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YH8

Has Science Proven the Existence of God?

Has Science Proven the Existence of God?  

52 members have voted

  1. 1. Has Science Proven the Existence of God?

    • 1) Yes.
      4
    • 2) No, but it (science) can/has the ability to.
      6
    • 3) No, and it (science) can't/doesn't have the ability to.
      35
    • 4) I don't know.
      3
    • 5) Other (please explain below).
      4


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Science routinely extrapolates from the visible to the invisible, proposes hypotheses to account for observable data, and reasons from tangible effects to theorized causes.

I agree but for god there is no observable data. There is also no universal consensus of what god is.

Nobody has ever seen a muon, nor observed life originating from inorganic materials in a warm pond, nor touched the curvature of space-time, nor watched a Grand Canyon form.

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I agree but for god there is no observable data.  There is also no universal consensus of what god is. . . .  There is no data observable and associated with a god. . . .  God has no testable data. 

There is most definitely observable data for which some very serious scientists -- Davies, Tipler, Polkinghorne, Sandage, Penrose, Gingerich, etc. -- see something resembling a hyperintelligent and superpowerful being (not unreasonably suspected to be God) as a plausible explanation.

Just as science can not and would not attempt to prove aliens exist. . . .  science has no reason to involve themselves in even trying to prove anything with regards to aliens. 

Science would and could do precisely such a thing. In fact, that's what the SETI Project -- the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence -- is all about. The receipt, by a radio telescope, of meaningful coded messages from an undeniably extraterrestrial source would provide powerful support for the hypothesis, and the skies are being monitored for precisely such messages. Those who argue that the universe bears traces of design believe that they see encoded information in it, analogous to the kind of information that might conceivably be received by a radio telescope.

Until some sort of evidence is presented to them, science won't bother.  And the same applies to the concept of god.

You'll have to tell that to the eminent particle physicists and astronomers and cosmologists who see things quite differently. (And I haven't mentioned the biologists and their fellow travelers yet.)

It is irrational.  You have no more reason to claim a god created the universe and life than any other speculation.

I suspect you're not current with the discussion. I doubt that even figures like Freeman Dyson and Fred Hoyle would agree with you.

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God may exist in one form or another, but no raitional person is going to try to mount a case that their god and only their god exists within the paramaters of the scientific method. To do so would completely undermine one's credibility. We don't know anybody like that within the LDS church, do we?

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God may exist in one form or another, but no raitional person is going to try to mount a case that their god and only their god exists within the paramaters of the scientific method.  To do so would completely undermine one's credibility.  We don't know anybody like that within the LDS church, do we?

I don't. If you think that's my position, you're wrong.

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There is most definitely observable data for which some very serious scientists -- Davies, Tipler, Polkinghorne, Sandage, Penrose, Gingerich, etc. -- see something resembling a hyperintelligent and superpowerful being (not unreasonably suspected to be God) as a plausible explanation.

And what is this observable data that the scientists give which supports a theory that god exists? Perhaps give me a web site..which would discuss this and give credibility to your statement. Scientific theories are not absolute proofs, nor do they claim to be but all theories are open to independent objective scrutiny and theories vary as to their degree of acceptance within the scientific community. What you are suggesting sounds more like speculation than a scientific theory. In otherwords a design of some kind is observed but then the rest is complete speculation by those who believe in a god. What is your definition of god? Unless there is a universal accepted definition of god, how can there be a theory about god?

Science would and could do precisely such a thing.  In fact, that's what the SETI Project -- the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence -- is all about.  The receipt, by a radio telescope, of meaningful coded messages from an undeniably extraterrestrial source would provide powerful support for the hypothesis, and the skies are being monitored for precisely such messages.  Those who argue that the universe bears traces of design believe that they see encoded information in it, analogous to the kind of information that might conceivably be received by a radio telescope.

There can be all sorts of projects and testing going on such as what you mention, that doesn't yield a theory. It's the theory and support for the theory which is important. You appear to be suggesting that there is a theory for god's or perhaps extraterrestrial's existence. If that is the case, has such a theory been presented to the scientific community and has it gained a high rate of acceptance by scientists who have credibility and expertise in this area? If so there should be something on the net or somewhere I could have this verified. Please tell me where I can validate your claims.

What you have told me is that some scientists are doing experiments looking for intelligent design and have concluded from the data that there is design in the universe. Ok from what they observe how do they justify using that data to support an alien theory or a god theory? What percentage of scientist in this field you are referring to recognize an alien, god, or an extraterrestrial theory to explain observed designs?

