The Divine Foot

And with predictably incoherent results. After comparing more than two thousand DNA samples, an American molecular geneticist, Dean Hamer, concluded that a person's capacity to believe in God is linked to his brain chemicals. Of all things! Why not his urine? Perhaps it will not be amiss to observe that Dr. Hamer has made the same claim about homosexuality, and if he has refrained from arguing that a person's capacity to believe in molecular genetics is linked to a brain chemical, it is, no doubt, owing to a prudent sense that once that door is open, God knows how and when anyone will ever slam it shut again. - David Berlinski
I am currently reading David Berlinski's book, The Devil's Delusion: Atheism and Its Scientific Pretension. Only into the first chapter and I already find his insights and poking at militant atheists funny. It is indeed refreshing to read a secular scientist poking at incredulous claims of militant atheists instead of Christian apologists. His central thesis in the book is that militant atheists are too arrogant to use science as the hammer to deal with religion once and for all. Here's another quote from the book:
Neither scientific credibility nor sound good sense is at issue in any of these declarations. They are absurd; they are understood to be absurd; and what is more, assent is demanded just because they are absurd. "We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs," the geneticist Richard Lewontin remarked equably in The New York Review of Books, "in spite of its failure to fulfil many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories" ... because ... "we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door." - David Berlinski
Reading a secular scientist poking at militant atheists (or what Christians will call New Atheists) should make one think about the claims of science that science will solve all problems and answer the question of God's existence. I remember a quote by David Hume:
“If we take in our hand any volume; of divinity or school metaphysics, for instance; let us ask, Does it contain any abstract reasoning concerning quantity or number? No. Does it contain any experimental reasoning concerning matter of fact and existence? No. Commit it then to the flames: for it can contain nothing but sophistry and illusion.” - David Hume
Insightful statement by David Hume, but there's one slight problem - the statement is neither true by definition nor empirically verifiable. A hammer on its own foot, it is just one example that shows how science is unable to answer the questions in life, especially those which has nothing to do with the physical world (although science in an attempt to make the world conform to its parameters will argue that the resurrection of Christ should not happen despite historical evidence). This reminds me of a brother whom I sow on many years back. It took me two plus years to finally bring him to a place where he is willing to accept Christ into his life. His fundamental objection to faith is precisely due to the belief that science can explain all things. Ironically, it was quantum mechanics that convinced him that God exists.

Therefore, science is perhaps not at odds with God, but if God created the cosmos and He gave the world the natural order, it is not unreasonable to assume that we can find Him through the observation of the cosmos. I would say that it is not that science cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door, but the Divine Foot is already in the house and the scientists are merely detecting the presence of the Divine Foot by the smell of the Foot and they can't ignore it.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Kata Korinthions: A Reflection

Iakobou Epistode: From Confusion to Clarity

Four Thoughts From Research and Ethics