Science is undoubtedly the best thing we have for exploring and finding explanations for the workings of the natural world around us. Science has given us medicine, automobiles, industry, and computerized devices. The books we write are typed and printed using machines developed by science. The houses we build are dependent upon scientific understandings of materials and structural integrity. Everything we understand about the natural world is understood because of science (the word “science” in the context of this piece refers to natural disciplines, sometimes referred to as “hard science”).
What science does NOT tell us … what it cannot tell us … is anything about non-physical being. I am of course writing this today because of the resounding criticisms of evangelical Christians around the globe who say that science necessarily rejects the notion of ‘God.’ This is just not true. What I wish to get across is that this criticism demonstrates a level of intellectual dishonesty in the minds of those who use it.
You do not have to be an educated person to understand that disciplines relying on observation, experimentation, and falsification are inherently physical in their focus. The scientific disciplines of biology, chemistry, geology, physics, and the many many more that explore natural phenomena, are interested in what can be observed and examined. They deal with the natural world of which we are a part. They seek to understand what can be seen, touched, and heard. They strive for knowledge of all that we know to exist. They do NOT deal with what cannot be observed or known to exist. To criticize a thing for excluding a concept that the thing cannot possibly analyze is dishonest. The scientific method does not apply to the intangible. It cannot be used to prove or disprove the existence of something that is thought to exist outside of time and space. This, however, does not mean that it rejects the idea. Indeed it cannot reject or accept it. The concept simply doesn’t apply.
Many people attempt, as they have been doing for some time, to scientifically argue for the existence of an intelligent creator. Everyone who does this eventually hits the proverbial wall and is forced to make a leap into faith. This doesn’t mean they are wrong necessarily, it only means that they cannot use science as evidence for what science is not equipped to speak about. The point is that natural science is natural science and ideology is ideology. They are two very different things, and attempting to explain one with the other is futile. Natural science can’t make any claims about non-observable ideas any more than a religious text can make any claims about gravity, abiogenesis, or evolution. These things can co-exist, but they do not serve the same purpose.
There is no rejection of God in science. The concept simply doesn’t apply.