You'll have to tell that to the eminent particle physicists and astronomers and cosmologists who see things quite differently.  (And I haven't mentioned the biologists and their fellow travelers yet.)

Those particle physicists, astronomers and cosmologists still need data for their theories to gain any sort of acceptance. They can speculate all they want but without any support of some kind of data, any proposed theory will be only a speculation not an accepted theory. Tell me one widely accepted scientific theory which has no data to support it such that it's based on speculation.

I suspect you're not current with the discussion.  I doubt that even figures like Freeman Dyson and Fred Hoyle would agree with you.

If I have time, I'll look into Freeman Dyson and Fred Hoyle. But I think if god or an intelligent designer has been proven to exist, it would have made major news headlines, and to my knowledge that hasn't occurred.

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And what is this observable data that the scientists give which supports a theory that god exists?  Perhaps give me a web site..which would discuss this and give credibility to your statement.

I don't know of any Websites. I haven't looked for any. I would suggest a look at someone like the Anglo-Australian physicist Paul Davies as a half-way decent starting point. He's written a number of books. His own religious views seem to be rather Spinozan; they're certainly not orthodox Christian.

Scientific theories are not absolute proofs, nor do they claim to be but all theories are open to independent objective scrutiny and theories vary as to their degree of acceptance within the scientific community.  What you are suggesting sounds more like speculation than a scientific theory.  In otherwords a design of some kind is observed but then the rest is complete speculation by those who believe in a god.

I've never said that I was talking about a "theory" in the sense that quantum physics or relativity is a theory.

What is your definition of god?  Unless there is a universal accepted definition of god, how can there be a theory about god?

I don't think you've noticed how careful and circumspect I've been in referring to a hyperintelligent and superpowerful entity that might reasonably be supposed to be God. I don't believe that cosmology is likely to give us anything more specific than that, at the very most. But that's not nothing.

There can be all sorts of projects and testing going on such as what you mention, that doesn't yield a theory.  It's the theory and support for the theory which is important.  You appear to be  suggesting that there is a theory for god's or perhaps extraterrestrial's existence.  If that is the case, has such a theory been presented to the scientific community and has it gained a high rate of acceptance by scientists who have credibility and expertise in this area?  If so there should be something on the net or somewhere I could have this verified.  Please tell me where I can validate your claims.

Good grief. I thought everybody knew that Carl Sagan was really into the search for extraterrestrial life. (You know. The Cornell astrophysicist and media luminary?) He wrote a great deal on it, and was one of the major figures behind SETI. I haven't looked at any Websites on this matter. I've read books and science articles.

What you have told me is that some scientists are doing experiments looking for intelligent design and have concluded from the data that there is design in the universe.  Ok from what they observe how do they justify using that data to  support an alien theory or a god theory? What percentage of scientist in this field you are referring to recognize an alien, god, or an extraterrestrial theory to explain observed designs?

I've taken no polls. I've simply been reading various physicists, astronomers, and cosmologists. An excellent book on the topic is Modern Physics and Ancient Faith, by the particle physicist Stephen Barr.

Those particle physicists, astronomers and cosmologists still need data for their theories to gain any sort of acceptance.  They can speculate all they want but without any support of some kind of data, any proposed theory will be only a speculation not an accepted theory.  Tell me one widely accepted scientific theory which has no data to support it such that it's based on speculation.

I think it would be more worthwhile to converse with you after you've read a few of these things.

IBut I think if god or an intelligent designer has been proven to exist, it would have made major news headlines, and to my knowledge that hasn't occurred.

I've said, as clearly as I'm able, that I do not believe that science has proven the existence of a God or of an intelligent designer. I've said, again as clearly as I'm capable, that recent developments in cosmology and certain other scientific disciplines have made it easier to argue for the existence of such a designer.

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God may exist in one form or another, but no raitional person is going to try to mount a case that their god and only their god exists within the paramaters of the scientific method.

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I just read the first page and read this post by Pwalters:

But Tao does not inherently imply supreme being or self-awareness qualities.

And we are all part of Tao and expressions of Tao.

(It's complicated.)

Yep, and those who talk about the The Way(Tao) do not know The Way(Tao). That's a Taoist teaching :P

Peace

Adam

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I haven't yet figured out the way to quote on this board. I entered a post by using the 'report' button rather than the quote because I wasn't quoting but I don't think it posted. Anyhow I'll try again.

----------------

In my search for Dyson and Hoyle, I came across this which I believe was a response of Carl Sagan's to why look for extraterristrial life.

"First, there are some who firmly believe in the existence of intelligent extraterrestrial life because they are convinced that, if life evolved here, it not only could have evolved elsewhere, but must have done so."

