ANSWERS: 31
  • Whilst I d ont think you can be a scientist and believe in the Bible as literal truth, there is not fundamental clash between Scince and a view of the Bible oa s human document subject to the normal errors of such things. Scince has traced back very close to the Big Bang. No scintesit could believe in a 7-day creation. But it is perfectly possible to believe in a God as the creator of the Big Banf, who set up the univers in the way He/She/It/They wanted so that it would unwind into the universe we se. Wuch a God, outside the Universe, could then intervene as desired. Science cann onlu talk about what is in the universe, not what is outside it.
  • It is not unscientific at all to believe in a creator. In fact MOST scientists believe in God. Why don't you ask him why he does? It could very well be that his own studies led him, or even solidified his belief. More information here: (there was a link here that now goes nowhere, I will try to get back to this and provide another.) The belief in God has no connection to senility. And I for one find that to be a very prejudicial remark. You may want to ask yourself a more important question. Why do most scientists believe in God?
  • Many atheists mean "naturalistic science" when they say "science," and I suspect you do too. That is the opinion that matter in motion is all there is, that there is nothing outside of it, and that if there were anything outside of it it couldn't affect the universe. But what if it's not so? What if there IS more than just matter in motion? What if there IS more than just the physical universe, and what is outside of it CAN have an influence on it? In that case, naturalistic science is wrong. Your grandfather apparently came to this conclusion--which used to be universal among scientists, until Darwin came along. Heck, science itself--the scientific method--was invented by Roger Bacon, a monk; and the first scientific experiment in history is described in the book of Daniel, chapter 1, verses 1-16.
  • First of all, let me write that I am both a scientist and a man of faith. I know that God lives. The more I study science and see the complexity of the universe and of living organisms, the more I believe that an intelligent Creator is behind it all. In my view, science does not diminish my belief in God. It causes me to stand all the more in awe of Him and the majesty of what He created. Think what you will, but science and religion are not mutually exclusive. There is no reason why all that we see, all that is, could not have been created by a Supreme Being. It is just the closed mindedness of some people that keeps them from even contemplating the possibility. ************* "Science Geek: What kind of scientist are you?" I am a geologist.
  • Since this is in the Atheist question category I'll take a crack at it.. Whether someone is religious or atheist generally has nothing to do with intelligence. I can tell you from experience that there are plenty of stupid atheists and smart christians/jews/hindus/etc out there. Someone like you or I has found no factual basis for religion and conclude that there is no point in it, and that's our choice and it works for us. And I'll argue with anyone who tries to make a factual case for a god, because I don't think it can be done and it irritates me when people try. But religion isn't about facts, it's about faith. As has been pointed out, there are many scientists out there who are generally logical and factual in their work but their faith is entirely seperate from all that, and it sustains them in a spiritual way. Your father-in-law is lead by his heart to faith - I don't think that means that he is senile. On the contrary, I'll bet you can have some lively debates with him on the subject assuming he's not hostile to the non-religious. As for why someone would decide to rely on faith and not on facts... I suppose it's a combination of how you were raised, what your personal approach to life is, what kind of education you've had regarding theology/philosophy, and many other factors. Church is sometimes a very supportive community, and there is always comfort to be found in ritual. Bottom line is that it's his choice, and he has his reasons for it just like you do for your atheism. Try to respect him for his mind and for how he lives his life. If he's a good person, it's really irrelevant whether someone is religious or not. That is, to someone like us, anyway.
  • I like Kabuki's answer. One of my views on religion is that it is not an it, but a they. Science has been able to build one story that covers (mostly) everything that has happened or is presently happening, with proof to back up much of it and an admission that the rest is educated guesswork. Religions rely on dogma and belief, and often contradict each other in their race to announce that they are the only truth. So why, then would someone who has spent their life want to turn to dogma? I think it is entirely possible that he has spent so long looking for answers, occasionally finding them, and has decided that he can't fathom the greatest of his questions. His geology is closely related to the earth, its contents and its movements. He feels there are answers to be had somewhere, but after a lifetime of searching has got no further forward. So is it not natural, when he finds an institution that tells him that they have the answers, that he may be interested? Perhasps his church community is very welcoming, and he feels that here are people who will include him after what may have been a quite lonely life. Just the sense of being included may be what he is after, and it is not right to try and take that from him, however much you disagree with his choice, as long as the church does intend being unlawful. Mostly, though, I believe that he feels his mortality and is starting to be scared. None of us really wants our life to end, and knowing that your days are numbered can be scary. Reaching out for any hope is natural and having others with the same fears and the same desires makes him feel included. It would not matter if it were Christianity or Hinduism or Islam. If he is content with his choice, then try to understand, and be there for him when he needs you too.
