Science and God

November 22, 2008

This is quite an interesting discussion. Please allow me to share my thoughts, as a Christian and as a scientist. Bare in mind, however, that I am not a Christian Scientist.

First, let us be clear about what science is and is not. I take my understanding of this from Richard Feynman. Those articles which fall under the domain of science are those which enable us to make falsifiable statements. In other words, a scientific statement is one which can be proven to be false. If a statement is not able to be proven false, then it is not a statement under the domain of science.

Therefore, the statement, "God Exists" is not a statement which falls under the domain of science, assuming that we use the common meaning of God. Nor is the statement "God does not exist" a falsifiable statement.

Were I, then, to yoke myself to the plow of science and swear fealty to it as my sole master, I would be left in a state of ignorance about God. I, likewise, would be in such a state regarding my musical taste, preference in ice cream flavors, and choice of hobbies. Moreover, I would be devoid of dreams, ambitions, direction, and aspirations. That is because science is not sufficient for a worthwhile life. Rather, science is nothing other than a tool of negation. Science does nothing other than act as a knife and allow us to cut through false statements.

Which questions shall we use science to answer? What do scientific facts imply about our condition as humans? In which areas should we as a society devote our intellectual capital? Those are all questions beyond the scope of science, and yet questions essential to harnessing properly the power of science. These are the questions with which public servants, philosophers, and other broadly-minded individuals grapple, but not questions for whose answers we may turn to science. We may not expect the hammer to inform us of which nails we ought to strike, nor may we ask the saw which wood we ought to cut. These are questions outside the scope of those tools.