When Science Discovered God

Spiral Galaxy NGC 1232If researchers discovered evidence of a God, would they recognize what they had found? After all, no one is likely to peer into a telescope and find a bearded deity staring back. When scientists find clear proof of some reality, some being beyond the boundaries of our material universe will it even matter?

These questions are important because such discoveries have already happened and have been repeated over and over again for decades. Physicists have been wrestling with evidence of the “supernatural” for almost a century. Ask a physicist whether they have found God and they will generally deny it, but they probably won’t laugh.

The problem, if you wish to see it as such, begins at the origins of quantum theory and continues through decades of experiments and mathematical models. When working at the most precise, sub-atomic levels, some external factor seems to skew measurements.

Heisenberg described this problem in 1927 and it came to be called the Uncertainty Principle. Efforts to measure the speed and position of a particle produced a strange result. Only one or the other dimension could be successfully measured, never both. It was as if the act of measurement itself was introducing an additional factor in the process, skewing the outcome.

In its simplest summary, he described it this way: “The more precisely the position is determined, the less precisely the momentum is known in this instant, and vice versa.”

Arcane challenges that frustrate efforts to measure sub-atomic particles may not seem like a religious question, but Heisenberg recognized the implications of his discovery from the beginning. Since the Enlightenment, science has proceeded under the assumption that everything which is real is quantifiable. Reality is fixed. Everything real possesses an existence independent of our experience or observation of it. If a tree falls in the forest, it does indeed make a sound.

Human beings therefore may be complex, but we are the sum of our parts. Nothing real is “super”-natural. Every real phenomenon can, with some degree of scientific effort, be subjected to analysis. Choose any esoteric experience you like, from love to beauty to pain, and it can, with sufficient scientific effort, be reduced to a collection of spinning atoms.

Heisenberg’s research suggested the opposite; that forces outside our measurable, quantifiable, physical existence were not only real, but were capable of interacting with the physical universe in an empirically measurable way. While profound, the discovery did not create a lot of theists. It merely served as a challenge, inspiring physicists and cosmologists to dig deeper in search of physical explanations for this phenomenon.

Fast forward a century and cosmology is undoubtedly farther from a scientific solution to the challenges of quantum mechanics than ever. In fact, one could argue that the effort to find such a solution has been almost entirely abandoned.

The science is settled. Our universe has origins beyond the measurable bounds of our existence and forces outside the quantifiable universe influence quantum phenomena. Decades of discoveries in physics have taken us farther from the comfortable assumptions of Newtonian science into a world of permanent, unresolvable uncertainty.

Scientists generally assume that when faced with strange phenomena, a process of quantification and experiment will in time resolve the question in favor of a physical explanation. When it comes to the forces that created the universe and govern action at the sub-atomic level, that process is working in reverse.

The mathematical models and experimentation have given us Schrodinger’s Cat, Spooky Action at a Distance, the Observer Problem, the Many Worlds Interpretation, and String Theory. In order to preserve some semblance of belief in the quantifiable nature of the universe, we are being asked to accept the notion that there are infinite parallel existences and numerous undetectable physical dimensions. An infinite variety of other universes are coming into and out of existence all the time. Interaction with those universes brought about the Big Bang which launched our universe. All of existence may in fact be holographic data written on the core of a black hole.

Physicists, using the most sophisticated scientific methods to explore the origins of life, the universe, and everything are sounding more and more like stoned Hippies.

There is an alternative. We could apply Occam’s razor to the problem observed originally by Heisenberg. We could accept the simplest, most obvious conclusion from a century of math and experimentation in quantum mechanics – that the Newtonian idea of a contained, purely physical universe is false. Add a “God” of some sort and the math suddenly works.

When C.S. Lewis lost his wife, he compiled his thoughts into a small book called A Grief Observed. In one section he summed up the essential problem posed by a purely material approach to life:

If H. ‘is not’ then she never was. I mistook a cloud of atoms for a person. Death only reveals the vacuity that was always there. What we call the living are simply those who have not yet been unmasked. All equally bankrupt, but some not yet declared.

