Does current science prove the existence of god?

So here’s the story. My girlfriend has been trying to get me to go to church for awhile now, and I basically agreed the idea was fine, but was not really interested in going. Then, I decided to give it a try. I went to a couple of Christian services and found the people nice, sincere, and interested in improving themselves and their lives. All these things I think are great. The Pastor seemed dedicated and motivated by a desire to help others.

But then, in his sermon he brought up the book“the Case for a Creator”. And he said it was irrefutable evidence for the existence of god. I thought “wow, I should check this out”. I did check it out, and it turned me off to all the previous experiences I had had with this particular church. The conclusions seem very broad, and most of the references are to books written by the very person making the argument.

I guess I’m saying, religious services that help folks with life and bring people together seem like a good thing IMHO, but once science is brought in to justify the faith the whole argument seems to fall apart. I’m not a scientist, but have found books like “the Fabric of the Cosmos” and “the User Illusion” very interesting, and I think they tend to point out the fact that, ultimately, we really don’t know much about our universe and our consciousness, and that there are very many different interpretations of how to view reality. We don’t know about the milliseconds that elapsed after the beginning of the universe. We don’t know how many dimensions there are. We don’t know if we are all really living on a “brane” that is eternally colliding with another such “brane”.

A believer could say that these issues must be accepted/resolved by faith. But these days a lot of church goers claim that religious assertions are backed up by current scientific discovery.

Does current science prove the existence of god?

Religion is built on faith; science is based on facts. The two don’t mix very well.

Envy; science makes religion look bad, because it actually works.

Nope. There isn’t even any evidence for a god, much less proof.

Science can prove the existence of some advanced form of life that might be capable of creating the earth and the life on it, but science cannot prove the existence of a supernatural God. That simply follows from the definitions of “science” and “supernatural God”.

Well, it could if the supernatural God manifested visibly and said “Hi ! God here !”; but then we wouldn’t need science to do so anyway.

I agree with you, but what about the claims made in the book(s) I mentioned?

Supposedly science proves nothing at all, so the question, as posed, is philosophically incorrect, or whatever.

I think if God simply chose to do something starkly obvious and incredibly outlandish in broad daylight, repeatedly, perhaps even on-demand for impious and nitpicky sceptics the world over, many would throw in the towel and say, yes, as far as I’m concerned, there’s a God, or some reasonably all-powerful fascimile thereof. In terms of logic, you don’t prove anything empirically in this matter, you just feel confident of it. You’d never know as a truth if you’re dealing with mischievous aliens who’ve jacked into your brain, or that you’re living in a simulation, and hackers are screwing with you for their entertainment, or any of an infinity of other equally unlikely and thoroughly untestable possibilities which could nonetheless provide an explanation for what has been witnessed. Sort of along the lines of what JM said, the “supernatural” is either completely meaningless, or a “matter of faith”, and poking around for evidence is simply beside the point. I am being only slightly more longwinded in an attempt to leapfrog another maddening rehashing of these insoluble, and likely completely bereft, preliminaries in GD.

Not having read them, I can’t talk about the details, but just because we don’t understand everything doesn’t mean we should invoke the God of the Gaps. Besides, like John Mace said, there’s no way science could detect a supernatural god - or supernatural anything - unless it manifested physically. Then, there’s the problem that postulating a god doesn’t explain anything; it just says “God did it; don’t ask questions.”

I’m not familiar with the arguments in “Case for a God.” What are the broad arguments? That’d help.

The only arguments I’m familiar with are “science has gotten us to here - but there’s still this part we can’t explain. Ergo God!” I don’t think that fallacious reasoning needs deconstruction.

One other position you’ll often hear in such works is basically the Strong Anthropological Argument: the universe is too amazingly accomodating to life for it to be entirely coincidental, or mechanistic, or meaningless. Therefore, there must be a God who created the universe with just the right rules and ingredients to make us possible. (Whether Case for a God roasts this old chestnut, I don’t know. I’m just saying it circulates around.)

Of course, it’s the life that had to adapt to the universe, not the other way around. And in a universe where intelligent life isn’t possible, there will be no intelligent life to make arguments, write books, or subscribe to message boards.

Not only that, science has not come up with a set of facts for which a supernatural god is a very useful explanation. One could imagine evidence of miraculous events which, while not proving god, have god as a likely explanation. No such set of events is known.

For the OP: Do the facts that require god involve the parameters of the universe? It is commonly said that if they were different, no life, or the universe itself, could not exist. There are several explanations for this.

  1. The parameters are interrelated in ways we don’t understand yet, so their values are not random but in fact deteministic.
  2. They are random, but there are many universes, and we are here to ask this question only in the unverse for which they are set properly.
  3. Opal is god. (Sorry :slight_smile: )

What other arguments do they have?

Then you may also enjoy, Has Science Found God by Victor Stenger. Or any of his several previous books on physics and the supernatural. I believe he’s got another one due out in early 2007.

And even then – how would we know that really was God, and not some other supernatural being – or a natural being with technology much better than ours?

I was saying that science could then prove God’s existence, not that he’s actually God. :smiley:

How would you distinguish that from a technologically advanced race of physical beings? You couldn’t.

I think he fully agrees. There’s a semantic problem here, but the gist is understood, from what I can gather.

Wonder why that never occurred to Moses or Abraham?

Simply, no. At this current time, it neither proves nor eliminates any godly existences.

At this moment the best we’ve got is the big bang. How all that matter came into being, no idea.

However, given that obviously it somehow did come into existence, there is no reason to need for there to be a god. Saying that “Stuff can’t just magically come into existence, thus there must have been a creator” doesn’t work. All you’re doing is shoving that magic off one level; instead of matter coming into existence suddenly, God comes into existence suddenly.

The other thing that science, and particularly computer science, will tell you is that there really is no need for there to be intelligence behind the development of life nor cognizance. As the saying goes, “A million monkeys typing…” You mix enough random chemicals around enough and eventually Darwinian evolution is going to start. Anything mixture that has an ability to stay put is going to keep staying and start advancing based on changes in the chemical environment, simply because, by definition, if it didn’t it would disappear back–and the process restarts. Eventually though, one will get all the right rolls and it will advance.

Maybe it did. ;j

No. And it never will.

The construct ‘God’ is defined, if it is defined at all, in terms which are not susceptible to evidence or the tools of empirical science. This is not an accident. Belief in ‘God’ is one instance of a closed system of thought, in which the conclusion is the same no matter what evidence is produced, or even if no evidence is produced. The sick patient recovers? Evidence of God’s healing power. He dies? God knows what’s best.

This being the case, there is no possibility that empirical science can present evidence for or against the premise that ‘God exists’. The realm of science is that of the testable and falsifiable hypothesis. ‘God exists’ is no such hypothesis.

Emphasis added. More accurately, the Strong Anthropic argument. Or varients thereof.

The root’s the same and it’s a pretty common spelling confusion. Even amongst people who push this argument.