It surprises me when people herald atheism as a scientific conclusion.* Atheism is not the verdict of science. Science would prefer that the atheist remain an agnostic.
Some atheists claim there is no evidence for the existence of God. I am surprised that any educated person could say this.
Ironically, it reminds me of the creationist who says there is no evidence for evolution. In fact, there is abundant evidence for evolution. Perhaps the creationist decides to ignore the evidence, or perhaps he goes to great lengths to interpret it in such a way that it does not suggest evolution. Clearly, both attitudes are disingenuous. They suggest the existence of an underlying dogma that influences how he views the question.
So, if an atheist decides to ignore the evidence for God or to interpret it to suggest that God does not exist, I would similarly suggest that an underlying dogma might be present.
The fact is that there is abundant evidence for evolution, and there is abundant evidence for God. Some of the latter is recent and has been examined by scientists. In some cases, they can currently offer no explanation as to what occurred (see, for example, the work done by the Lourdes Medical Bureau). I will devote future posts to further discussion of evidence like this.
In light of such evidence, what should be the response of a scientist? Conclude that God exists? Conclude that God doesn’t exist? Both are equally unsatisfactory. The scientist should be able to extricate herself from the need to conclude about a particular piece of unexplainable evidence. Science does not currently have the technology to make a comprehensive examination here, but it might in the future, so we can hold off our conclusion until then.
But some seem averse to this. I have witnessed it myself. The scientifically-inclined atheist finds a way to explain the phenomena that is consistent with his worldview, even when the scientists who directly studied the evidence will not dare do so. Ironically, this is exactly what many believers do when they encounter these same phenomena! Both atheists and theists interpret evidence to support their presuppositions.
To be fair, I think most atheists know this. I think their attitudes are compensatory. They’re reacting to the surety shown by believers. Further, I acknowledge that humans desire to understand the universe and so will often commit to particular beliefs that are not yet fully supported by data. The small number of agnostics in the world testifies to this. I am sympathetic to this desire. My point here is that when a person commits with certitude to a conclusion, it is a statement of personal belief, not a statement of science (as I’ve noted previously).
But there’s an additional problem for atheism. The only evidence for atheism is philosophical evidence. There is simply no evidence in support of atheism that is based on facts or science. Nor can there ever be. How could there be evidence for the negation of the supernatural? I’ll discuss this in future posts as well.
But for now, I beg you: if you are an atheist, please don’t mention science in your apologeticus!
* While “atheism” can mean many things, here I’ll assume it means naturalism, i.e., the belief that nature is “all there is.”