Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Scientific Reflection on the Existence of God

I am writing this article as a tribute for the gift of faith just in time for Pope Francis' Papal Visit to the Philippines.

Times have changed since the medieval times when it was theocentric. Though there are still a significant number of believers in God, there are also an increasing number of people who question that very existence.

This discourse only tackles my reflection on why God exists as was said in the bible and how that biblical claim aligns with scientific reasoning.

To start with, I would like to borrow the term from mathematics which is axiom. Axioms are facts which does not need to be proven. As such, I would say that God's existence is an axiom, it is an accepted truth by believers which does not need to be proven.

God's existence cannot be proven in the same way that 1+1=2 and 1/0= infinity cannot be proven. But we accept them as true.

One will ask, how did you know about the existence of God? The answer is the bible. A further question might be, can you prove the veracity of the bible?

My argument here could be, how come the bible exists if all the things contained therein are lies or fabricated fiction? And how come many people believe in it? The mere fact that the bible exists and many people believe in it, in spite of the absence of scientific proof tells us its veracity. A further questions is, what harm or danger did is cause to the believers? As I see it, at least in my family, there is none.

In addition to that, those written in the bible have historical basis and those were written because of witnesses.

Let me state my point, science as a body of knowledge also has its limitation. To date, it cannot explain all the phenomena in this world. So, what I was thinking was, those phenomena beyond the limits of science belong to God because we have no way to find out the reasons behind it.

On the limitations of science, for any endeavor to be considered scientific, it has to undergo the scientific method. In employing the scientific method, one has to define the "system" under study. In order for the results of this study to be replicated anywhere else, the "system" should be under controlled conditions. But all "natural systems" cannot be controlled as such and even generalizations also have exceptions. In certain circumstances where these systems exhibit peculiarity, that we can leave to God who knows it all (e.g. disappearances in Bermuda triangle and a lot more mysteries which cannot be explained by science).    

I would even claim that there is parallelism between science and religion. These two domains are not contradictory as they are mutually reinforcing each other.

Let me start with the "Theory of Evolution". Nowhere in the bible can you find the word evolution but I think the bible alludes to it in the book of Genesis. I think, in the wisdom of God, there is no mention of "scientific terms" (such as evolution) in the bible because it cannot be understood by human beings at that time. Instead, he used symbolism which still depicts how the creatures came to being.

No one knows, but granting that humans  evolved from apes how does it contradict the bible? It is still possible in biblical perspective because as was stated in Genesis, God created animals first before human beings. With this scenario, wouldn't it be possible that human beings could have "evolved"from apes? Possible, isn't it? So where's the biblical contradiction of science? In fact, there is a question on the veracity of the "Theory of Evolution", in the first place it is just a theory and to date, apes are still apes. No human beings were observed to have transformed from apes.

Natural selection as espoused by Charles Darwin is also in the bible. The stories in the bible about wars and human struggle depicts the picture of "survival of the fittest." Not only the physically fit but also employing human intellect one can subdue the enemy (as in the story of David and Goliath).    

One may claim, human existence and subsistence are due to chemical reactions. Sure this is true, but there should be "someone" putting an order to effect such chemical reactions because chemical reactions by and of itself cannot occur without order or favorable conditions. That "someone" providing order is nothing but God, a higher being who has the only capability for doing so.  

Remember there is also mortality, in which case these chemical reactions have to stop. And who can stop such chemical reactions? Of course, someone who is a higher being.

In the bible, the story of Sodom and Gomorrah was also told. In that story, indiscriminate sex was prohibited. It really makes sense, isn't it? Why? Because promiscuity can lead to diseases such as STD, gonorrhea, HIV/AIDS, etc.

With these arguments, don't you think that the lessons of science and the bible are mutually reinforcing? Isn't it that scientific facts just shed light or provide deeper understanding of biblical facts? Certainly, scientific facts and biblical facts are not contradictory.

For me, there is no questions about whatever religion you subscribe to. Religion is nothing but a means to an end, who is God (however you call him). Whatever you believe in and however you express it, it all goes to God. Who can ever go to eternal damnation so long as we obey the precepts of God the way we know it to be?

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