  • I believe in God so I am, of course, happy to hear when someone else has come to Him. I think that your father-in-law concluded that infinite God, who created everything, including finite men, can not be eliminated from the equation when God allows men to use the materials He made for experiments to learn what He already knows.
  • it's called faith
  • Every theory proposed by atheists has required a beginning of some form. The big bang theory requires a source for the densly packed sand particles that led to the explosion (besides the fact that no other explosion in history has ever led to a creative force. Explosions, by their nature, only lead to destruction). Evolution requires something to evolve from (eventually, if you go far enough back you run out of stuff to evolve from, so something had to evolve from nothing). Even string theory requires an origin for the strings. Interestingly, string theory actually raises more questions than it solves because it creates several universes even though we can only see ours (think of other demensions), meaning the creation debate has to be answered for several universes, instead of just ours. The only atheist theory that does not require a beginning is that our universe has simply always been here. Of course this theory is illogical because everything we see has a point of origin. For example, babies and animals are born daily, and plants sprout into existence daily. On a larger scale, we have even experienced the formation of new stars. If every theory requires something to start it, a point of origin, how can an atheist say definitively that this beginning was not caused by something larger than the creation itself, something that actually exists outside of time and space, such as God? I have never seen a logical explanation for the existence of our world by an atheist that is able to stay faithful to the worldview of the absence of a God (or at least an ultimate reality existing outside of time and space that is responsible for the creation). Honestly, I don't believe there is a truly atheist opinion to explain the universe. Somebody please try to prove me wrong (I only say this because I know there isn't one. One Christian biologist has offered a $1,000,000 reward for anyone that can prove this, and after a couple decades no one has been able to claim the reward). Suffice it to say Creationism and Science are not exclusive, but interdependant. Obviously, the Creator worked within the relm of science for his creation.
  • Your husband's father simply came to the same conclusion that many great scientists have come to for themselves, that there must be a God. They have been seeing evidence of it all through their careers, so why should they deny what they have discovered? Einstein believed in God. Sir Isaac Newton and Joseph Priestley also were avid Bible readers.
  • A person who believes in a creator knows how unlikely the alternative is! A big bang, and then something as wonderful as humanity evolves. Think about it! Could you throw a bomb into a junk yard and pull out a 67 chevy? If you think about it science can't disprove God, Mybe you should pick up a bible and a scientific journal and see if they could more in common then you think!!
  • Albert Einstein believed in God. I'd say your father-in-law is in good company.
  • You can believe in God but not all of what's written in the bible. The bible was written by man.
  • Most scientists believe in God. Most Christians do not take the stories of creation in the Bible literally. Catholics believe the book of Genesis tells religious truth and not necessarily historical fact. One of the religious truths is that God created everything and declared all was good. Catholics can believe in the theories of the big bang or evolution or both or neither. On August 12, 1950 Pope Pius XII said in his encyclical Humani generis: The Teaching Authority of the Church does not forbid that, in conformity with the present state of human sciences and sacred theology, research and discussions, on the part of men experienced in both fields, take place with regard to the doctrine of evolution, in as far as it inquires into the origin of the human body as coming from pre-existent and living matter - for the Catholic faith obliges us to hold that souls are immediately created by God. Here is the complete encyclical: http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/pius_xii/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-xii_enc_12081950_humani-generis_en.html The Church supports science in the discovery of God's creation. At this time, the theories of the big bang and evolution are the most logical scientific explanations. However tomorrow someone may come up with better ideas. As long as we believe that God started the whole thing, both the Bible and modern science can live in harmony. Here is a list of a few Catholic scientists: + Fr. Roger Boscovich - the father of modern atomic theory + Nicolaus Copernicus - the Heliocentric Universe + Marie Curie - Radioactivity + Leonardo da Vinci - Artist, Inventor, Scientist + Rene Descartes - mathematician, scientist and philosopher + Enrico Fermi - Atomic Physics + Alexander Fleming - Penicillin + Galileo Galilei - the New Science + Johannes Gutenberg - printing press inventor + Fr. Athanasius Kircher - a father of Egyptology + Antoine Laurent Lavoisier - the Revolution in Chemistry + Marcello Malpighi - Microscopic Anatomy + Guglielmo Marconi - Radio Developer + Gregor Mendel - the Laws of Inheritance + Louis Pasteur - the Germ Theory of Disease + Fr. Giambattista Riccioli - first to measure the rate of acceleration of a freely falling body + Erwin Schrodinger - Wave Mechanics + Andreas Vesalius - the New Anatomy + John von Neumann - the Modern Computer With love in Christ.
