Science cannot tell us whether or not there is a God because the question of God’s existence of God is beyond the scientific method. Why that is so is worth more than one post. But for now, let us walk bravely into the dragon’s mouth and look at one world view which some scientists believe is the inevitable conclusion of the world science reveals.
“Man, so far as natural science by itself is able to teach us, is no longer the final cause of the universe, the Heaven-descended heir of all the ages. His very existence is an accident, his story a brief and transitory episode in the life of one of the meanest of the planets…
“After a period, long compared with the individual life, but short indeed compared with the divisions of time open to our investigation, the energies of our system will decay, the glory of the sun will be dimmed, and the earth, tideless and inert, will no longer tolerate the race which has for a moment disturbed its solitude. Man will go down into the pit, and all his thoughts will perish. The uneasy consciousness, which in this obscure corner has for a brief space broken the contented silence of the universe, will be at rest. Matter will know itself no longer. ‘Imperishable monument’ and ‘immortal deeds’, death itself, and love stronger than death, will be as though they had never been.”
Or as Albert Camus put it in fewer words: “Be prepared to discover that the meaning of life is limited.”
Not all great scientists – including Albert Einstein – espouse this bleak view. They make rational arguments for why, without even the possibility of ever finding scientific proof, they think there is a transcendent being we call God.
One group looks at the astonishing universe revealed by science and sees an impersonal, meaningless destiny. Another group sees this amazing, fantastic, universe into which science gives us a glimpse as a manifestation of God’s incredible power and majesty. The first group thinks science is important because it is all we have. They believe God is a chimera we use as a crutch when we are unable or afraid to depend on ourselves.
The second group values science and its extraordinary, unexpected, and often challenging revelations just as much as the first. But for them it is a light that beckons us to go beyond our personal fears and limitations. They do not believe we need to reduce science to accept God, but rather that science, which gives us a glimpse of His glory, challenges us to deepen and enrich our incomplete idea of God.
Because it is “by His fruits you will know Him.”
That is why for some people, science is a religious, even transcendent, experience.