Has Science Refuted God?

There was a debate on intelligence2 US called Science Refutes God, with Lawrence Krauss and Michael Shermer in support of the motion and Dinesh D’Souza and Ian Hutchinson opposing the motion. I like the argument, particularly how Lawrence Krauss framed the argument: we haven’t found God and we’ve shone a light into every dark corner people said God exists to not find him there either.

So has science refuted God? I’m going to hedge my bets a little by explaining why I have kept the word “refutes”, instead of using disproves or demonstrates the non-existence of. ‘Refutes’ is the weaker of these expressions, but it is the only one within the scope of science. God is too vague and flexible a concept to be disproven. People have made God sufficiently malleable to be unfalsifiable. So by “refutes” I mean ‘given us a good argument against’. And I want to answer my question with a “yes”. (I consider my blog an open debate, so feel free to respond in the comments section).

And I want to begin with a story where I hope the analogy is clear. My friend of many years claims to have a life-long friend called “Blorg Sbattan”. Being a little taken aback I ask why I’ve never seen Blorg despite having a mutual close friend for many years. I’m told we just happen to have not all hung out together. When I get home I search my friend’s Friend List on Facebook, no Blorg. So I do a generic Facebook search, still no Blorg. So I try something unlikely, a Google+ search and still no Blorg. Then I do a Google search for “Blorg Sbattan”, and there are precisely no results and the suggestion that I meant “Blog button”.

I thought this was weird, so I checked electoral roles, publicly available birth certificates and 123People. No Blorg Sbattan. So I went to my friend and I told him that I searched for his friend Blorg and couldn’t find any record of him on the internet, and asked if we could go to his house, because I was curious about meeting him. My friend agreed and told me that Blorg lived at 5 Bouncemeadow road, and we walked there.

The road we arrived at was called Springfield road. My friend told me it must have been a translation error and not to take him so literally. We got to number 5 and a lovely lady named Mrs. Galileo answered the door, but looked at us with utter confusion when we asked if Blorg lived there: “There’s no one here by that name I’m afraid, lovelies. Don’t know of anyone by that name, either. Sorry”.

By this point my investigation convinced me that Blorg Sbattan was not real. I had not proved he was not real, but my investigation and attempt to meet him bore no fruit; I had refuted the existence of Blorg Sbattan to most people’s satisfaction.

And this is the exploration science has had with God. Everything science has looked at is somewhere people claim God is, and He isn’t. It’s all natural stuff. God doesn’t make the sun come up every day and doesn’t make it hotter for one part of the year than another; it turns out that gravity does that. Diseases come from little life forms that live all over the place. The diversity of species comes from the fact that life is hard and children have non-identical traits and pass on their traits if they win the struggle. God is not in all the places people said He was. Instead we find physics, chemistry, biology and other natural sciences.

There is one bastion left for God, the creation of the universe; the ‘something from nothing’ dilemma. History tells us that this is just another place we won’t find Him when given the chance to explore, and the something from nothing thing will be another natural phenomenon. But with integrity science is shining a light in that direction too, and we can’t see Him there.

6 thoughts on “Has Science Refuted God?”

  1. I have a question for you. When you are looking for God are you expecting to find… a creature of some sort? a vision? certainly not a human being? I’m thinking that when looking for God you may be expecting a certain something somehow. If this is so, could not God be right where you are and you not recognize that God is there?

    In my world, God is an experience – the grounded essence of being itself that manifests in all living things. But that is just the beginning of God who is ineffable and infinite. Maybe science can’t see God because God is in the science.

    1. The “searching” is a metaphor. Another blogger put it very well, that science is an open invite to God, and He hasn’t turned up.
      I’m not sure what I’d be looking for, but I certainly wouldn’t be looking for something that can be mathematically defined and empirically repeated. Because that is not the nature of a free intelligence. That is nature, and the thing we’re looking for is ‘supernatural’.

      I’m not sure there is an ‘in your world’, God either is or He is not, and what you have described is either your experience or your guess. That truth is not dependent on you. I have a post about poetic interpretation of God, and I say He’s a metaphor for humanism.

      If God is an experience then He exists in your head and no where else, just like the rest of your imagination and experiences. That is not an intelligence or a creator or an interventionist. That is merely something you have experienced.

      Unfortunately, everything else you say about God I don’t understand. “The grounded essence of being”, “God is in the science”… I don’t know what those things mean. If God is the fact that things exist, then that’s more a language trick than anything else. I talked about that in my last post as well: “jibber jabber jello pudding diesels”, if it doesn’t make sense how am I supposed to deal with it?

  2. Nor is there to Him (Allah) any equivalent (112:4)

    When Quran said there was equivalent to God, it mean when the thing can be visualize, hear, see, imagine. Automatically, it its not God.

    Even, it was so strong, big, powerful, knowledgeable – When it can be imagine/ visualize, it was just a thing. Thing that big, powerful and knowledgeable.

    Same goes when you search for “Blorg Sbattan” you can not find anything. Similar method you search “Allah”, you can just find a word “Allah” and It’s attribute. It just can not be define, you can just see the creation not creator, and appreciate the creation by science and mathematics.

    When the first fundamental are

    “God are no equivalent to things/ what so ever.”

    How can science refute the God (may be other gods). Because science easily define as “a knowledge of observation the nature and things” which contracted with first rules “when the thing can be visualize, hear, see, imagine. Automatically, it its not God.”

    So, in my understanding, God (Allah) are unknown/undefined except attribute that have being define in Quran/hadiths.

    When come to sun rise/set or gravity or thermodynamic or biology – it just a matter of science – a knowledge of observation the nature and things (that being shown by God) with equation/tools/etc.

    It still not refute the existence of God because that how we define God (Allah).

  3. A great book about Gnosticism.

    “Science is now heading towards a non-mechanical reality. The universe looks more like a great thought than like a machine”
    (Sir James Jeans)
    from the book: The Laughing Jesus by Tim Freke / Peter Gandy

    1. As someone that is trying to read science all the time, I just want to say that there is no evidence that points in the direction of the universe being non-mechanical.
      Some people assume that certain results are more likely to be ‘preferred’ than chance occurrences, but they often display a misunderstanding of either statistics or our circumstance in order to argue that…

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