Saturday, August 13, 2005

Science vs. Faith

Scientific American's September 2005 issue reports on a Templeton Foundation conference where the objective was to find common ground between science and religion. Antagonism between science and religion isn't a given; scientific pioneers such as Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, Newton and Boyle were all devout Christians, yet they laid the foundation for modern science.

According to Scientific American, Biologist Richard Dawkins challenged physicist John Barrow's faith in a debate. Barrow emphasized the fine-tuning of the universe as an indicator of the existence of a Creator Designer.

Dawkins said, "Why not just accept that fine-tuning as a fact of nature? Why do you want to explain it with God?"

Barrow responded dryly, "For the same reason you don't want to."

"Everyone laughed except Dawkins, who protested, "That's not an answer!" Scientific American, pages 24 - 28, article titled: "Clash in Cambridge."

The foundational paradigms of persons involved in the debate are the crux of the antagonism. Barrow sees a Designer's hand at work while Dawkins refuses to. Just as Dawkins resists abandoning his paradigms, so too does Barrow and the opposing parties are at an impasse. Both assert the other party is not being reasonable or logical.

God insists He be accepted by faith. To Barrow, evidence in abundance to prove God's existence is obvious while Dawkins claims he's yet to see any. Martin Rees, author of Just Six Numbers says "the universe is unlikely, very unlikely, deeply, shockingly unlikely," yet he insists no Designer was involved. He believes our universe is only one of an infinite number of other universes, therefore it could still have been created by chance. His theory can't be proven--we can't see past the edge of our universe--he's accepting his theory by faith!

In the end, persons cannot escape the element of faith! No definitive, beyond-a-shadow-of-doubt, without-question proof that God exists and that He created everything will ever be discovered. No definitive, beyond-a-shadow-of-a-doubt, without-question proof God didn't create the universe will ever be discovered either. Whatever a person believes, it will be believed by faith. And that's just the way God wants it.

(The above image is a NASA photo)

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