Friday, November 10, 2006
God and Science
TIME ran a cover story last week entitled, "God vs. Science," as if the two subjects were exclusionary. It promised, "a spirited debate between atheist biologist Richard Dawkins and Christian geneticist Francis Collins."
Instead, it presented a polite, thoughtful defense of faith and science by Dr. Collins, and a histrionic, scattershot retort by a belligerent Professor Dawkins. In the end, Dr. Collins bludgeoned poor Professor Dawkins with the weight his own circuitous, post-modern, relativistic philosophy.
The whole dialogue is worth reading, but here is a characteristic exchange between the two:
Dawkins: (attempting to explain away some of the universe's mysteries) . . . there could be something incredibly grand and incomprehensible and beyond our present understanding.
Collins: That's God.
Dawkins: Yes. But it could be any of a billion Gods. It could be the God of the Martians or of the inhabitants of Alpha Centauri. The chance of its being a particular God, Yahweh, the God of Jesus, is vanishingly small . . .
I got the feeling throughout the debate that Dr. Dawkins is an intelligent but close-minded man who has risen to some degree of popularity by advocating a narrow-minded philosophy to his like-minded scientific colleagues, but that in Dr. Collins he finally met his match. When confronted with a man whose scientific credentials and brilliance dwarf his own, Dawkins was reduced to pathetic attempts at mental bullying, leaving him conspicuously flailing in his own philosophical quicksand.
Their dialogue immediately conjures to my mind the Book of Mormon debate between the prophet Alma and his atheist antagonist, Korihor. In fact, Collins' and Dawkins' respective arguments veer so closely to their Book of Mormon counterparts that it reinforces to me the modern-day applicability of the Book of Mormon.
I believe that the whole dialectic revolves around two key points:
1) You cannot prove that God exists.
2) You cannot prove that he does NOT exist.
And yet while irrefutable scientific proof of God will always remain elusive, all things in nature, including human nature's hardwired longing for the divine, speak of design and thus a Designer; of creation and thus a Creator; of good and evil, and thus of God.
Absolute proof? Not there.
An abundance of otherwise unexplainable evidence pointing towards a higher power? It's all around us.
I believe that the existence of God is self-evident in the extraordinary order and exquisite design found in nature, in the human body, in physics and chemistry. He is also found in our collective, eternal longing for divinity, expressed through acts of altruism, through poetry and music, and through family relations and love.
Could the incomprehensible complexity of the human body have evolved through random collisions of molecules and purposeless mutations of DNA, even if it had 10 billion years to do so? Possibly, but extremely unlikely.
Isn't it infinitely more likely that a rarely seen but divine force has gently molded creation towards it present state, leaving conspicuous tracks for even the least educated to observe, and thus to begin to build faith in a higher power?
It's Occam's razor, baby. The most likely explanation for the world we inhabit is the presence of a Creator, a being who wants us to observe His works, seek His love, and exercise our faith. He will always reward that earnest effort, no matter what denomination or religion the seeker professes.
It's not "God vs. Science;" it's "God through Science." His presence is all around us, patiently waiting to be discovered and worshipped.
Posted by Mark at 12:54 PM