Nearly everyone has an opinion as to whether or not a god exists. But opinions don’t create or even alter reality. Opinions only determine how we react to what we perceive as reality. As an example, the earth wasn’t flat for those who thought it was flat and round for everyone else. It was science that gave us the evidence we needed to persuade our opinion toward the truth that the earth is round. So this begs the question,
“Can science prove or disprove the existence of GOD?”
Before we answer this question there is another question that needs to be addressed first and that is whom or what do we mean by god? The answer of course may depend on who you ask. For this article however, we will use the definition found in the Merriam-Webster dictionary. God is:
the supreme or ultimate reality
a being or object believed to have more than natural attributes and powers and to require human worship ; specifically : one controlling a particular aspect or part of reality.
So God then is defined as the ultimate reality which is the fundamental, final and supreme power in all reality. Is it possible for science to even determine what “ultimate reality” is? To do so would require science to know everything about everything. Can science by its methods find, measure and gather all the necessary data it needs to determine ultimate reality?
(From Wikipedia) The scientific method requires observations of nature to formulate and test hypotheses. It consists of these steps.
Asking a question about a natural phenomenon
Making observations of the phenomenon
Hypothesizing an explanation for the phenomenon
Predicting a logical consequence of the hypothesis
Testing the hypothesis by an experiment, an observational study, or a field study
Creating a conclusion with data gathered in the experiment, or forming a revised or new hypothesis and repeating the process.
Science is based on particular observations. An observation is defined as the active acquisition of information from a primary source such as our sense of sight, sound, taste, smell or touch. Think of an apple pie fresh out of the oven. In science, observation can also involve the recording of data via the use of instruments. Think of the data collected via the many satellites sent to planets in our solar system. Particular observations are observations of a single event or individual thing. Think of an apple falling from a tree.
The first obstacle for science then is that in order to test and measure anything it must be able to observe it. This observation is limited to physical reality and physical reality may not exhaust all reality. (See Things Unseen) If physical reality is all of reality, then in order to disprove the existence of God, science would have to observe all of reality. It would have to cover every corner of reality and do so all at the same time to show that no god exists in any part of that total physical reality.
Why is it necessary to view every corner of the universe and do so all at the same time? Consider a game of hide and seek with a small child. While I am looking in the living room, the child can be hiding in the bedroom. When I check the kitchen, the child can move to the living room. So when I check the bedroom and find no child, I might conclude there is no child in the house, but I would be wrong. The child just wasn’t in the place I was looking. To be certain, I have to see all the spaces at the same time.
You can see from this example that it is easier to prove something with observation than to disprove something. To prove that a child is in the house all I need to do is find one however to disprove that a child is in the house I will need to observe all areas in the house at the same time.
Unless and until science can observe all reality at the same time, it cannot know or determine ultimate reality and therefore cannot disprove the existence of any god. So at this point in time, science cannot disprove God. However, scientists could potentially prove the existence of God if they observe God within physical reality.
What if physical reality is not the only reality, what then? What other realities are there? Physicists, mathematicians, astronomers and other sciences have come up with many kinds of other alternate universes such as a higher dimensional universe , parallel universe, bubble universe, baby universe and multiverse to name a few. Then there is the spiritual world of philosophers, theologians and metaphysicists, all of whom point to the possibilities of other realities.
Can there be evidence for an “ultimate reality” based solely on physical reality?
If science cannot give evidence to disprove God, then can it give evidence for God? For Christians, the obvious answer would be the physical reality of Jesus Christ. That conclusion, however, also requires faith, so let’s set that aside for now.
Because scientific methodology can know things within the physical reality of the universe, then it should be able show whether or not there was a beginning to that physical reality. If science could prove that there was an intrinsic limit to past time of the universe, that is, if there was a beginning to physical reality, then there is a strong indicator of a creator. The question then becomes “Is past time of our universe finite?” Did the universe have a beginning? Was the big bang the beginning of our universe and the beginning of time?
To suggest an absolute beginning of past time begs the question of what would exist before it. The answer must be “absolutely nothing”. If anything were to physically exist before then that would not be the beginning of physical reality. Physical reality is conditioned by physical time (space time continuum) and so if there were a beginning of past time then there must be a beginning of physical reality before which nothing existed.
Nothing comes from nothing. How then could physical reality come from nothing to something? There must be an ultimate reality that transcends physical reality. This ultimate reality is defined as god.
So what can be concluded? Science cannot disprove God, but it could prove God. If, as the Big Bang suggests, there is a beginning to physical reality, then there must, necessarily, be an ultimate reality to bring physical reality into existence. So following the science, you can logically, rationally, and reasonably believe in God. Then the question is not so much does God exist as who or what is God.
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