Is science creating gaps where there are no gaps?

It’s interesting to point out that the early founders of modern science were deeply committed Christians of the 16th and 17th Century, who were on a mission to understand more of God’s glorious works; indeed, the notion of natural laws is rooted in an understanding of moral laws. (Dennis Alexander – Director of the Faraday Institute in Science and Faith, Cambridge University) Ultimately, some saw science as a means to get closer to God, others saw it as a means to get further away. But “atheistic science” must now ask its “disciples” to believe it will not just explain the observable world around us, but that it will demonstrate how life creates itself, how a material universe came from nothing (an infinitely regressing universe is mathematically nonsensical, and the Big Bang theory points to a clear singularity), and how the human mind came to be. It also requires that objective morality is discarded and life’s purpose is as subjective as your choice of favourite ice cream. In addition, it must reject a man named Jesus Christ. The ability to observe the inner-workings of cells and understand (to some extent) how cells work is a wonderful achievement. But to suggest that we can some day prove that life evolves from non-life is quite an extrapolated assumption! Abiogenesis has been around for centuries – once rejected by science, now resurrected by science in light of Darwin’s Theory – it is just not getting any closer to providing an explanation. God can’t fit around science, God is science and Darwin’s theory of evolution (the foundation of atheism) cannot be true because an undirected, chance process is just not consistent with God as portrayed in the Bible – a God who claims to make Himself known through nature is more likely to leave finger-prints of design rather than the appearance of randomness and “non-design”. Faith in God doesn’t kill science, faith in science kills God. I believe science is now creating gaps where there really are none. Tom
Atheist Answer: 

You dismiss a lot of what I wrote to your last question, without actually addressing most of my answers. I hope you realise that you can reply directly to my answers by commenting.

The founders of modern science were deeply committed Christians because almost the entire populations of their countries were. They approached everything from a premise of Christian faith, including science.

Their scientific endeavours, however, did not utilise the catch-all explanation that a god provides. Then as now, they searched for natural explanations for physical phenomena. THEN they credited God. They did not simply say, "God did it." They said, "God caused it to happen like this." If they couldn't work something out, they said, "We don't yet know how God does this." They still had gaps in their understanding, and filling them with God didn't stop them from wanting to close them.

Scientists today can be atheists, Christians or anything else. Modern science itself is not atheistic, it is rather agnostic. It is completely divorced from theology, and does not normally take any position on the existence of gods. It looks for natural explanations as always. Once those explanations exist, the religious are free to suppose that God is responsible. If you want to establish God's necessity however, you have to undermine the natural explanation and thus attack science.

Importantly, scientists of all religions HAVE found many explanations for phenomena for which there were none. The theory of gravity has explained not just the movements of planets but the means of their formation. Germ theory has explained diseases so well that we can now fight them directly.

This does not necessarily imply that all mysterious phenomena have natural explanations. It does mean that just because something doesn't have a natural explanation now doesn't mean that it never will. So scientists keep looking, not out of faith but from prior experience that the mysterious does not always remain so.

Scientists are under no illusions that they will understand the universe and everything in it in natural terms within a year, or even a century. The gaps, though shrinking, will probably always be there. If you want to say they're gaps in our understanding of God, go ahead. They're still gaps, and they always were.

Smaller points:

- Do not misrepresent an opposing position, I'm sure you know what a straw man argument is. Nothing in existence can have created itself, and no one thinks life did. It likely didn't evolve into existence either, because evolution requires self-replication which only life has achieved. It emerged as a result of the countless chemical reactions caused by the huge variety of elements being thrown together constantly on and beneath Earth's surface. As I said before, with recent developments abiogenesis research is getting MUCH closer to a full explanation.

- Infinity is not mathematically nonsensical. It is perfectly acceptable to suppose that matter and energy, which as far as we know cannot be destroyed, will last forever into the future. Matter having lasted forever into the past is no different.

- The Big Bang was indeed a singularity, but as the religious are fond of saying, where did that singularity come from? It may have been a transient phase of an ongoing cyclical universe, or the offspring of another. There are other theories which do suppose that it emerged from what one might reasonably call "nothing", but the important thing is that those theories explain exactly how.

- You've more or less ignored my basic explanation of the origin of mind. Perhaps if I point you to animals in which its precursors have appeared: self-awareness in birds, emotions in elephants, culture in dolphins, all of the above in chimpanzees...if it helps creatures survive and procreate, which it does, then it is strengthened with each new generation.

- You've also ignored my distinction between objective morality and absolute morality. The object on which a moral or ethic is based does not need to be a universal absolute (we cannot determine whether anything is) in order to be valid; it simply needs to be common to all those who apply that morality.

- Science is not concerned with Jesus because there is no scientific evidence for him or his supposed miracles. That's not to say he didn't exist, or even that they didn't happen. There is simply nothing in the subject for science to do right now.

- Darwinian evolution is not the foundation of atheism, because there were atheists thousands of years before Darwin. It's generally accepted by atheists today, because the only real reasons to reject it are religious. Your bottom line is that because evolution contradicts the Bible, it must not be true. That premise leads you to believe that ANY existing criticism of evolution is valid, so you use them all, even the long-refuted ones like irreducible complexity. Don't.

- SmartLX


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Incidentally, the Faraday Institute for Science and Religion, though based in a Cambridge University college, is in fact run by the Templeton Foundation.

Its mission, like any Templeton project, is to advance religion in the scientific sphere by sponsoring accommodationist viewpoints and literature. It exists so that faith can get a look-in and maintain an image of relevance to science and academia.

That's why its head man is so interested in science's religious history, in particular a period when it had not occurred to most that God might not be a given.