Has Science Made God Unnecessary?
A recent news article claimed that advances in modern science are making belief in God virtually unnecessary. Natalie Wolchover stated that, “Over the past few centuries, science can be said to have gradually chipped away at the traditional grounds for believing in God.” (“Will Science Someday Rule Out the Possibility of God?”, LiveScience.com, September 18, 2012). The article also stated that, “there's good reason to think science will ultimately arrive at a complete understanding of the universe that leaves no grounds for God whatsoever.”
While it is true that science has revealed more and more of how our universe operates (which is to be expected), it has not truly uncovered naturalistic answers as to how it got here in the first place. A biblical view of our universe conveys that its origin is definitely supernatural, while its daily operation follows the established laws that God created. As an example, I have noticed that when I place a glass of water in the freezer and leave it in there long enough, the water becomes solid. However, I don’t believe for one second that when I shut the freezer door, God magically enters in and miraculously causes the liquid to change states, producing the solid mass I observe later. We have discovered regularities in nature that account for such phenomenon. We call them laws of science. They do a great job of accounting for what we observe happening today. We don’t need to resort to any supernatural powers to explain these occurrences. We also don’t need the supernatural to explain how the light goes off when you shut the freezer door either! But does the light really go out? We may never know. That’s one of the great mysteries of the universe! (Just a little humor and sarcasm.)
We know how water freezes, but where did it come from in the first place? The known laws of science cannot account for that in the same way that they account for its solidification at or below 32° F. Ah, but all you have to do is combine hydrogen and oxygen the right way and you can get water! Alright… where do you get hydrogen and oxygen? Well, hydrogen was produced in the Big Bang and then later, the explosion of stars produced heavier elements such as oxygen. Nice story, but what material was involved in the alleged Big Bang that could create hydrogen and where did that material come from? Most people don’t have a response to this, but theoretical physicists do. The problem is that their answer is solely theoretical and far removed from the type of science that gave us laptops and cell phones (i.e. “operational science”). It is also so deep that the average layperson (and high school or college student) thinks it must be correct, because they can’t understand it and they heard it from a scientist!
It reminds me of a joke I heard years ago. (Some of you probably already heard this so you can just go out to the kitchen and make yourself a sandwich and come back when I am done.) I am telling this, not because it is so funny, but because it makes a good point.
A group of scientists figured out how to create life on their own and feel there is no need for belief in God anymore. Furthermore, they decide to let him know he is no longer necessary. They tell God what they’ve been able to do and God say, “Alright, let’s have a little ‘man creating’ contest.” The scientists say, “Sure, you go first.” God reaches down, scrapes up some dirt, breathes into it and creates a living human being. The scientists say, “Not bad, but now it’s our turn.” One of the scientists reaches down to the ground, but before he get’s any farther, God says, “Hey, you get your own dirt!” Semi-funny, but you get the point.
According to Alex Filippenko (astrophysicist at the University of California, Berkeley), "The Big Bang could've occurred as a result of just the laws of physics being there. With the laws of physics, you can get universes." Let’s think about this. This states that the laws of physics produced our universe. Therefore, the laws were here first. So that leads me to an interesting question… “Where did the laws of physics come from?” Laws are not tangible things. What do I mean by that? They are not physical entities. You cannot take a law of physics into a laboratory and weigh it or measure it or chop it up into five pieces, etc. They are simply abstract. Scientists do not believe that physical matter can generate things of a non-physical nature. We certainly have never observed this nor can we get this to happen in the laboratory. So if physical matter and energy cannot create non-physical entities… where did these laws come from? Were they just floating around in nothing hoping and praying that someday there would be “stuff” around they could rule and reign over? It makes much more sense to believe that God created both the physical universe and the various laws by which it now operates.
A number of scientists believe that everything came from nothing. This topic is too big to tackle seriously in just the remainder of a brief article, so I will only offer a few passing comments. I remember hearing an audio lecture years ago in which the scientist (who I believe was from an Ivy League school) grappled with this question. His response was that there’s a difference between nothing and absolute nothing. He went on to say that if you actually had “nothing” you might be able to get a universe from it, but if you had “absolute nothing” you obviously could not get anything from that! Really??? Tell me again how that has anything to do with science.
I will close with some wisdom from the web. There’s a lot of great information out on the web, but there’s also a lot of misinformation as well (and way too much that is morally reprehensible) so we need to be very careful when using this source. However, the quote I am going to share is not from the world wide web, but rather, from Charlotte’s Web!
“What do you mean less than nothing? I don't think there is any such thing as less than nothing. Nothing is absolutely the limit of nothingness. It's the lowest you can go. It's the end of the line. How can something be less than nothing? If there were something that was less than nothing, then nothing would not be nothing, it would be something - even though it's just a very little bit of something. But if nothing is nothing, then nothing has nothing that is less than it is.” (Charlotte's Web, E.B. White)You don’t need a degree in theoretical physics to figure that one out, but you will probably need one if you are desperate to eliminate God from the picture.
“The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.” (Psalm 14:1)
“For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness.” (I Corinthians 3:19)For much, much more information on this subject, I would highly recommend my book, Let There Be Light, the second edition of which is to be released this month (Oct 2012). We are offering great discounts on the first edition, which is not even two years old yet! Click here to order the first edition.
DISCOUNTED RATES ON FIRST EDITION: $7.50 - single copy (50% off retail) $5.00 - when purchasing 5 or more copies (67% off retail)
Author: Jay Seegert (Co-Founder & Principal Lecturer, Creation Education Center)