A God does not merely resolve a mathematical quandary; it fits with our experience and instinct. It is certainly strains the bounds of credulity less than the notion that all of existence is no more than some bubble in a celestial champagne glass.

So, have scientists found God? Quite possibly. What’s certain in light of a century of research is that atheism is a more difficult notion to support scientifically than a belief in God.

Why haven’t religious figures seized on this research? To arrive at the God-shaped hole in our understanding of the universe one must travel across long stretches of terrain deeply hostile to dogma. These discoveries confirm the Big Bang, natural selection, man’s evolutionary origins, and practically every other discovery that strict religious believers vigorously reject. Physicists may have found God, but they have not found Jesus or Allah or Siva.

What lies all around this discovery is an interpretation of the universe freighted with ambiguities. Those who look to religion for a sense of certainty will not like the God that Heisenberg tripped over. This is a God of metaphor, a disorganized, ambiguous figure perhaps better mediated by artists than by priests. Those who don’t need scientific proof of the creation story don’t need proof of God.

Do not expect to hear scientists, preachers, or prophets touting the discovery of God anytime soon. What you can expect to hear from cosmologists is an increasingly contorted line of explanations for the origin of the cosmos, explanations which cannot be subjected to experimentation and remain permanently beyond proof.

In other words, you can expect that cosmologists, in defiance of Occam’s razor, will continue to pursue one set of supernatural explanations of the universe in order to avoid settling on another simpler, more practical, but less palatable one. In that sense, scientists have found God, but we are all left to decide on our own what that means.

Chris Ladd is a Texan living in the Chicago area. He has been involved in grassroots Republican politics for most of his life. He was a Republican precinct committeeman in suburban Chicago until he resigned from the party and his position after the 2016 Republican Convention. He can be reached at gopliferchicago at gmail dot com.

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47 comments on “When Science Discovered God
  1. JohnGalt says:

    I’ve been out of town and otherwise occupied for a couple of weeks, so I’m just seeing this, but I find Chris’s original post to be complete and utter nonsense. Physics probes the boundaries of the human perception and understanding of nature. That it sometimes arrives at questions for which technology and theory provide no instant answers is unsurprising. Sadly, the resort to ancient superstition to provide instant answers is equally unsurprising. Chris writes:
    “Decades of discoveries in physics have taken us farther from the comfortable assumptions of Newtonian science into a world of permanent, unresolvable uncertainty.”

    Uncertainty? Yes. Permanent? How shallow and unimaginative that answer is. Does the origin of the universe exist outside of our present ability to know things? Yes. Is this permanent? It must have seemed that way to those who lived before telescopes, before microscopes, before supercolliders. How limited is one’s imagination to think we can never solve these questions.

    Chris also posits: “We could apply Occam’s razor to the problem observed originally by Heisenberg.”

    Occam’s razor is the principle that the simplest possible explanation (that with the fewest assumptions) is usually the correct one. Given that natural processes underlie the functioning of our universe, we can assume that these natural processes also underlay the initiation of this universe, even if we cannot understand the details with present technology. Or we can assume that the origin question represents a problem so big that we need to invoke an all-powerful entity who is not constrained by natural limits (by definition is ‘supernatural’) and who could conjure up entire universes from nothing. This entity would be the only thing ever known to exist separate from these natural limits.

    And, while we’re at it, we can wonder whether the most likely explanation is that the presents under the tree came from (1) a magical being in a red suite with flying reindeer or (2) our parents, while we were asleep.

    Mythology is just as unsuccessful at answering 21st century problems as it was with 1st century ones. The difference is that we should have gotten over that by now.

  2. 5ms says:

    I love your work, Chris, and have introduced a number of folks to it.

