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April 29, 2008

‘Does science make belief in God obsolete?’

http://www.jewishjournal.com/blog/item/does_science_make_belief_in_god_obsolete/

The Templeton Conversation has returned, this time asking major scientists the question posed in this headline: “Does science make belief in God Obsolete?” As expected, there was not a uniform answer. Some said “yes,” others “no, and yes” and two “of course not.”

One of the “of course nots” is from Ken Miller, whom I have quoted here before. Here’s what he told Templeton:

Science itself does not contradict the hypothesis of God. Rather, it gives us a window on a dynamic and creative universe that expands our appreciation of the Divine in ways that could not have been imagined in ages past.

As an outspoken defender of evolution, I am often challenged by those who assume that if science can demonstrate the natural origins of our species, which it surely has, then God should be abandoned. But the Deity they reject so easily is not the one I know. To be threatened by science, God would have to be nothing more than a placeholder for human ignorance. This is the God of the creationists, of the “intelligent design” movement, of those who seek their God in darkness. What we have not found and do not yet understand becomes their best–indeed their only–evidence for faith. As a Christian, I find the flow of this logic particularly depressing. Not only does it teach us to fear the acquisition of knowledge (which might at any time disprove belief), but it also suggests that God dwells only in the shadows of our understanding. I suggest that if God is real, we should be able to find him somewhere else–in the bright light of human knowledge, spiritual and scientific.

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