So in the scientific process, a problem is observed. Life on earth is observed, and given that, it is reasonably assumed life elsewhere in the universe may exist. There is something to look for, we know what life is like on earth. So the hypothesis will be "There is life elsewhere in the universe" and tests will be developed and conducted which might provide evidence/data to support the problem/ hypothesis. Any evidence which comes up is open to scrutiny by independent objective scientists. Any theory developed from the evidence can be falsified. There is universal consensus of what life means, an understanding of what scientists are looking for. In contrast to this, god is not a concept with universal acceptance. Although the universe may appear to be designed, assuming a god as the designer is an intellectual leap, not a proven theory which can be tested and is potentially falsifiable.

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I've said, as clearly as I'm able, that I do not believe that science has proven the existence of a God or of an intelligent designer.  I've said, again as clearly as I'm capable, that recent developments in cosmology and certain other scientific disciplines have made it easier to argue for the existence of such a designer.

Ok so in otherwords you are saying science is not interfering with mankind's belief in god's existence. That scientific theories are actually in some cases being used to bolster arguments for god's existence. I accept that. However science is not setting about trying to prove god exists. I read the Catholic church liked the Big Bang theory when it first came out because I believe they thought it tended to support the notion of god's existence.

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Anybody that answered no, would change their minds if they read Eric Skousends book "Earth in the Beginning". Anybody ever read Trent D. Stephens's work? Clearly the lord has left us plenty of evidences of the existance of god, which we know about from science. The lord uses the holy ghost to confirm WHAT truths science has revealed, not IF ANY but WHICH ONES.

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Clearly the lord has left us plenty of evidences of the existance of god, which we know about from science. The lord uses the holy ghost to confirm WHAT truths science has revealed, not IF ANY but WHICH ONES.

No it's not clear that any god has left evidences of its existence, if it was clear there'd be almost universal consensus within the scientific community which had found these evidences you suggest. If there was a Holy GHost there would also be universal consensus of evidence on that too by objective observers. Holy ghost and god are theories presented by biased individuals who interpret data to support their beliefs.

The fact that science doesn't disprove something is not evidence that it exists. Science makes observations. Those observations can have different interpretations. When something is clearly accepted there is a high rate of acceptance by all within the scientific community. A theory which is accepted almost as fact has almost universal consensus.

There is no objective evidence of a holy ghost and of (your) god's existence. If anything lack of evidence to support claims of holy ghost and god, support the opposite proposition, that they don't exist.

List some of what these objective verifiable evidences are for god, for holy ghost, if this is so clear to all. When something is clear to all even skeptics don't deny.

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Science can not prove/disprove the existance of God.

For a believer, like me, science can give us insight into the nature of God's personality. As Nephi states, "through small means He brings about great and marvolous works" (I think that is the quote). I'm far more impressed with a creator that can create all the variety around us through very simple means. The complexity of life baised on a simple "four letter" chemical code (well 5 if you count in Uracil). The creationist idea of a God going POOF - there's a chicken, POOF - there's a horse... this does not describe the God I have come to know through the scripts and prayer.

So - science is usless in trying to "prove" the existance of a God who wishes to remain veiled to the world so that His children can be truely tested. I don't think we can, limited to our simple senses, know God through science alone.

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Nice and seductive proposition, but impossible.
YH8, I'd read the book before dismissing it. There are extensive appendices dealing with the science/math if you aren't convinced by Tetra's summary about the plausibility of his theory.
You appear to be

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YH8, I'd read the book before dismissing it.

I may or may not be dismissing the book, I'd have to read it to be sure. What I am dismissing is the notion that the existence of God will ever be proved by "science." Given the nature of what it means to know and the realities of faith and agency, science or the scientific method will never empirically prove the existence of God (at least not until it is everlastingly too late).

Further, in relation to the herein posted summaries of that book regarding the Omega Point (or whatever), I have a really hard time believing a computer could be created to take over the human race and further, to create anything. Computers do what they are told. They are machines. Only in sci-fi scenarios are they able to "think" like humans and become more powerful than humans. If one believes a computer can do such superhuman things, then I'm not sure how one would still be able to believe in God, at least as the concept of God is typically understood.

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In contrast to this, god is not a concept with universal acceptance.  Although the universe may appear to be designed, assuming a god as the designer is an intellectual leap, not a proven theory which can be tested and is potentially falsifiable.

That's why I was at pains to speak, very carefully, of a hyperintelligent, superpowerful entity that might reasonably be equated with God.