    The problem I have with your essay is that you could substitute the word “God” with any number of other words and not change the meaning a bit. Try “Great Spirit,” “Purushu,” or perhaps most tellingly, “Flying Spaghetti Monster. ”

    Your God concept is undefined and is essentually useless. I say this as someone who has great respect for the vast majority of your work.

    Once upon a time, the tidal forces were a mystery. Disease was a mystery. Mental illness was a mystery. Fire was a mystery. And all of them were a mystery for much longer than the recently discovered uncertainty principle. The ancient mysteries were not a good argument for any concept of “God.” The modern mysteries are not either.

    • goplifer says:

      No need to couch criticisms or pull punches here. This place, just as it’s always been over the Chronicle, is the Fight Club of political discourse. Nevertheless, thanks for the kind words.

      What “God” is, at least in this context, is a metaphor. Go with Jesus, Santa or your Flying Spaghetti Monster the difference is minimal.

      As I wrote in the piece, science hasn’t found Jesus or Siva. What we seem to have discovered, more or less conclusively, is that there are forces beyond our empirical, physical existence which are apparently “real” in an empirically measurable way.

      That doesn’t prove that there is a God, but it disproves the most potent argument for atheism and/or materialism – that everything which is reliably real is quantifiable, ergo “God” can only be a fantasy.

      It means that the “mysteries” you refer to are more than imagination and they are more than a gap in our understanding. Mystery, if you want to call it that, is a central part of human existence. There are aspects of our existence which are real and meaningful that we can only wrestle with through art, metaphor and/or religion.

      God in that sense is not useless. God does, however, become far less useful for certain purposes and perhaps far more useful for others. That’s a God who is not so useful for controlling other people’s behavior, but perhaps supremely useful as a check on our hubris.

  3. fiftyohm says:

    Chris- Forgive me if the following is a misinterpretation.

    This blog seems to suggest that because the nature of reality, at scales both large and small, is more complex than we thought 1,000 years ago, some ‘supernatural’ intelligence is involved. Next comes the oft-repeated, and puzzling conclusion that our old pal William of Occam would concur.

    The foundations of human understanding of our universe have been shaken periodically throughout history. From the discovery that we live on a sphere, to the fact that our sphere is not the center of it all, to the discoveries of the atom, the behavior of light, radiation, the forces of nature, relativity, and all the rest, we have found not so much that, (excepting the first couple of examples), we were wrong, but rather that our model was oversimplified.

    Newton was not ‘proven wrong’ by Einstein. We now understand that at scales and velocities quite distant from everyday experience, the nature of reality is different. We thought, for example, that time was constant everywhere. (How silly of us!) Do you see that hand of god in time dilation and warped space-time? If not, why do you see it in quantum mechanics? Is the fact that the universe is stochastic at some level any more of a conceptual leap than a black hole? Does it merit mystical explanation simply because the math is hard?

    • goplifer says:

      If we were talking about a gap in our understanding, your point would be very persuasive. You see this kind of thing often in the study of natural selection, where there may be some misunderstood or poorly understood detail that stands for some time, and religious fundamentalists try to blow it up into “disproof” of the general theory. That is not what we are facing in physics.

      Decades ago, mainline physics more or less abandoned one of the most important elements of our scientific understanding of the world – the idea that everything real is contained within the bounds of our measurable, empirical experience. They aren’t trying to resolve that “problem.” That’s just baked into the science now. Ask almost any physicist, apart from a few lingering curmudgeons, and they will describe origins for our physical world that are initiated from outside our physical world.

      That doesn’t prove that there is a God, but it means that one of the most coherent arguments against the existence of God, the notion of scientific rationalism, is no longer consistent with the mainstream science. That’s not a gap in our understanding, that’s a conclusion from decades of research, experimentation, and mathematical modeling. And that’s a serious problem.

