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  • Writer's pictureDan Arsenault

Can Good Science Point to God?

The consensus view seems to be that modern science has eliminated the possibility of God. In Dover, Pennsylvania, an attempt was made to force the school district to offer Intelligent Design as a scientific alternative to Darwinism as the explanation of the origin of the universe and of life. Of course, the ruling was that any discussion of the supernatural involves religion -- and not science. The judge did mention, however, that science has an a priori commitment to look for and provide only naturalistic explanations for natural events.

It’s one thing to say that scientists may explain events only in terms of the natural. It’s quite another thing to say that no other explanations exist, which is not a scientific statement, but a philosophical one. And many scientists have no problem with the supernatural implications of their scientific work.

When it became evident that the universe had a definite beginning, many scientists were repulsed by the idea, precisely because they recognized the theological implications. Among those who expressed their alarm was Albert Einstein. Stephen Hawking stated that it is difficult to talk about the beginning of the cosmos without including the possibility of God. When we try to explain the universe in terms of an absolute beginning, we must explain how it could be that SOMETHING came from NOTHING. And scientists have indeed come to a consensus that the universe arose from nothing. The universe includes all matter, all energy, all space, and time itself. So logically, since the universe could not have caused itself, it must have been caused by something outside of matter, energy, space, and time.

That cause, of necessity, must be immaterial, unbound by space, and outside of time, or eternal. Christian philosophers since St. Augustine have called this phenomenon Creation ex nihilo, that is, out of nothing. Is it unreasonable, then, to believe in God and to see the cosmos as a creative miracle? The definition of “miracle” is that which happens outside of natural laws. There were no natural laws to cause the universe, because these laws came with the universe.

Welcome to the reality of the metaphysical. We may have left science, but we have done it no harm.

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