So says Lawrence M. Krauss, not to mention many others, of course. But the problem Krauss as well as many other atheists face (feel free to chime in here Dallin) is that their belief in a “no-God doctrine” is based on a faulty understanding of God. That is, their logical train of thought says “The Catholic [insert any other religion here] idea of God doesn’t jive with known science, therefore there is no God.” But what if the Catholic[again, insert any other religion here–I’m not trying to pick on Catholics] idea of God is incorrect?
Krauss claims that “Science is only truly consistent with an atheistic worldview with regards to the claimed miracles of the gods of Judaism, Christianity and Islam.” But this simply isn’t true. At best we can only claim that what we know about science at this point in time doesn’t fully explain how certain miracles happened. The Bible says that Jesus rubbed dirt and spit in a blind man’s eyes and then told him to go wash his eyes in a contaminated, filthy pool of water, and then the man’s blindness is cured. Sounds fantastic, but only because we don’t know how it happened. We cannot legitimately claim that it is impossible. To do so one would have to prove that under no circumstances could the actions taken in that story result in blindness being cured.
What’s especially interesting about science with regards to religion is that the scientific method itself is based on faith. A hypothesis is an expression of faith. It says, in effect, “I believe that if we do such and such, that such and such will follow.” We then create tests to prove or disprove our statement of faith.
You can find atheistic scientists who have faith in all sorts of things the rest of us would find ridiculous or impossible. Most of the technology we have today would have sounded ridiculous and impossible a mere 50 years ago, let alone 200 years ago. It took faith to believe man could fly through the air, and without that faith we wouldn’t have airplanes today that can carry many tons of cargo thousands of miles through the air in a few hours. It took faith to create computers, the Internet, the light bulb, pharmaceuticals, etc. Before any of it was created it was “seen” with the eye of faith. And many more inventions and discoveries will be made in the future. I would guess there are many scientists who don’t believe in God, yet have no trouble believing that someday man will travel throughout space at, near to, or faster than the speed of light. It is true that some discoveries are made accidentally, but generally when someone is “expressing faith” in something else. It is rare that someone invents something or discovers something when they are looking for nothing at all, or not trying to create something.
The difference between faith in revealed science and faith in God is the supporting evidence. Naturally, there is more evidence to support the things we already know than there is to support things we don’t know. But a lack of knowledge about something is no reason to disregard it. Just because what limited information we have about God (which may or may not be correct) sounds hokey, that doesn’t mean it’s a matter not worth investigating. If we were to extend this line of thinking to science, then where would we be today? How many inventions would not exist? How much knowledge would still be hidden? How many diseases would remain uncured if scientists looked at a sick person and said “I have no evidence to convince me it is possible to cure this person, therefore I will not try.”
On the contrary, if God really does exist, what more important discovery could there possibly be? So many people have so much “faith” that there is no God based on so little evidence.
But what if there is a God? What if he has a plan for us? What if it is integral to that plan that we are not allowed to know for sure whether he exists or not unless we already want to believe he does? Then those who do not want to believe in God will receive no convincing signs that he does, while those who do want to believe he exists will receive evidence of his existence. And naturally, those who do not receive such evidence will think those who claim to have received such evidence are crazy, and vice versa.
My advice to scientific atheists would be to not base your belief in the non-existence of God on what you think you know about God. Maybe what you think you know about God is wrong. Maybe there is a God but he’s not like anything you’ve imagined before. Maybe there is no conflict between science and belief in God, only unresolved questions. If there is a God, is it worth missing out on that knowledge because you based your theory on faulty information?