      It also has really interesting implications for the logical debate over the existence of some kind of external, universal intelligence – call it a God. The settled science, from which cosmologists are proceeding to spin up wilder and wilder explanations for the nature of the universe (not just at the quantum level, by the way http://io9.com/5729061/birds-might-actually-be-using-quantum-mechanics-to-find-their-way-through-the-skies), is actually much simpler and more consistent if there is 1) something more than merely physical about our existence, and 2) there is some form of intelligence beyond our measurements.

      Scientists do not like this mostly because it opens a window of a perfect size and shape for kooks, weirdos, and grifters to exploit. That may be unfortunate, but better to deal with it than pretend it isn’t there.

      You mention, accurately, that “The foundations of human understanding of our universe have been shaken periodically throughout history.” I think that’s happening in physics right now and, as usual, it is taking us in some uncomfortable directions.

      • fiftyohm says:

        First off – please forgive the post on both blogs. what I posted on the chron blog was this:

        OK – please explain how any recent discoveries or theories, (and feel free to identify them briefly , as I am reasonably conversant on the topic), have undermined the concept of “scientific rationalism”. I believe this is the nexus of your argument.

      • fiftyohm says:

        Further to all of this, you mention “everything real”. An interesting concept. If say, some place in our absolute elsewhere has a moon made of green cheese, is it real? That’s not a scientific question as such regions are causally disconnected from us, and cannot influence our reality in any way. They are , by definition, unobservable. The concept of the supernatural, at least in common conversation, suggests something unseen that can indeed influence our world. No where is such a notion to be found in quantum mechanics, or any where else that I know of. This is a bit like the old story of the tree falling in the forest and killing a mime. (Does anyone care?)

        Here’s the deal: science cannot disprove, prove, or otherwise even have an opinion on the existance of god, at least and until some spooky force(s) completely unexplained by our models, yet reproducible by experiment or other measurement method are discovered. Only then can we even begin to suggest such a thing as being real. And we can *never* with science “prove” the negative case. Oh – I’d add that a certain signal suggesting intellegence would also be required. No such a thing has ever been found. Anywhere.

        Quantum mechanics merely stipulates that certain parameters of matter are not simultaenously observable. It suggests that small particles do not actually exist as single points in space-time, but are sort of ‘smeared out’ in a probability distribution or ‘wave’. Quantum mechanics does not allow for any violations of the central principle of ‘causality’.

      • goplifer says:

        50,

        There aren’t really any explanations for the origin of the cosmos in current circulation that don’t include some intrusion (language gets awkward here) from beyond the measurable universe. Here’s a link describing one explanation – the multiverse, http://www.newsweek.com/brian-greene-welcome-multiverse-64887, but this sort of thing dominates physics in the string theory era.

        Basically the mathematical and experimental models led us outside the universe. Outside the universe, we can no longer effectively measure, demonstrate, and prove our theories. So for the past few decades cosmology has been reduced to philosophy-by-math, modeling concepts through equations that are for the most part beyond the realm of experimentation or quantification. Exponential numbers of physical dimensions. An infinite variety of parallel universes in which every potential combination of particles is expressed. A God. In scientific terms you start to wonder what’s the difference?

      • fiftyohm says:

        An interesting conclusion that could be drawn from the multiverse notion, is that there are an infinite number of gods. Talk about polytheism!

        Either way, I think we’re straying far from the concept of “God” most people walk around with between their ears. Is complexity itself intelligence or evidence of it? Surely intelligence is complex, but is the converse true?

      • goplifer says:

        50,

        Yes this concept of God is as much of a challenge to fundamentalist religion as it is to scientific rationalism. That’s why you won’t hear TV preachers latching on to it.

      • fiftyohm says:

        No money in it!

  4. Crogged says:

    Isn’t the inability to splain everything in the universe more about us than all that? Buddha said “Pain is certain, suffering is optional” and while I rapidly lose an ability to keep up with the march of science beyond “For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction” (is this part of Newton still true?), I’m even more lost about speculation about belief and God(s). People believe Ken Lay and Elvis are hanging out; yearning for God, sense and order is a human condition. Buddha also said “There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting.” Seeking God, seeking truth, is an honorable endeavor and I bless all scientists, Christians, Buddhists, even conservative Baptists, in their journey.