  • The absence of proof is not the same as proof of absence. I hold 5 university science degrees, Ph.D. Math, Bachelors Chemistry & Physics, Masters Astronomy & Cosmology, and I am a computer programmer & systems analyst ... a very logical person ... When trying to pick a Ph.D. thesis subject, my math professor suggested I try to prove the existence of God using math ... he then wrote the now famous "Fundamental Laws of Chaos Dynamics" , in which my equations clearly prove that there is no such thing as chaos, only increasingly complex order ... while this does not actually prove God exists, it does rule out a random accidental creation.
  • Yes, How could you turn your back on the fact that God exists, even after your husband's father figured it out?
  • To answer your first question, many do. I haven't got a clue whether your father-in-law is senile and I haven't got a clue what fact you are alleging he has turned his back on. I do know that trying to make somebody else look silly just because they have a different point of view to yours is arrogant and shows an appalling lack of manners.
  • All them laws of physics - who created them? How come electrons orbit protons? Why don't they just collide and turn the whole earth into a tiny neutron star? There's plenty of them about. Surely it should've happened a couple of times by now? Apparently tiny things orbit other things and huge things orbit other things (planets, stars) but nothing my size! Everytime I throw something it just crashes with something else. I never see anything start orbiting. Yes I know, it's something to do with the gravitational constant and masses and stuff but still, don't you think it's a bit too convenient?
  • Could be that the geologist found facts that proved gods exist, after all god does say the earth is his witness, there are no facts to suport revolution, not one,but pleny to support creation, even the astronauts admit earths being here was no accident dont let man dictate what you believe, do the research and make your own dission, (1) for what purpose were you born? (2) what is your destiny ?
  • A REAL CHURCH OF GOD, WILL NOT ASK FOR MONEY, WILL NOT FORCE THEIR DOCTRINE DOWN YOUR THROAT AND WILL NOT MAKE YOU FEEL QUILTY IF YOU DONT SHOW UP, THIS IS THE TEST OF A TRUE CHURCH ,THIS IS THE CHURCH I BELONG TO.
  • there are 2 ways this could happen, 1 he could be compartmentalizing his work with his religion. or he could just be following wherever the evidence leads him, which being a scientist that's his job.
  • I think you will find that "FEAR" is the key. Fear of dying, fear of hell, fear of the unknown etc etc. Ever heard of the god shaped hole, well sometimes trying to fill that hole can be a comfort to people nearing the end of their lives. Self delusion through religion isn't as hard as you may think. If it brings him comfort then best to leave him be.
  • I can certainly see clashes between some other sciences and religion (like evolutionary biology or paleontology) but I'm having a tough time imagining geology to be particularly troublesome to a Christian. If he once did scorn religion and has recently changed his mind, could it be because he's starting to worry about what happens after the final curtain call? He's 75 years old. They say there are no atheists in foxholes, but they rarely mention the curious lack of them in nursing homes.
  • "God always takes the simplest way." Albert Einstein "God does not play dice." Albert Einstein "I want to know all Gods thoughts; all the rest are just details." Albert Einstein "My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble mind." Albert Einstein "Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind." Albert Einstein
  • He has finally found out was fact is. Newton, Copernicus, Sir Francis Bacon, Johannes Kepler, Galileo Galilei, Rene Descartes, Robert Boyle, Michael Faraday, Gregor Mendel, Kelvin and Louis Pasteur all believed in God. The non-belief in God is relatively new, attributed mainly to faith in the theory of Evolution. All modern scientists are standing on the shoulders of men who believed in God.
  • Why is there a notion that science and faith are complete opposites of each other. Science and faith can go hand in hand. He is not turning his back on science. I'm a scientist who believes in God.
  • It's called hedging your bet. The closer you get to dying you change course just in case.
  • All I see is you trying real hard to put your decision onto your husband. He was right when he agreed with you and now that he doesn't we see that you were using him as an excuse for your laziness
  • There's a saying in the military...."There are no atheists in a foxhole." When the end is near, people tend to look to the Divine.