I never so much as breathed a word about a formal "proven theory." I don't know why you keep bringing that up. I've spoken only about the fact that certain trends in cosmology and other scientific disciplines have made it easier to speak about possible scientific indicators of something like a deity. And the fact is that quite a number of prominent scientists are, in fact, publicly speaking of precisely that. I've named a few.

Ok so in otherwords you are saying science is not interfering with mankind's belief in god's existence.

The situation is quite a bit more robust than that.

That scientific theories are actually in some cases being used to bolster arguments for god's existence. I accept that.

Good. That's all I've been saying. And that it's being done, in a number of cases, by prominent scientists themselves.

However science is not setting about trying to prove god exists.

I never ever said it was. I don't even know exactly what such a sentence would mean. "Science" isn't a person that "sets about" to do anything.

I read the Catholic church liked the Big Bang theory when it first came out because I believe they thought it tended to support the notion of god's existence.

The Catholics aren't alone in that. Incidentally, one of the reasons Sir Fred Hoyle -- at that time, at least, an atheist -- proposed his "steady state" theory, which, until the mid-1960s, was a serious rival to the "Big Bang," was that it eliminated the evidence for a seemingly miraculous primordial act of creation. (In fact, it was Hoyle who coined the term "Big Bang." He meant it derisively.)

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Me previously: In contrast to this, god is not a concept with universal acceptance. Although the universe may appear to be designed, assuming a god as the designer is an intellectual leap, not a proven theory which can be tested and is potentially falsifiable.

Daniel: That's why I was at pains to speak, very carefully, of a hyperintelligent, superpowerful entity that might reasonably be equated with God.

I never so much as breathed a word about a formal "proven theory." I don't know why you keep bringing that up. I've spoken only about the fact that certain trends in cosmology and other scientific disciplines have made it easier to speak about possible scientific indicators of something like a deity. And the fact is that quite a number of prominent scientists are, in fact, publicly speaking of precisely that. I've named a few.

To my understanding anyone who says a hyperintelligent superpowerful entity is essentially talking about a god. I'm not religious, I don't have any preconcieved idea of what god is. God is essentially whatever the person I'm talking to believes god to be. So if he believes in a god of the bible, that's the god I'm talking about. If he's a deist and believes in some superpowerful creator which doesn't interfere with man then that's the god I mean in our discussions. It's not much of a leap to go from hyperintelligent superpowerful entity to god or vice versa...essentially they are for this discussion the same.

I bring up theory because this thread's title is "Has Science proven the existence of god?". Scientific proof , (though proof is a poor word because science does not make claims of 100% absolute proof) is done with theories supported by evidence...that's what I've been talking about and trying to explain. The fact that science provides information which enables people with a bias to use that information to fit that information into and support their beliefs is irrelevant to the proof of whether or not god exists.

Me previously: Ok so in otherwords you are saying science is not interfering with mankind's belief in god's existence.

Daniel: The situation is quite a bit more robust than that.

Until you can tell me which scientific theory is widely accepted within the scientific community as indicating a supernatural entity exists or likely to exist, your comment has no meaning for me.

Me previously: That scientific theories are actually in some cases being used to bolster arguments for god's existence. I accept that.

Daniel: Good. That's all I've been saying. And that it's being done, in a number of cases, by prominent scientists themselves.

I don't think it's good because I'm not in agreement with you. I accept that what you say is being done, I don't agree what is being done has value/merit. My impression is that a small group of religiously biased individuals are making the facts fit with their beliefs, that the evidence doesn't actually support the existence of a supernatural entity, and there is no high rate of consensus within the scientific community that it does . So I can understand how a small group of individuals might use the information to support or fit in within their personal bias. But I'm not impressed.

Me previously: However science is not setting about trying to prove god exists.

Daniel: never ever said it was. I don't even know exactly what such a sentence would mean. "Science" isn't a person that "sets about" to do anything.

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To my understanding anyone who says a hyperintelligent superpowerful entity is essentially talking about a god. . . .  It's not much of a leap to go from hyperintelligent superpowerful entity to god or vice versa...essentially they are for this discussion the same.

And that's why the scientists who think that current cosmology, etc., point toward design think that design on such a scale may point to God. But they do not claim that the design inference, in and of itself, even at its strongest, points to a very specific doctrine of God (e.g., to a peculiarly Christian one). Some are vaguely Spinozan in their approach, some are Christian, some might incline toward pantheism or panentheism, some are Jewish, some haven't even thought it through that far. The most that cosmology might indicate is a sort of deism. To go beyond that would require other data. (And there are other data, but I don't think I'll bother attempting a discussion of them.)

