Science and Faith

Is there a space on this forum for a philisophical debate on whether (an atheist) scientist should include God/faith in their conclusions and pronoucements.
Scientist can get very angry when Christians try and use science to prove a point. They talk about pseudo-science and scientific understanding but there are several prominant scientist who have no problem in declaring that they have effectively killed God


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That’s only because they have projected their philosophical naturalism onto their science, their methodological naturalism, mixing the two and are confused and clueless what they are talking about.

I think you make the opposite mistake when talking about your take on evolution.

They’re better scientists than they are philosophers and you are a better philosopher than you are a scientist?


You’ve got a valid point there Richard. I for one can’t stand it when people try to argue against creationism or ID on the grounds that it is “religion, not science” or that it is “introducing religious presuppositions into science.”

The reason for this is two-fold. First of all it feeds the creationist/ID narrative of discrimination by the scientific community. It’s all tangled up with the American culture wars, arguments about what the First Amendment means, separation of church and state, and whether or not prayer and religious observance have a place in schools. Arguments that often seem bizarre if not outright bewildering to someone such as myself observing them from the other side of The Pond™.

More importantly though, it completely misses the real problem with young earthist and ID arguments: that in purely technical terms, most of them are a complete joke. The problem isn’t trying to use science to prove a point; it’s misrepresenting and cherry-picking evidence, fudging measurements and quote mining in order to do so. Unfortunately that kind of behaviour reflects badly on apologists who are doing their best to try and keep things tight and accurate, who very often end up getting tarred with the same brush.


If a scientist speaks about God whether for or against then he is not doing science, and if claims it is science then he is the one guilty of pseudoscience.

A scientist may simply want to stick to science and not get drawn into a religious discussion (for various reasons). He may well see that as getting in the way of his work to communicate the science.

Yes there are scientists who seem to have no problem with leaving science behind to share their religious opinions. But that does not mean they have the support of the scientific community in doing so.

Pseudo-science means doing things which are not science and pretending that they are science. That applies as much to atheists as it does to theists. Assure them that you have no intention of claiming that you are doing science when you use science to prove a point. And before you cry “hypocrisy” when they speak of pseudoscience, I suggest you first ask them about the those scientists pushing religious opinions opposed to God and see if they would call that pseudoscience as well.

Lumping all scientists together is no more rational than lumping all Christians together and blaming the misdeeds of some on all of them.

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If God can be tested through the scientific method then God can certainly be included in scientific concusions.

Scientists also make statements outside of science. There’s nothing wrong with a scientist discussing their faith, beliefs, or skepticism outside of their scientific work. Scientists are humans like anyone else.

As an atheist, I disagree with any scientist who thinks they have “killed God” with science. Its preposterous. Science can’t do that.


Being in a different country helps put such notions in perspective but isn’t necessary: “bizarre if not outright bewildering” would pretty well describe my reaction to a lot of them as well.


Same here.  

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But God cannot be scientifically tested. The only thing that can be concluded is that we cannot scientifically identify or prove the existence of God. That doesn’t prove that God does not exist, only that we have not found a way to identify or “see” Him. The same can be said for elements of evolutionary theory that cannot be proven beyond doubt. You are happy to persist in believing Evolution, I am happy to persist in the belief in God.


Some of us can do both happily. (That might be redundant, happy to persist happily. ; - )

I wonder whether you fully understand what you are saying. You cannot believe the full version of Evolution and God, they are mutually exclusive. Evolution claims to be able to create Man from a single cell without any influence from God.
I believe in theistic evolution. That is not what is taught or believed by the scientific community.
You need to decide which side of the fence you are going to sit.


You have erected an imaginary fence. I believe in God’s providential interventions, and they are not detectable scientifically, right? You need to decide to stop being incredulous at the good science.

That is not the Evolutionary model.

You need to fully understand the ramifications of your so-called “good science”.

The fence exists and the width is diminishing.


Yep, pretty much zero. :grin:

Your ignorance is showing.

I might suggest you read Animal Farm. Your comments resemble the chants of the Sheep.


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Shall we work on this?:

Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.
1 Peter 3:9

Depends. How long have you got?

I am trying to disturb your certitude.


You’re going to have to work way harder, because all I see is your incredulity. Birds from dinos and whales from hippos does take some getting used to. (Do you know how long 3.7 Ga is?)

Perhaps the idea of Venn diagrams would help in this discussion --i.e. that of overlapping circles. In this case, each set representing the various views of science and religion. There is considerable overlap in that for many there is no conflict between the two according to their understanding of science and religion, but there are certainly those in both groups who see incompatibilities between them. There are a lot of complications in this, but the biggest is a poor understanding of science among theists and atheists. There are atheists who treat science as a kind of religion requiring devotion of some sort as well as theists who see it as a kind of religion opposed to God.


Evolutionary biology says nothing of the sort. I have read many papers on evolution and listened to many talks (put together, probably thousands), and I’ve talked to many evolutionary biologists. In all of those interactions, the number of times the presence or absence of any influence by God was mentioned was zero. I’m afraid you’re projecting your fantasies onto actual scientists and actual science.


Sounds like a logical fallacy which equates absence or silence with negation or opposition. Been looking for a name for this… kind of like a variation on Argumentum ex Silencio.

Perhaps this comes from a misuse of Jesus’ words in Luke 11:23, “Whoever is not with me is against me.” The problem is that Jesus says nearly the opposite in Luke 9:50 “whoever is not against you is for you.” The obvious difference is that Luke 11:23 is speaking of Jesus and the combination thus tells us that we are in no position to say who is “against Jesus.” We should be reminded, God’s view of things is not the same as ours. That is what Luke 9:50 should tell us. So what was the point of Jesus saying something like Luke 11:23 if it does not apply to our judgements of whether someone is “against Jesus.” The context of the passage in the Bible is not very helpful except to rule out the common misuse such as equating absence or silence with negation or opposition.