written by Jason Dulle
Atheists love to assert that there is no scientific evidence for the existence of God. I have a couple of thoughts on this. First, how do they come to this conclusion? Generally speaking, this conclusion follows from their definition of science. They define science as the search for naturalistic explanations for natural phenomena. If science is defined so as to a priori exclude agent causation as a valid explanation for any natural phenomenon, then it is no surprise that “science” will never yield any evidence for the existence of God. It can’t by definition. To put it in the form an argument, the atheist reasons as follows:
1 Science is the search for naturalistic explanations for natural phenomena
2 God is a supernatural explanation
3 Therefore, God is not a scientific explanation
4 There can be no scientific evidence for a non-scientific explanation
5 Therefore, there is no scientific evidence for the existence of God
Why should we accept premise 1 to be true? Why define science in such a way that it only allows for naturalistic causes for natural phenomena? Why not open up one’s explanatory options to include intelligent agency? If the evidence points to a naturalistic cause, fine. But if the evidence points to intelligent agency, why not conclude that some intelligent agency is responsible? The best explanation should not be excluded a priori based on some arbitrary definition of science. If one does not restrict their definition of science to disallow intelligent causation, then the claim that there is no scientific evidence for God ceases to hold water. There is plenty of scientific evidence for the existence of God including the origin of the universe, the origin of life, and the fine-tuning of the physical constants for a life-permitting universe.
Secondly, even if there was no scientific evidence for the existence of God, what would that matter? After all, science is equipped to measure the physical, not the immaterial. In the same way we would not expect to be able to see an invisible man if such a being existed, we should not necessarily expect for there to be physical evidence of an immaterial being. The fact of the matter is that science is not the only source of knowledge. Philosophy is another source of knowledge. And unlike science, philosophy is equipped to evaluate metaphysical concepts such as God. So long as there are good philosophical reasons to believe in God, then theism is rationally justified. One need not have scientific evidence for His existence. We can be thankful, however, that we have both philosophical and scientific evidence for the existence of God.