I bring up theory because this thread's title is "Has Science proven the existence of god?".  Scientific proof , (though proof is a poor word because science does not make claims of 100% absolute proof) is done with theories supported by evidence...that's what I've been talking about and trying to explain.

And I've said over and over again that I'm not talking about "proof." I said what I said, and I defend what I said, but I didn't say what I didn't say and I feel no obligation to defend what I haven't said.

The fact that science provides information which enables people with a bias to use that information to fit that information into and support  their beliefs is irrelevant to the proof of whether or not god exists.

I've never ever claimed that science proves the existence of God. I've said, probably half a dozen times now, that I don't believe it does.

And, incidentally, people who incline toward belief in a hyperintelligent and superpowerful entity (either prior to or -- you don't seem to allow for this possibility, but there are several thinkers in this camp -- as a result of their reflections on the scientific data) are not the only ones with a "bias" regarding this topic.

You need to read some of the recent publications on this question. You seem to be writing in something of a vacuum.

Until you can tell me which scientific theory is widely accepted within the scientific community as indicating a supernatural entity exists or likely to exist, your comment  has no meaning for me.

You're perfectly welcome to decide for yourself what you intend to exclude as "meaningless." All I can say is that a number of very prominent scientists don't share your view.

I don't think it's good because I'm not in agreement with you.  I accept that what you say is being done, I don't agree what is being done has value/merit.  My impression is that a small group of religiously biased individuals are making the facts fit with their beliefs,  that the  evidence doesn't actually support the existence of a supernatural entity, and there is no high rate of consensus within the scientific community that it does .  So I can understand how a small group of individuals might use the information to support or fit in within their personal bias.  But I'm not impressed.

How much of Polkinghorne, Davies, Tipler, Barr, and/or Penrose (to name just a few) have you read, such that you can declare yourself "unimpressed"? What are your thoughts on Brandon Carter's so-called "cosmic anthropic principle"? Do you lean toward the "strong" or the "weak" version of it? On what grounds?

The question of this thread is "Has Science proven the existence of god?" .  If you don't understand how such a sentence would mean using that term, then how did you answer the subject heading question?

I expressly told you in a prior post how I answered it. I get the distinct impression that you're not really paying attention to what I write.

To be honest with you I don't follow what you are saying above re the connection of those theories with miraculous primordial act of creation.  I guess I would need to look into steady state and Big Bang theories.

Yes you would.

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YH8, why do you think science incapable to show even the nature of God, let alone that He is? Romans is very clear:

1:18-21;

"For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened."

Daniel, I liked your response to Freedoms comment:

Freedom:

But only to the extent that it makes the existence of God a plausible option to consider. If fact, all the evidence provides is the implication that a greater intelligence may have been involved. But this can be explained by extraterrestrial mortals, or even a fluke in the grand scheme of things. When we consider that there are trillions of solar systems and all we can effectively observe is one planet in one of the solar system, no amount of evidence we uncover would be conclusive.

Elihu: this is indeed a false wisdom - for where did the 'extraterrestrials' come from Freedom? It is no arguement at all, just a vain thought.

One example in the book mentioned by me, THE CASE FOR A CREATOR, by Lee Strobel makes a point, but he had made HUNDREDS of points in it. Not quoted here, but just in jist:

Say we went to Mars and discovered a biosphere with carefully constructed dome, power sources, disposal systems, manufacturing systems for every aspect of what it took to keep the living organisms alive in the biosphere - all the dials set in exactly the correct possitions to perpetuate the life forms and their interactions. Now upon finding this thing out in space, what would it lead us to think? Could it have just happened as a natural occurance? Hardly a reasonable thought, but I guess one can think what ever they choose to. A reasonable mind would realize those things just don't happen any more than one would worry that while they were at work a horse would suddenly appear out of nothing and start to mess up the living room. It just doesn't happen.

Science was started by believers, yet it was hijacked to prove God doesn't exist so that people can feel justified in denying accountablity to God.

Thankfully, God HAS proven that man is without excuse, just as Paul said in Romans. As we have children who have been exposed to the lies of 'science', that they might know there is better reason to believe in God than blind faith, but that the evidence of God is not only in their heart and in their Scriptures - don't you think we should let them know it is all around them in the very creation of God they can see every day? And then when we come to know the wonderfulness of our God in all that is, as well as His faithfulness to love and provide and that this great God also is personal and communicates with His creation - now that would make an even greater faith that they can rest upon and share with those who have not yet heard the gospel - perhaps even a science teacher :P

pg. 42

'For instance, one of the country's leading science journalists, John Horgan, who identifies himself as a "lapsed Catholic," conceded in 2002 that scientists have no idea how the universe was created or 'how inanimate matter on our little planet coalesced into living creatures.' Then came that word: "Science, you might say, has discovered that our existence is infinitely improbable, and hence a miracle."

