Why Should a Scientist Believe in God? Templeton/A.S.A. Lecture, Baylor University, March 26, 2004 Loren Haarsma Physics & Astronomy Department, Calvin College (Cartoon by Berkeley Breathed, Bloom County ). When someone asks, “Why should I believe in God?” they could mean:.
Why Should a ScientistBelieve in God?Templeton/A.S.A. Lecture, Baylor University, March 26, 2004Loren Haarsma Physics & Astronomy Department, Calvin College(Cartoon by Berkeley Breathed, Bloom County)
but seldom provokes sustained religious belief.
Questions like these are sometimes raised as arguments for why a person should not believe in God; so they deserve a careful answer.
Linear view of time
Causes and effects have regular, universal patterns.
We can understand these patterns.
Experiments are needed.
Science is worth doing.
Creation is not pantheistic.
Time is linear, not circular.
God is not capricious. God can do miracles, but usually governs in consistent ways.
We are made in God’s image, suitable for this world.
God’s creativity is free; we are limited and fallen.
Nature is God’s creation; we are called to study it.Worldview assumptionsChristian necessary for sciencebeliefs
These do not prove theism, but they do seriously blunt the Occam’s Razor argument.
(Consider the example of Abraham….)
(“Bungling abducting aliens” seems unlikely.)
Questions like these cause some people (not just scientists) to decide that the “God hypothesis” is unlikely.
Does this sound like an
To a scientist – or anyone else – I offer this challenge:
if you want to test the “God hypothesis,”
you have to go where the evidence is.
Harvard Society of Fellows Declaration of Principles:
"You have been selected as a member of this society for your personal prospect of serious achievement in your chosen field, and your promise of notable contribution to knowledge and thought. That promise you must redeem with your whole intellectual and moral force. You will practice the virtues, and avoid the snares, of the scholar. You will be courteous to your elders who have explored to the point from which you may advance; and helpful to your juniors who will progress farther by reason of your labors. Your aim will be knowledge and wisdom, not the reflected glamour of fame. You will not accept credit that is due to another, or harbor jealousy of an explorer who is more fortunate. You will seek not a near but a distant objective, and you will not be satisfied with what you may have done. All that you may achieve or discover you will regard as a fragment of a larger pattern of the truth which from the separate approaches every true scholar is striving to descry. To these things, in joining the Society of Fellows, you dedicate yourself."