  • Albert Einstein said "God doesn't play dice with the universe. To me he was saying some being created the universe and therefore there with everything there was a cause. The LORD was that cause. The Bible, ie Holy Scriptures states as fact thee is a G-d. The OT of the Holy Scriptures and the Christian version of the OT both definitely state G-d is truth. Jerimiah 10:10 Lastly even if you believe in evolution and I do, even witht the Big Bang there was a cause. That cause is the Supreme Being.
    • bostjan64
      You're missing the context of that quote entirely. Einstein was irreligious: https://arxiv.org/pdf/1301.1656.pdf Einstein also once said: "I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it." (source: http://www.stephenjaygould.org/ctrl/quotes_einstein.html )
    • Creamcrackered
      Einstein actually believed the question of God was the most difficult to answer, which could not be answered with a simple yes or no. If you look at his most famous quotes on the topic, you will see this.
    • bostjan64
      Einstein didn't say most of his famous quotes. I do believe that your characterization is accurate though, from a certain perspective.
  • Most famous philosophers and scientists believed in God, for they looked at the world and saw math, sacred geometry, and law, which all require order, not randomness and lack of meaning.
    • bostjan64
      "Most famous philosophers" - maybe they largely believed in supernatural beings, at least up to the 20th century, but to characterize the majority of famous philosophers as "religious" would be outright false. The ancient philosophers like Aristotle, Plato, and Socrates, made up their own religious views that often challenged the status quo at the time. The same could be said for Kant, John Locke, and Karl Marx, who really pushed enlightenment and irreligious thought, and then there's Nietzsche, who was famously nihilistic toward the idea of a God. "and scientists" - I think you are incorrect here. If you google "most famous scientists," you get a list. If you google "scientists who were atheist" you get almost identically the same list. Einstein was agnostic, but Marie and Pierre Curie were atheist. Stephen Hawking was atheist. Watson and Crick were atheist. Richard Feynman, John Nash, Ernst Mach, J Robert Oppenheimer, Roger Penrose, Charles Richter, Peter Higgs, Paul Erdos, Sigmund Freud, Erwin Schrodinger, Carl Sagan, John Bell, Niels Bohr, etc. etc. all atheist. The exceptions would be Newton, Galileo, and Charles Darwin. Not even close to a majority, and as far as characterizing them as "religious," Darwin would probably be the only one who would really qualify, ironically. Who do you consider a famous scientist who believed in God?
    • Creamcrackered
      I know the views of Aristotle, Plato and Socrates, they would have been based on similar beliefs of the mystery schools and they weren't atheist. Karl Marx said he didn't believe in Marxism, plus Karl Marx wrote the communist manifesto, and so in order to bring in communism you have to get rid of individuality, or any idea that separates including religion, and look how many lives communism has claimed?. Nietzsche would of again been a follower of the mystery schools as he wrote so much about the god Dionysus, towards the end of his life, when he was losing his marbles he believed he was the god himself. Pierre Curie believed in spiritualism which in fact if you look at many of the most influential figures in history, they too believed this way, as did Alfred Russell Wallace -theory of evolution, Descartes who developed the scientific method, many of them spoke of having conversations with spirits. Srinivasa Ramanujan credits his mathematical findings to the Goddess of Namagiri. Carl Sagan was not an atheist in fact he said "An atheist would have to know a lot more than I know." Erwin Schrodinger again like Einstein spoke about the hand of God being at work in the universe, he wasn't a yes or no man. Francis Collins, Gerhard Etrl, William D Phillips, Oliver Lodge, none of whom are atheist. Isaac Newton was an occultist, Charles Richet spiritualist, Louis Pasteur who said "A little of science will take you away from God, a lot will bring you back to him." Gregor Mendel – Father of Genetics, St. Giuseppe Moscati – Pioneer in Treating Diabetes with Insulin, Louis de Broglie – Nobel Prize winner in Quantum Mechanics, Fr. Georges Lemaître – Father of the Big Bang Theory, Jerome Lejeune, Galileo Galilei – Father of Modern Astronomy, Dmitri Mendeleev who invented the periodic table, all believed in God. Even Charles Darwin who's father was Eramus Darwin was a 33 degree freemason, passed the theory of evolution to his son Charles https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnum_opus_%28alchemy%29 Aldous Huxley, relation of Thomas Huxley (Darwins Bulldog), was involved in the Esalen Institute, in fact he helped fund it, this was an institute to bring Buddhism and Christianity together, in a from of Gnosticism, and many famous influential people visited this place. Other "influential figures," John Dee, Francis Bacon, Edward Aleister Crowley all occultists not atheist.