"Even biochemist and spiritual skeptic Francis Crick, who shared the Nobel Prize for discovering the molecular structure of DNA, cautiously invoked the word a few years ago. "An honest man, armed with all the knowledge available to us now, could only state that in some sense, the origin of life appeas at the moment to be almost a miracle, so many are the conditions which would have had to have been satisfied to get it going," he said.

'Others are more adamant. "If there isn't a natural explanation and there doesn't seem to be the potential of finding one, then I believe it's appropriate to look at a supernatural explanation," said Bradley. "I think that's the most reasonable inference based upon the evidence."'

YH8, even God said some would deny the proof. I cannot disagree with Him, but I can agree with Him, and state with confidence that what Paul said is true.

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me previously:To my understanding anyone who says a hyperintelligent superpowerful entity is essentially talking about a god. . . .

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The methods of science (The scientific method) are designed to disprove hypothesis and/or theories. As stated by Joseph Smith, both science and religion have the same goal, to determine what is truth and what is false. The scientific method is based on experimentation and the comparison of experimental results with hypothesis or theory to determine whether the hypothesis is in accord with the experimental data. Agreement proves nothing, only adding to the body of evidence supporting the hypothesis. Dissagreement, however requires abondonment of the hypothesis or at the minimum, revision of the hypothesis. Religion, however, uses a different method in its search for the truth. It depends on revealed truth and personal belief or testimony. Although the methods are different, they are both highly dependent on Faith. In the case of the scientific method, there is a need for faith in the integrety of what has been published in journals and personal communication with fellow scientists. Religion requires faith in ones leaders, the scriptures and personal testimony in answer to prayer and study. Science has never been able to disprove the existence of God, however faith when coupled with careful study of the scriptures can indeed lead to a knowledge that God exists.

As others have already mentioned, there are many scientists who believe in God. There are also many who profess to have no opinion or have never examined the issue sufficiently to express one. Having been involved in science for over 50 years (and quite successfully I might add), I am thankful to be able to number myself with those who have taken the time to use the methods of religion and can say without doubt that there is a God.

Dr. Lawrence Poulsen

PhD Biochemist

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Daniel, I went to Polkinghorne's page and was reading an article of his. I clicked on Religion in an Age of Science at the bottom. ..I believe it was a speech he gave. His views sound similar to yours.

http://www.polkinghorne.org

In it he says:

Leslie (he's referring to a philosophy professor at Guelph U. in Canada) says in relation to the anthropic principle that there is an even-handed choice between those two possibilities. By itself, I think that is correct. Let me emphasize that both are metaphysical explanations. We have no adequate, scientific motivation for thinking of any other universe but the universe of our direct experience. So the speculation that there are many, many other universes is a metaphysical speculation. I'm not against metaphysics. In fact, you can't live without it, but the many-universes interpretation is a metaphysical speculation just as the existence of a Creator is a metaphysical speculation. Of course, if you think there are other reasons, as indeed I do, for believing that there is a God whose will and purpose lies behind the universe, then that second explanation, that the world is fruitful because it is a creation, becomes the more economic and persuasive explanation. That, of course, is the one to which I myself adhere.

So basically Daniel what you are talking about is metaphysics..which is speculative theories, not pure science which requires evidence.

he goes on to say So, in the intelligibility of the world and the finely-tuned fruitfulness of the world, we see insights arising from science, but calling for some explanation and understanding which, by its very nature will go beyond what science itself can provide. And that shows to me, at any rate, the insufficiency of a merely scientific view of the world. In fact, I think we're living in an age where there is a great revival of natural theology taking place. Natural theology is the attempt to learn something about God by the general use of reason and by inspection of the world. That revival of natural theology is taking place, not on the whole among the theologians, who have rather lost their nerve in that area, but among the scientists. Ant not just among pious scientists like myself, who would be rather inclined to think that way, but among scientists who have no particular time for, or understanding of, conventional religion, bit who, nevertheless, feel that the rational beauty and the finely-tuned fruitfulness of the world suggest that there is some intelligence or purpose behind the universe which is more than has met the scientific eye. That revived natural theology is also revised in the sense that it is more modest in its ambitions. Unlike either the natural theology of the late middle ages or the eighteenth century, it doesn't claim to talk about proofs of God. We're in an area of discourse, of the search for understanding, where knock-down argument or proof is not available to anyone. But we are in an area where we're looking for insights which are intellectually satisfying. I wouldn't want to say that atheists are stupid, but I would want to say that atheism is less intellectually satisfying and less comprehensive in the understanding it provides, than is a theistic view of the world.

