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How do some scientists believe in the existence of God?

Science is all about facts and evidence. How then do some scientists believe in the existence of God?
Jude Goffe from Greater London (Age 55+)

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3 Responses

  1. I think that scientists have to be very open-minded. You cannot just reject ideas without careful consideration, investigation and observation. After all, many of the fascinating ideas in cosmology that have emerged recently about the ‘Big Bang’, ‘Black Holes’, ‘Dark Matter’ have not been totally proven. There is certainly experimental and mathematical support for these ideas. However there are some physical ideas that you cannot prove totally. Man in his present form has been around for 1 million years, civilisation for a few thousand years and the sun for about 4.6 billion years. We are actually just beginning to understand the cosmos and many questions will remain unanswered, totally beyond our comprehension.

  2. For many scientists belief in God can arise from awe or amazement at the created world we see. For many others this can be reduced to a series of natural laws, which by a tool known as Occam’s razor does not require a supernatural God. However, these natural laws require an explanation themselves… have they generated spontaneously or are they a product of a supernatural designer? Furthermore, reasons for belief may reside more solidly on disciplines outside of science, such as history, in which case there is no difficulty being a scientist and having faith in God.

  3. In a broad sense, both science and religion are approaches on the ‘search for truth’. Often a simplified definition used is “science asks the questions of ‘how’ and religion the questions of ‘why’”. Thus it would be incomprehensible genuine scientists and or genuine believers would pursue their interests if it wasn’t for the truth.

    Certainly, there are many examples of successful scientists and deeply religious people, both in history [e.g. Isaac Newton (Physics, mathematics), Gregor Mendel (Genetics), Michael Faraday (physics)] and present [e.g. Sir Prof. Reverend John Polkinghorne (Physics), Sir Prof. John Houghton (Climate Change), Dr. Francis Collins (Human Genome Project)] .

    Often conflicts arise from misunderstandings of either one using a narrower definition to justify or debunk the other. For example using a narrow definition of science trying to prove God within experimental means or using literal religious text to account for scientific observations. Both in the past and even more recently, there is an ongoing debate between proponents of those diametrically opposed ends. However it has to be said this is not the case for the majority of scientists or religious people.

    Overall, the human history is a mixed bag (with both mistakes and good things done by some religious people and some science inspired people). However in the hands of responsible people, it is unarguable religion and science, can not only coexist but would also complement each other.

    Some relevant weblinks:

    International Society for Science and Religion
    http://www.issr.org.uk/

    Faraday Institute for Science and Religion at the University of Cambridge:
    http://www.st-edmunds.cam.ac.uk/faraday/

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