  5. GregD says:

    Heavens no. In no way does science “prove” there is a god. Tracy is correct in that “science has nothing to say about a Creator, or absence thereof.” Science is a particular game played by humans according to particular rules that specifically exclude metaphysical players from its scope.

    You have simply changed your working definition of “God” to fit neatly just beyond our current state of scientific progress, and then claimed “success”. A classic fraud with a variation for most any occasion.

    At any moment in time there will be some limit to our scientific knowledge. There will exist questions that can be posed but not satisfactorily answered. Given that humans have a limited intelligence it would not be unsurprising to find that, at some point, working at the limit of our scientific knowledge is so complicated that we humans are unable to make discernible progress. Does that in any way suggest a “Creator”? Again, heavens no. It simply means we lack the intellectual sophistication to go further. And, by definition, no-one can know what lies beyond the limit of what is known.

    • GregD says:

      “it would not be unsurprising” was supposed to be “it would be unsurprising”.

    • goplifer says:

      “Given that humans have a limited intelligence it would not be unsurprising to find that, at some point, working at the limit of our scientific knowledge is so complicated that we humans are unable to make discernible progress.”

      That’s a valid point if you’re talking about something like an evolutionary “missing link” where the research takes us in a consistent, rational direction, but for a few gaps. Those gaps are gradually and consistently filled in, further bolstering the theory.

      What we have in physics is something entirely different. Physics hasn’t found a mere glitch. This conundrum does not rise from a gap in our knowledge or a problem remaining to be worked out. All our knowledge of physics going back almost a century points to an origin for our system which lies beyond our system.

      Does that prove the existence of a God? In a way it can’t. After all, there is no scientific definition of God, so no matter what we find in a mathematical model or an experiment, in a sense it will never point to a God.

      Physics does however, demonstrate something quite conclusively which is very important to the question of God’s/gods existence. Dr. Richard Dawkins has been on a decades-long tear on behalf of atheism. The central pillar of his case is the notion that all human experiments can be reduced to a material basis. Everything that is real, is material, therefore the “God Hypothesis” is inherently false.

      Maybe Dawkins is right about the existence of a God, but he is absolutely wrong about the scientific justification for his conclusion. The physics is in fact settled. The origin of our universe can only be found beyond the measurable universe. That is not a gap in our understanding. That’s the result of a century of research and experimentation. Perhaps there is no God, but the God Hypothesis is far more mathematically and experimentally credible than atheism.

      Physics has not, perhaps, demonstrated that there is a God, but it has conclusively proven that we need to revisit the whole concept of what “super”-natural means. In the process, it has kicked the stool out from under any scientific basis for atheism.

      Atheism requires a “leap of faith,” the choice to believe, in absence of (or contrary to) evidence, that science will one day prove that conclusion correct. That’s fine, really. It would be nice though if guys like Dawkins would drop the smug, condescending confidence. It makes him sound like a TV preacher.

      • GregD says:

        I have myself found it very useful to accept as true something I knew was false because doing so helped me better manage my life. I can see how for some religious beliefs and practices enrich their lives. The value is the positive impact on their lives and this benefit does not require the beliefs to be consistent with reality. I see nothing to criticize in that practice.

        But it is quite another thing to inflict such lies upon another and claim it to be the “truth”.

        I do not see that atheism requires the belief that there never was or never will be a god. In my experience, all of the arguments put forward to support any particular belief in any particular deity has been logically flawed. Add to that the overwhelming historical record of religious beliefs being proven unequivocally wrong. Atheism does not require anything more than an unwillingness to accept an unsubstantiated assertion.