    • bostjan64
      There's a lot to unpack in what you stated, but I'm afraid people might not take you seriously if you claim that Nietzsche was a theist. Also, going down the Carl Sagan road, I think it can clear up the religious views of most of the other famous scientists you mentioned. Sagan famously wrote: "Some people think God is an outsized, light-skinned male with a long white beard, sitting on a throne somewhere up there in the sky, busily tallying the fall of every sparrow. Others—for example Baruch Spinoza and Albert Einstein—considered God to be essentially the sum total of the physical laws which describe the universe. I do not know of any compelling evidence for anthropomorphic patriarchs controlling human destiny from some hidden celestial vantage point, but it would be madness to deny the existence of physical laws." So, Sagan did not believe in God in any way that theists define God. If Sagan is to be believed, then Einstein was in the same mindset, and having studied physics and the history of physicists, I can assure you that the same applied to nearly all modern physicists of note, as you mentioned Louis de Broglie and Erwin Schrodinger. They believed in their trade, the laws of physics, and not in any sort of sentient (nor especially a vaguely anthropomorphic) celestial being that ruled over our lives. But, I suppose that one could define "god" as anything one wants, hence the reason all of these discussions evoking the religious beliefs of these famous scientists (many of whom were known during their lives to have been combative atheists, including Carl Sagan), as though these people believed in God, by taking their quotes largely out of context. Carl's wife Ann has even been outspoken about this mischaracterization since Carl's death (source: https://skepticalinquirer.org/2003/11/ann-druyan-talks-about-science-religion-wonder-awe-and-carl-sagan/ ).
    • Creamcrackered
      There is a great deal of what Nietzsche wrote, that is Nihilistic and it's what I believe to be the truest and most honest form of atheism, which is nihilistic, but you have to also consider the mans life, in the context of his belief, and other lesser known books that he wrote, including the texts on Dionysus, which was a focus in the mystery schools. I didn't dislike Sagan, but he was wishy washy, he had ideas about life on other planets, and multiverses, which again slips into the non evidential belief, he couldn't accept the nihilistic viewpoint of an atheist, which is based purely on physical evidence, determinism, and the material, he wanted to somehow romanticise it, when there was no ghost in the machine to do that. What you've said about Einstein saying that it was the sum total of physical laws that govern the universe, but what you are not saying is that they saw the universe as a mind, the mind of God, not something that was abstract from them, and this wasn't a new belief it's very old, and related to Kabbalah. These men did not display the same Nihilistic belief Nietzsche initially displayed, and I didn't just read about them, because the amount of people who are atheists that I have spoken who haven't even read Darwins Origin of the Species by Natural Selection or the Preservation of the Favoured Races in the Struggle For Life, is unbelievable, but I also looked into their backgrounds, to see what groups they were joined to, and who funded them etc, which was quite telling. Most Royal Society Members, which was originally called the Lunar Society, were freemasons or Rosicrucian's. And then of course many of those where joined to the X-club. I was an atheist for quite a number years. But then I thought only fair to really examine my own belief, and where it had come from, including the influential authors I had read, and their background, because if I was just to swallow ideas without any real examination, then I'm a hypocrite for accusing the theist of the same thing. But along the way, the most common school of thought throughout is man has been governed or led by entities outside of this universe. And again, it is echoed in the New Age religion, The Lucis Trust which was started by Alice Bailey and her 33rd degree freemason husband, and she was influenced by Madam Blavatsky, and you can follow this influential thought right back to Francis Bacon, and to Plato.
    • bostjan64
      Atheists don't believe in God. Nihilists don't believe in anything, even nihilism. There is a vast swath of philosophical territory in between. Equating atheism to nihilism is no more valid than equating monotheism to pantheism.
    • Creamcrackered
      To say that atheists merely don't believe in God is a cop out, it's saying it is merely a negation of belief, that's a lie, as an atheist most hold to believing in science, physical evidence to say otherwise is dishonest. Atheism is nihilist, how is it not? Firstly, an atheist believes that he is purely determined by chemicals and neurons, there is no free will, no ghost in the machine, the reason they think the way they do is because that is the way they are pre-determined. Secondly, they believe the universe began for no reason and will end for no reason, hence there is no objective meaning to life or existence, no matter what you do here, all adds up to zero, Hence, regardless of "feeling" like life has meaning, it clearly cannot.

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