professor must be correct about whether God exists. When a little bit of childlike faith meets a lot of studied atheism, fear can take control.

That’s unnecessary. You don’t need a degree in science to have something to say to those with scientific objections to faith. Here are four simple responses to those who claim science has either disproved God or has made belief in God unnecessary.

1. We cannot know from science if science itself is the best source of knowledge.

There are two possibilities when it comes to human knowledge through science. The first is that everything real is actually reducible to scientific principles. Everything—from the universe, to human emotion, to spiritual experiences—is explainable through scientific research. The other option is simple: Not all existence can be explained through science.

Here’s why this question matters. If the first option is true, then logically science is the supreme mode of knowledge, and everything we believe about anything must be in submission to it. The problem, though, is that whether all of reality is ultimately explainable through scientific concepts is not itself a scientifically provable theory. It’s a philosophical premise, not a scientific conclusion. The only way to definitively prove that science explains everything would be to have exhaustive knowledge of all reality, and then be able to explain (using only scientific data) what all reality is and what it means. Such a feat is impossible. Therefore, the belief that science is the best source of knowledge must be accepted on faith, since it cannot be verified through testing…

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4 Simple Responses to Science-Based Atheism