        After thousands and thousands of years of religious practices it seems that humans have become numb to how extraordinarily preposterous religious beliefs truly are, and how fraudulent religious proselytizers are. How can someone earnestly claim to know what is not knowable? I can imagine Dr. Richard Dawson has experienced incredible frustration in trying to have a logical discussion with those that refuse to be logical. And your thesis is illogical. It simply does not follow that the complexity of the origins of the universe is evidence that there is a god and that you know anything at all about him/her/it.

      • GG says:

        One of my favorite quotes about religion:

        “I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do, because I notice it always coincides with their own desires.”—–Susan B. Anthony

        Funny that.

  6. rightonrush says:

    Having been through a bloody war, and a witness to so many dead & injustices, it’s hard to believe in a Christian God.

    • Texan5142 says:

      Yep! a walk in a children’s cancer ward makes it hard to believe in a loving, Christian God also.

    • DanMan says:

      with a take like that it sounds like becoming a martyr for Allah is an option, is a Muslim God okay for you?

    • rightonrush, Texan5142, you might both want to peruse C.S. Lewis’ “The Problem of Pain,” and/or “A Grief Observed.” Neither of you are the first to witness pain in the world, and come away questioning the existence of a loving God, or any God, period. Lewis considered these questions at length, and through the lens of personal loss and pain. You might be intrigued by what he had to say on the matter.

      For myself, I can only note that even the most cursory glance at just about any Hubble photo will quickly reveal that the universe is an incredibly violent place. You will arrive at the same conclusion reviewing our own Earth’s geologic history. And it’s difficult to escape the fact that we must kill and eat living organisms just to survive (pristine, sanitary, shrink-wrapped T-bones at HEB notwithstanding). And yet, despite all the ugliness, destruction, death and pain, the universe is also a place of wonder, filled with astonishing beauty at every turn. Go figure.

      I have no idea why Creation is ordered as it is, but I have little doubt that is ordered exactly as our Creator intends. I sometimes don’t like it, but then again, I don’t suppose the fire ants in my backyard much care for it when I rock their little world with a dousing of Orthene. The Old Testament speaks of “fear of the Lord,” and not without reason.

      Again, Paul had some wisdom to offer on the matter:

      “But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’” Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use?” – Romans 9:20-21

      • RightOnRush says:

        I’ve read both of C.S. Lewis books. Perhaps you should peruse http://www.beliefnet.com/columnists/blogalogue/2008/04/why-suffering-is-gods-problem.html for another view.

      • ROR, Bart asks, “And where is God?”

        I suspect Bart knows the answer; “…and they will call him Immanuel” (which means ‘God with us’).” – Matthew 1:23

        Or perhaps more appropriately, in us. My departed pastor once remarked to me that believers are called to be the hand of God in the world. If you see something going on in the world that you don’t want to live with, don’t whine about it, put your hands to it. (Although I respectfully ask that you put *your* hands to it, and not mine via taxation, as I may have other notions about where and how my resources might best be deployed in accordance with my faith.)

        As for divine intervention, my departed pastor was fond of saying that all prayers are heard, and even answered, just sometimes not in the way we want.

        I came to Christianity as an adult, so I’ll never have that simple of faith of a child. My own faith is a sadly stunted thing, full of doubt and questions that remain unanswerable on this plane. I’m incapable of accepting the Bible literally, and struggle with much it. As for miracles, I understand that I am particularly poorly suited to recognizing such things, steeped as I am in the scientific method, where reproducibility is everything. Nonetheless, I do have some rudimentary sense of the numinous, so for me belief in God is a visceral thing. And it seems to me that my Lord’s two basic commandments are good things, so I hew to them as best I can. A quick gander at the world will demonstrate in short order that there are worse ways to live.

      • rightonrush says:

        “I’m incapable of accepting the Bible literally, and struggle with much it. As for miracles, I understand that I am particularly poorly suited to recognizing such things, steeped as I am in the scientific method, where reproducibility is everything. Nonetheless, I do have some rudimentary sense of the numinous, so for me belief in God is a visceral thing. And it seems to me that my Lord’s two basic commandments are good things, so I hew to them as best I can. A quick gander at the world will demonstrate in short order that there are worse ways to live”

        I don’t share your views Tracy but I have all the respect in the world for your right to practice your chosen belief. I question everything and find it impossible to take organized religion as the word of an Omnipotent God.