My comments re Mr. Polkinghorne's speech is the purpose of science is to interpret into useful and understandable form what is actually observed in the world. Theories do change, and can replaced by better theories. His last sentence is a claim to support the superiority of theology to science. I believe he says somewhere that theology is the next step and above science. Science and theology are totally separate. Science has no need for theology, does not need to tie itself in with theology and in fact doesn't, whereas it appears theologians like to link theology to science. Science uses a process of observing testing gathering evidence to support hypothesis. And when the evidence to support is strong theories are presented and are open to the scrutiny of the world's scientific community. If science has no evidence or no explanation for something hypothesized it doesn't speculate so as to 'fill in the unknown blank' of mankind's understanding.

Theology may be useful to satisfy some people's emotional needs but is not useful to satisfy or gain knowledge of the world we live in. Suggesting answers based on faith/beliefs with no evidentiary support is not knowledge and does not lead man to progress in their knowledge either. Mr. Polkinghorne claims theology leads man to a greater understanding...a great understanding of what? He appears to be deliberately deceptive in his choice of words. Just what does he mean by understanding ..it sounds similar to knowledge but has an entirely different meaning. By understanding is he talking about the unknown or god? By speculating on that which we don't not know it means we understand more? How so? How does not having evidence but only speculations lead anyone to more knowledge? The fact is it doesn't, if evidence is never provided.

Anyhow this will probably be my last post for awhile...I'm going away on holidays.

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Be honest with me.

I've been honest with you.

Is it not mainly those who  believe in a god prior to evidence that design points to a god..the ones who support the notion that this evidence is indicative of a supreme entity/creator?

I couldn't tell you. I haven't done a poll. I'm aware of those who were theists prior to their encounter with science and those whose encounter with science has caused them to move in the direction of theism. (Even Sir Fred Hoyle may be a case of the latter.)

The beauty of science is that those who don't believe or have any bias towards something may be shown the evidence to support a hypothesis despite their skepticism.  If someone/a scientist or group of scientists puts forward a hypothesis which tends to support their personal bias/belief, that does not strengthen the likely truth of the hypothesis.

What does that obvious truism have to do with anything I've said?

What you are presenting is very weak support for a hypothesis that god or a supernatural creator type entity exists.

I haven't presented anything. I've mentioned a few names.

The current evidence you have suggested seems to me at this point flimsy at best to indicate a creator.

I haven't cited any evidence.

But everything you've suggested as to the state of scientific knowledge re god..at this point is pure speculation, nothing more.

No it's not. Polkinghorne and Barr and Penrose et al really do exist and really do hold the views I've ascribed to them. There's nothing speculative about what I've said.

There is, however, considerable speculation in your speculation about the speculative things you keep attributing to me that I haven't said.

In otherwords the scientific evidence is not conclusive that there is design, but even if one were to see any design/apparent order  that does necessarily lead one to conclude a creator.

Which is pretty much what I've been saying.

Ok let me try to understand this.

Happily.

It appears what you are saying essentially is that many in the camp to which you refer who were non theists prior..(they therefore were biased against or) skeptical of the idea of a creator, now currently think given the design evidence there may be a creator.

That's certainly the case, although it hasn't been a focus of what I've said.

I have asked you to provide support for you claims.

I've really only made one basic claim. I'll quote it: "Current trends in certain areas of science -- notably in cosmology, but possibly also in molecular biology -- have made belief in some kind of God much more easily defensible on scientific grounds than it has been since the ascent of Darwinism." I posted that at 11:58 AM yesterday. It's a simple claim.

All I asked for is support for your position.

And I've directed you to half a dozen authors who will easily illustrate the truth of my simple claim.

I'm not impressed with what you have been suggesting because you haven't suggested much which supports god's existence and not impressed with the idea that a small percentage of biased scientists are trying to make scientific findings fit with their beliefs.  Have I read any of those scientists? .. the answer is no.

But you know, without looking at them, that they're "a small percentage of biased scientists [who] are trying to make scientific findings fit with their beliefs." (What was that old saying about pots and kettles?)

You may not have noticed that I have made not the slightest effort to supply any evidence for the existence of God on this thread. So, if you find my evidence weak, I can only marvel that you found my evidence at all. I've simply suggested that some prominent and respected scientists are now willing to discuss, in print, hints of a superpowerful hyperintelligence that they believe they find in cosmology and other scientific disciplines. And, as evidence for that, I've named some names and recommended a few books.

