On science

I’m not sure where to go from here. I’m approaching 200 comments from atheists who are pretty angry at my list from the other day. I’ve got to say that if I knew I was going to get this sort of attention I would have at least proof read my list and fixed up a couple of grammatical errors. I probably would have made my position on science a little clearer too…

So let me do that here.

I think science is terrific. I think the scientific method is the best way to understand the way the world works. I think science is fascinating – much more than I did when I was studying physics and chemistry in high school. I am not, as many of my lovely commenters pointed out, a scientist.

I appreciate the benefits of science – like medicine and technology.

I love that we can understand the way the world works, and visit the moon.

I think it’s great that we have a picture of the amazing world that we live in thanks to science.

My point about science was not that it’s a bad thing – nor was it a comment on problems with the scientific method.

I was simply suggesting that the scientific method is open to abuse. By people with agendas. The same accusations atheists throw at “creation scientists” can be turned around and thrown at atheists who try to use science to attack religious belief.

Science is grand. Christians (and other theists) like science because it helps us to understand the world God has made.

Just because we understand things like gravity does not mean that there is no God causing gravity to occur. Some Christians distrust science. That’s not the point I was making – although I think the agenda behind science is worth looking at. Which was my point. When a rabid atheist conducts “science” they’re just as likely to come up with findings that support their position as a scientist working for big tobacco.

It’s interesting how many of the atheists hanging out at possibly the world’s most vindictive atheist blog have some background in church – and deep anger at Christianity – I can’t for a second believe that this anger isn’t motivating their scientific approach.

One commenter, either here or at the post on pharyngula, made the comment that the earth is a 1 in 1000000000 possibility, and made this comment as though that is proof that there is no God. Most theists would see the probability dramatically improving with God in the picture.

The theory that an infinite amount of time and space will eventually and inevitably produce life as we know it is odd, and unconvincing. Surely the same amount of time and space would also eventually create the specific God mentioned in the Bible – an omnipotent, omnipresent creator God.

I don’t want to go down the path of discussing the anthropic principle (the idea that conditions in the universe are just right for life which lends itself to the notion of a creator) – but I do wonder how atheists (and I’m hoping a few of you are still floating around) explain our existence in a way that doesn’t involve a sidestep (ie why are we asking “why” it’s the wrong question).

Also, I have said plenty of other stuff about atheism in the past that you newbies might like to read.


Amy says:

Not sure I want to wade in here at all… (but I am unwise so I will a little).

I would agree that often there can be an agenda with scientific research, given the dire lack of Goverment funding for science a lot of the money does come in from business and will have certain aims in mind. BUT, saying that, that’s what the declaration of interests section is for, and most findings will be tested by another party given time.

And those ‘researchers’ with a very obvious agenda (I’m thinking Advanced Hair and Head and Shoulders et al here) have little to no credibility in the serious scientific world.


Another thought is that theists need to understand the concepts they are discussing – throwing in the line ‘it’s only a theory’ shows that they don’t understand the term as it is used in the scientific sphere.


But to the atheist/agnostic side I’d say that there needs to be an understanding that Christianity and science are not mutually exclusive. You can hold evolution to be true and still have belief in God.

David says:

“The Golem: What You Should Know about Science” is a great response to overinflated claims of science’s objectivity….


AndrewF says:

I’ve found that the most reasonable and civil discussions about faith and God have been with those atheists who have no church background. It is the ones with some church background who tend to be the angriest.

David Evans says:

“When a rabid atheist conducts “science” they’re just as likely to come up with findings that support their position as a scientist working for big tobacco.”

However, science has a way of correcting such things. The Big Bang theory (originated by a priest!) was seen as very inconvenient by many atheist scientists. Some, such as Fred Hoyle, argued against it, but the evidence carefully gathered by scientists (many of them atheists) finally won the argument.