As a scientific blogger, the one thing I hate is when people take scientific findings and then distort them to try and prove and disprove things that they, in fact, do not prove or disprove.
It is painful when religious folks do it. It is much, much worse when scientists do it.
Lets take Atheism, for example. First of all, I respect atheism as much as I respect other types of belief. It takes a certain amount of courage to believe in something like atheism, especially since it basically states that there is no God, there is no soul, and life has no purpose.
However, I have seen people who have tried to use science to "prove" atheism, and this is just as wrong as using science to "prove" a young earth, or to "prove" intelligent design. Its worse, actually, bacause the scientific atheists are very familiar with scientific processes, and they should know better.
Lets start with the fundamentals of scientific athiesm. Although some people may contest these statements; from a scientific viewpoint they are quite valid, so we will take them at face value for the sake of our argument.
1. There is no evidence that God exists.
2. The universe appears to function just fine without a God running it.
From these two statements, which we will take as Truth, the scientific atheist concludes that God does not exist. From a purely logical standpoint, we can see the fallacy of this belief. From a scientific standpoint, this is lazy intellectualism. Lets take these things one at a time:
1. There is no evidence that God exists. I always like to fall back on String Theory to debate this one. String Theory is widely accpeted by many in the physics community. String theory explains much about the universe, the mathematics are elegant, and it provides a road map to the Holy Grail of physics: A Grand Unified Theory. The downside? There is absolutely no evidence that strings exist. Not only have we never seen one, there is no existing theory that explains how it would even be possible to see one.
2. The universe appears to function just fine without a God running it. Lets go back to physics again. Everyone has heard of Protons and Neutrons. Have you ever heard of a Lambda particle, or an Omega particle? They are hadrons, like protons and neutrons, only they are heavier. They are also utterly unnecessary for the functioning of the universe. In fact, when these heavier hadrons were first discovered, one scientist who witnessed this stream of irrelevant particles pop out of their particle accelerator exclaimed "Who ordered THAT!?"
So, if its possible for 1) something to exist that we don't have evidence for and 2) something to exist that is scientifically unnecessary, is it possible for something to exist that we don't have evidence for AND is scientifically unnecessary?
The answer is, from a completely scientific, rational standpoint: absolutely! There is NO other answer that is intellectually honest. And yet, the scientific athiest continues to argue the opposite, and worse, claims that his beliefs are supported by scientific evidence.
I've always felt that the only reasonable position for a scientist to take is that of an open-minded agnostic. However, faith appears to be a fundamental characteristic of human psychology (I offer this as opinion, not as Truth), whether it is faith in God, or faith in an absence of God. Therefore, I will say to you atheists what I say to the religious: Believe what you want. But don't try to drag science into it.
Short note about the author
Terry Connors is a Gen-X family guy with 2 step-kids and a loving wife. He frequently blogs about current events, especially if there is a scientific angle to the news items. You can read more of his writings at: Another Stupid News Blog - http://news.virtualdominion.net.
All work is copyright, Terry Connors 2005