I've given you opportunities in this discussion to point out to me  which scientists have  and what their evidence is for a god/supernatural entity.  You suggested a few names for me above, though I'm not sure if you are suggesting them as scientists who support your position or you're just attempting to be condescending

Both, really. Your dogmatic pronouncements about authors you haven't read provide a ripe target for condescension. Not having read them is no real shame, but dismissing them in advance is indeed shameful.

And I get the impression you are evasive when it suits your purposes and that  you use logic as a game to confuse and/or deceive rather than a means to communicate your ideas forthrightly. But that's just my initial impressions.

Sigh. Whatever.

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The methods of science (The scientific method) are designed to disprove hypothesis and/or theories. As stated by Joseph Smith, both science and religion have the same goal, to determine what is truth and what is false. The scientific method is based on experimentation and the comparison of experimental results with hypothesis or theory to determine whether the hypothesis is in accord with the experimental data. Agreement proves nothing, only adding to the body of evidence supporting the hypothesis. Dissagreement, however requires abondonment of the hypothesis or at the minimum, revision of the hypothesis. Religion, however, uses a different method in its search for the truth. It depends on revealed truth and personal belief or testimony. Although the methods are different, they are both highly dependent on Faith. In the case of the scientific method, there is a need for faith in the integrety of what has been published in journals and personal communication with fellow scientists. Religion requires faith in ones leaders, the scriptures and personal testimony in answer to prayer and study. Science has never been able to disprove the existence of God, however faith when coupled with careful study of the scriptures can indeed lead to a knowledge that God exists.

As others have already mentioned, there are many scientists who believe in God. There are also many who profess to have no opinion or have never examined the issue sufficiently to express one. Having been involved in science for over 50 years (and quite successfully I might add), I am thankful to be able to number myself with those who have taken the time to use the methods of religion and can say without doubt that there is a God.

Dr. Lawrence Poulsen

PhD Biochemist

The methods of science are not only designed to disprove hypothesis, they are also designed to support hypothesis through the process of induction..testing and retesting. All scientific theories have data based on observations which support the theory which is why theories are falsifiable.

The goal of science is to explain the world and to put what is observed and theorized into a useful meaningful explanation. Science does not claim truths, it is always open to information to disprove or add to current theories. Religion and science do not have the same goal. Religions provides answers without evidence and generally is interested in meeting emotional needs not in seeking knowledge regarding the world.

You say Agreement (re: n science) proves nothing, only adding to the body of evidence supporting the hypothesis. Dissagreement, however requires abondonment of the hypothesis or at the minimum, revision of the hypothesis.

Science doesn't claim absolute truths. The more evidence which supports a theory the greater the reliability of the theory. Agreement increases acceptance of a theory. And you are right if it's falsified the theory is abandonned.

You say: Religion, however, uses a different method in its search for the truth. It depends on revealed truth and personal belief or testimony. Although the methods are different, they are both highly dependent on Faith.

No religion is not highly dependent on faith. Faith is belief without evidence. If you have evidence you don't need faith. Science uses evidence ..religion uses faith. Science is open to scrutiny and theories do get scrutinized by independent objective investigators/scientists.

YOu say: Science has never been able to disprove the existence of God, however faith when coupled with careful study of the scriptures can indeed lead to a knowledge that God exists.

If you understood science you'd understand science wouldn't attempt to disprove god. If you understood logic you'd understand it as well. When you say that faith can lead to knowledge of god's existence..if that is so why are there so many different religions, different beliefs, different ideas of god? Why has religion evolved and is totally different than what is was in centuries past? If faith is so fantastic in yielding truth..why is it that mormonism is only 170 years old yet evidence for modern man goes back at least 60,000 years. What has taken man so long to use faith to come to the appreciation of the 'truths' of mormonism? Keep in mind mormonism claims truth as do many other religions..science does not claim truths.

You say: Having been involved in science for over 50 years (and quite successfully I might add), I am thankful to be able to number myself with those who have taken the time to use the methods of religion and can say without doubt that there is a God.

If you are logically or scientifically trained as well as you imply, you wouldn't have suggested <b>Science has never been able to disprove the existence of god</b> Somewhere your training along the way has failed you in giving you a good appreciation of the inductive method. And what are the methods of religion, early indoctrination, belief without evidence, complete uquestioning trust in religous authority. What exactly are you talking about when you say "methods of religion"

You make a claim that without a doubt god exists. Yet you admit there is not evidence...and it's based on your faith. I'm sure glad we are out of the dark ages and few scientists operate this way.

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