  7. RightOnRush says:

    I’m an Agnostic, but I sure like the new Pope.

    • GG says:

      The new pope is great. I heard he sneaks out and ministers to the homeless at night and is really addressing the sexual abuse within the church. BTW, I’m not Catholic. I call myself an apathetic agnostic.

      • rightonrush says:

        I like Pope Francis because he isn’t afraid to stand up for the poor. I have no respect for the so called “Christians” that could care less about the least among us. Just another reason I left the GOP and became an Indy.

      • GG says:

        I have this fear, probably unfounded, that some weirdo sect like Opus Dei will end up poisoning him because of his “radical” views i.e. not pandering to the pedophiles and greedy bishops.

        I’ve probably read too many of those Dan Brown books. 🙂

      • rightonrush says:

        I have the same fear GG. I told my wife that I hoped Pope Francis had bodyguards that would do whatever it took to keep him safe. I’m sure he is making bitter enemies from the financial & political right.

      • DanMan says:

        I got my answer RoR, no need to respond. You’re agnostic in your beliefs yet project your perceptions of Christians on the GOP which you left. You’ve found some kind of political sanctuary by declaring your self independent that absolves you of reason. Makes sense.

  8. Jak Siemasz says:

    “atheism is a more difficult notion to support scientifically than a belief in God.”
    This is just one of many incorrect claims in this post. Atheism is not a belief claimed to be supported.

    ” Physicists have been wrestling with evidence of the “supernatural” for almost a century.”
    this is silly…there is no scientific evidence of the supernatural.

    “What you can expect to hear from cosmologists is an increasingly contorted line of explanations for the origin of the cosmos, explanations which cannot be subjected to experimentation and remain permanently beyond proof.” This is exactly what you hear from theists as the reason for belief in a deity.

    Not having all the answers is not proof of a god.

  9. Mike says:

    The Tao of Physics, if you can muddle through it, is a good read on this subject. It is more and more evident that there is a connection on a subatomic level that is hard to quantify, far less explain. This connection defies both time and space and is it seems, present in everything that exists.

    I think that most folks, including those in the world of science, would be far more likely to embrace the existence of God if it were nor for the conflicting nature of way they view the topic. Many of us, myself included, think there is something far beyond our ability to understand, that is the order in the universe.

    This is in such contrast with the religious folks that claim to understand God perfectly down to what he had for breakfast this morning. This understanding among other things gives them the right to tell everyone else exactly how to live and also justifies them demanding a good living for the privilege of sharing that wisdom with the rest of us.

    Take that to the extreme of “you shall believe and behave as I do or I will kill you in the name of God”, and you have a good explanation of why most religion is declining even though people still describe themselves as spiritual.

  10. lomamonster says:

    All I can say is that I have been ‘relatively’ convinced, but am still in the hunt.

  11. Interesting and thoughtful post, Chris.

    As I guy whose first religion was science (I’m a stable isotope geochemist by academic training), I can safely posit this: Science, as such, is the study of proximate causes. Science deals with the what, how, when and where of the observable universe. Science (in its current state) is constrained by the bounds of observable space-time, and has nothing to say about anything that might lie beyond such bounds. Therefore, science has nothing to say about a Creator, or absence thereof.

    Chris references Einstein’s “spooky action at a distance,” a.k.a. entanglement. Experimentally, we observe one very specific, limited form of entanglement. But it really is spooky to contemplate the implications of such experiments. Basically, all particles, everywhere and every-when, are entangled. That which makes up thee and me interacts with everything, for always. Whoa. It’s all about the entanglement, baby

    I actually think that Paul hit the nail pretty much right on the head:

    “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—His eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” – Romans 1:20

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