Science & The Search for God

Part 1

Scientific Faith

Some time ago I read some of ‘The God Delusion’ (one of only three books of hundreds I have read that I couldn’t stomach enough to finish, another being The DaVinci Code which sent me to sleep every time I opened it, and For Whom The Bell Tolls — I won’t even go there “my little rabbit”). I listened to Richard Dawkins on a couple of radio shows, podcasts, read a few articles by and about him, and watched some interviews with him on Youtube. I don’t like his stance on ‘science’ and I personally think he’s a pretty unintelligent and annoying man. Just a personal view. It’s a view I hold about him and some other evangelical popular media scientists because they have such unbending faith in their pursuits. I feel they are like bigots who just can’t change their bigoted views despite everything they see around they that screams out that they are deluded. That there are other possible conclusions than theirs.

Science is supposed to be about the most likely theory at the moment, scientific facts are regularly disproven or modified, as they should be as we glean more and more information to add to what we already ‘know’. However, many ‘scientists’, be they actual trained scientists or otherwise — for we can all be scientists, portray that likely theory as fact. Science is to all intents and purposes taught in school as fact. That is why there is so much uproar when anyone wants to even introduce Creationism to the curriculum. Over the years I have been on the receiving end of many ‘lectures’ about proven scientific fact from people both highly trained in the sciences and highly aquainted with New Scientist and the Discovery Channel (my husband — although he doesn’t lecture me any more, he discusses). Some of this science I am happy to accept as fact — that there is force, such as gravity, because I can see it’s effects and test it for myself — I drop something and it falls, I do not have to fully understand it to accept it. It might not be gravity that does that but it works for me. I accept that there are chemical reactions because I can test many of them myself when I cook. I can not test all chemical reactions myself but I am happy to accept that in principle they happen. General human and animal biology also proposes no giant leap of faith for me. I am content to accept what I see, read and hear because it’s right there in front of me. I’ve had kids.

Now though we come to the far echelons of scientific theory — a couple spring to mind — the Big Bang (sometimes seen as an ‘almost fact’ and sometimes as a less popular theory), and the more recent Dark Matter, Dark Energy, and hilariously named Big Rip theories- which I like to refer to as the Big Fart.

Here you see lies my problem with not science but scientists and what they expect me to believe — I cannot see, test or experience any of these things for myself. In fact the scientists themselves know next to nothing about some of them. For me, and in fact for anyone whether they admit it or not, belief in these theories requires a giant leap of faith — faith that the scientists have got it right, that they are honest, that they haven’t missed the point, that they can still see the wood for the trees, that all this isn’t just to take our money and attention away from the proven, sometimes disturbing, facts of the known world. In short — to believe in these things even one iota is a massive leap of faith not so different from the leap of faith that religion also demands, the faith in a God that many scientists so readily mock, a God that Richard Dawkins is to desperate to disprove.