Scientists believe in God

moon-earth-beauty-creationAccording to the Daily Mail, scientists believe in God. Not all of them, I’m sure, but Jonathan Margolis wrote an interesting articlejust before Christmas – I’ve only just been passed it. He interviews several eminent scientists about their beleif in God. Not a definitive article by any means, but interesting nonetheless.

Similarly, Oxford mathematics professor John Lennox argues: ‘This misapprehension that faith is a religious thing not involved in science is simply false. I see the two as belonging together.’

The softly-spoken Ulsterman added: ‘But science is limited. That’s no insult to science, but as I recently told Richard Dawkins, I could dissect him, run his brain through a scanner, reduce him to chemicals and tell a great deal about him. ‘But I’d never get to know him as a person. For that, he must reveal himself to me.’

Professor Lennox said that God has revealed himself at several levels, in the universe and creation.

‘Science gives us pointers towards God, but you don’t get proofs; you get evidence. And faith is evidence-based – not based on lack of evidence, as Dawkins says.’

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9 responses to “Scientists believe in God

  1. I hadn’t really thought about that – What do you think? They are the only ones who deal in absolute proof, although the amount it relates to the real world is debatable.

    The article (go-on read it) also quotes Professor John Polkinghorn,a particle physicist (that is definitely a science).

    Weren’t you reading John’s gospel? How is it going?

  2. Generally speaking, maths can be considered a science, but I’m sure you could find plenty of people to argue it is to it isn’t.

    Like Science, Maths is a tool for describing and testing the natural universe.

    However, in the quote above shows Professor Lennox clearly has different standards for scientific evidence and “faith evidence”. In his job as a mathematician, he must apply scientific thinking, otherwise his work would be worthless. Being a Professor (in theory) shows he can utilise scientific methods correctly.

    However, to say that faith is evidence-based is oxymoronic and, from a scientific point of view, couldn’t be more wrong. Faith itself implies lack of evidence. If there was evidence God exists, then there would be no need for faith. There certainly is no empirical evidence for anything supernatural, so whatever “evidence” he is referring to, it is unscientific and therefore invalid in a scientific argument.

    I don’t understand how any scientist, or mathematician, can have such a disconnect in their thinking – have stringent rules for one facet of their life, yet none for another.

  3. I’ll read the article when I get home from work tonight.

    As for the science/math issue, I imagine it might be more likely for a mathematician, who does work with absolute proofs, to be convinced that they can find absolute proofs in areas other than their own subject. Whereas your average scientist would be more likely to accept that absolutes are not helpful in the real world.

    I finished the gospel of John and all the videos are posted on my YouTube site. Check it out and lambaste me for being a horrible scholar. ;)

  4. Hi arrogantscientist

    I hope you don’t live up to your name ;)

    On evidence – evidence is something that leads us to make an assertion about something. Evidence is not proof, but directs us to a way of thinking. There can be good evidence for something, and bad evidence for something (deciding what is good and bad is somewhat subjective) For example, DNA found at the scene of a crime is usually decided to be good evidence, but it does not constitute a proof that that person did it. So Prof. Lennox was right to say there can be evidence for God even if it does not amount to a proof. What you decided to deduce from that evidence is entirely up to you. See my final response to for more on faith and evidence in scientific thinking.

    morsec0de – i’ll check out your youtube at some point – what’s your youtube name?

  5. Urgh – I really hate it when people say something like ‘science can’t let me know you as a person because all science involves is disecting and examining people’. It’s an incredibly obvious strawman and only criticises an aspect of science that doesn’t really exist. Few people have ever claimed that the scientific method can be universally applied to every facet of human life, and pointing out that the very few who do are wrong does not somehow demonstrate that religion and science are compatible. (I’m not necessarily saying that they’re not, mind you, but if they are then this kind of reasoning certainly doesn’t make a strong case for their mutual co-existence).

  6. Science and religion fundamentally incompatible. Religious thinking couldn’t get you any answers in science, and scientific logic couldn’t get you anywhere in religion (there’s nowhere to go :P).

    Other than political reasons, there’s no legitimate excuse to sit on the fence between the two if you understand the principles of both.

    As for my name tallandrew, if you think I am arrogant then my girlfriend would agree with you! However, I just say what I think from as objective a point of view as I can, and only after I’m sure I understand all views on a point. I never make personal arguments. I’m sure some people would find me arrogant, and others not… probably depending on if I share their point of view or not ;).

  7. “Science and religion fundamentally incompatible. Religious thinking couldn’t get you any answers in science, and scientific logic couldn’t get you anywhere in religion.”

    I agree that science and religion are doing different things, but that doesn’t make them incompatible. Because they are doing different things each can be used within its own sphere.

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