Is There Scientific Evidence for God? An Atheist, Three Nobel Prize Winners, an Agnostic, and a Philosopher Weigh In
There are certainly some things that science cannot answer—things that we can't account for solely by using our reason, logic, and powers of observation. Atheists like Richard Dawkins believe that Christians are simply inserting "God" into these gaps in our knowledge, using His existence as a "catch all" explanation for the things science simply hasn't discovered or figured out yet. Are they right, or is there any positive evidence that might lead us to conclude God exists? Here are some insights from a diverse group of respected thinkers:
With a Ph.D. from Cambridge, twelve honorary degrees, too many awards to count, and a movie made about his life, Stephen Hawking is one of the most famous and respected scientists alive today. Specializing in theoretical physics and cosmology, Hawking is well known for his prediction of a singular beginning to the universe. (1) A hundred years ago, most scientists believed that the universe was eternal. Now the general consensus of science is that the universe had a beginning—that all of space, time, and matter exploded into existence out of nothing (the "Big Bang"). Hawking wrote:
The Nobel Prize Winners
What is this "evidence" Hawking is referring to? One piece was discovered by Robert Wilson and Arno Penzias, American physicists and astronomers. They won the 1978 Nobel Prize for helping to discover the cosmic background radiation, which confirmed the Big Bang. Wilson recognized the implications for the existence of God:
In an interview with the New York Times Penzias agreed:
In 1989, NASA launched a satellite that measured the cosmic background radiation discovered by Wilson and Penzias, providing further proof of the Big Bang. Project leader George Smoot won the Nobel Prize for these findings in 2006. He said:
Robert Jastrow was an American astronomer, physicist, and the founding director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies—and he was an agnostic. Even so, he could not deny the connection between Big Bang cosmology and the implication of a Creator. He said:
Recently named among the 50 most influential living philosophers, William Lane Craig is an American analytic philosopher and proponent of what is referred to as the "cosmological argument" for God's existence. When analyzing the evidence from cosmology and the Big Bang, Craig recognized that the beginning of the universe had to have a cause. (The law of causality states that whatever begins to exist, must have a cause.) For time, space, and matter to instantaneously come into existence out of nothing, the cause would have to be outside of time, space, and matter. He noted:
You may be thinking, "But this doesn't prove that the God of the Bible exists!" You're right—"proof" is a strong word. But I might suggest that there is ample evidence to lead a rational person to accept that He does in fact exist. Far from a "God of the gaps" explanation, many scientists believe that scientific evidence points toward God. Here's what it comes down to: either a spaceless, timeless, immaterial and immensely powerful "cause" (which happens to sound a lot like the God of the Bible) brought the universe into existence out of nothing.....or nothing did.
I'll leave it to you to decide. Which option is more reasonable?
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(1) Realizing the implications for the existence of God, Hawking has since married quantum physics to General Relativity to come up with the "No Boundary Proposal," to eliminate the singularity. See William Lane Craig's response here.
(2) Quoted in Fred Heeran, Show Me God, (Daystar, 2000) Chapter 6
(3) Quoted in Ibid.