Before I get into this blog I want to set the stage for you. I am studying cell biology, and of course I come with a bias. But not just any bias, the bias to defend my one love, science. That is the basis for this article. Above being an atheist I represent science first and foremost when I study and work in the lab. So let me clarify that I will not defend any lies or misrepresentations of the scientific method or process. This article is just overdue.
Time and again some theist throws out a cliché sayings like: Science is trying to disprove god, or I know scientists who don’t believe in evolution. These two statements are, alone, enough to infuriate me. Now let me explain why.
In the process of science we have levels of study, discovery, and understanding. It takes observation to form a hypothesis. Once an observation is made then a question can be created. This is the formation of the hypothesis. Basically an idea of how something works, should work, or a prediction of an outcome. It is then tested.
It is not tested once, but several times. It may be independently tested by various groups, persons, and multiple studies. Confirmation of a hypothesis is based upon repeatable and reproducible results. If the results can not be reproduced, then the hypothesis is thrown out. If the hypothesis does not hold true from the onset of testing, it is thrown out. Science is quick to discard and dismiss what does not work.
The reasoning behind this is simple, we can’t depend on results that won’t work. Science is like a ladder, we build on what we understood before. A hypothesis that does not work benefits no one. It is only working and functioning hypothesis which will be useful in the next step of observation and testing. If they prior hypothesis does not work and you try to build on it, then science would shut down. It would be wasted time and energy. This is why peer review is critical, and if review shows errors or misconduct a paper will not be published and a scientist may lose his position. We are in the business of being right and holding high standards.
So how could science try and disprove god? What hypothesis could be formed from the god idea? There are no physical observations to be made, nothing that can be falsified, or proven. If I tried to hypothesize that god(Yahweh) exists and Zeus does not, what measures would I take to prove this and test it? Would looking at history be enough? Could I say that if there are books and statues that this constitutes existence? How do I use a credible method to prove, or disprove that there is a divine being? Would miracles suffice? What if someone knew of a miracle by Zeus, would that counter it?
The fact is, none of that would suit for testing. There is nothing I can observe which would prove to be direct evidence for or against god, Zeus, and any other deity. No scientist would be able to trust my results because there is nothing falsifiable. If I claimed there was once a man named Jeremiah who flew like superman over volcano’s and ate lava, it would be the same. Without physical proof, observational material, and a control nothing I can attempt to test would be anywhere close to the scientific standard for creating a hypothesis, and testing it.
This is why science is not in the business of proving/disproving mythical, or non evidence based ideas. We simply have no method of testing for them. This in no manner makes science weak, we have plenty of physical and substantial things to prove. Our work simply shows the outcome of rigorous testing, and experimentation. Science is not invested in the god question, nor should we be. It is not our objective to chase after ideas, and unfounded beliefs. It would be a waste of time and resources, and would dismiss the credibility of scientists who chose to embark on such an absurd quest.
Science is simply content to leave the god question to those willing to ask it, and attempt to answer it, outside of the lab. While there are numerous scientists who are atheists, we don’t go into the lab wearing our atheism above our practical standards. No scientist with good credentials would attempt to elicit the answer, or engage in the quest of such a benign task. In the laboratory all things are equal, and so are the scientific standards. No one cares if there is a god in the laboratory. We care if the science works, and how well it works. We care that there is honesty and responsibility in the laboratory. beyond that the question is moot.
As for scientists who don’t believe in evolution, or feel that Darwin was mistaken. Well, we call those creations scientists. They are not a part of mainstream science for a reason. simply, we have proof for evolution and those who seek to educate people to the errors of Darwin, seek to distract and deny the facts which are housed in every museum (Non creation) on earth. They deny facts which are in use in surgical, medical, scientific, evolutionary, paleontological, and geological sciences. Which is to deny most of history, and science. Not many creation scientists actually work in the scientific community. That is because it is hard to deny the basic tenets of science and work in the field. Also there must be a lot of avoidance for actual evidence which exists.
In every credited college, evolution is taught. It is one of the basic principles that is taught to every student who takes a biology course, and paleontology course. It is not only a theory but a fact as well. That is because there is enough evidence to substantiate it happening. How it fully happened, well that is the part that is still a theory. That is because we do not and will not have all the fossil evidence. What we do have is enough to prove that it took place, what we are missing is the exact chain in the line.
People who chose to believe in some for of creation are making a choice, but to deny something for which there is overwhelming evidence is based in ignorance. There is absolutely no merit to be had by denying it. It is one of the worst forms of apologetics. It allows people to wallow in ignorance and perpetuated the dogmatic notion that we were created in just six days. Which dismisses most of geological history, dinosaur evolution, the fossil record. There should be no respect given to creation scientists who seek to perpetuate ignorance by misleading the masses.
When it comes to science, some people are in it for the money, others for the love. The difference is clear and unavoidable. Those who seek it just for the money look to the easy sciences, and to use them for their benefit. Those of us in love with science will defend the truth of it, and the honor of it until death takes us. We will not blemish the name or standards with corruption, nor let others do the same. Those who poke at science do so with ignorance of the high and rigorous academic standards that are in place. Science is not a god, nor is it above every other field. There are errors, we make mistakes. We learn from them and grow. We throw out the bad and work harder for the good.
So we are not busy attempting to prove/disprove god, any god. We are not busy trying to dismiss him with evolution. We are simply stating the facts, and that is something creationists have to learn to live with. We will not be lied about, misused for some petty argument, or accused of impropriety of any kind which we are clearly against. Science is a fact seeking mission, and we go where the facts lead us, wherever that may be.