god, science, evolution


Does science disprove god? so the question gets asked.

Most who are scientifically minded quickly say no. They quickly add science is not in the business of god and accommodationists argue science and religion occupy different magestria.

But is this really the case or is this about modesty?

Take for example the case of evolution. If evolution is fact, Genesis 1 is disproved and this is a case of science disproving god. I may add here, for the benefit of my critique, that the theist could argue that it is their god that put the mechanism for evolution in place. This could be the case but they will have to choose whether such a god is beneficent or omnipotent.

In the same scenario, does an old universe disprove god? I think it does. And more still, whereas both the theist and atheist are ignorant of whether the universe is self existing or created, the atheist can say that so far as we know, all manifestations in nature (that is phenomena) need no supernatural push and to this extent science has shown no divine agency is necessary.

But one may ask about the nature of things in themselves and whether there is an Unknowable something beyond it all. Here, the theist may argue that at the beyond phenomena, in the dark areas where human knowledge can’t penetrate, there, their god resides. The atheist will argue from the indestructibility of matter and persistence of force, lies the source of all things. Since this is beyond all possible experience, conceding this to the theist gives them no advantage over the atheist.

In conclusion, in the area of experience, which is, in my view, the purview of science, it has been demonstrated there is no god, whatever they are conceived to be, but beyond the level of experience, everyone, atheist and theist alike are free to speculate all they want. Each must however remember that to think something could be, does not translate to it being.

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About makagutu

As Onyango Makagutu I am Kenyan, as far as I am a man, I am a citizen of the world

59 thoughts on “god, science, evolution

  1. john zande says:

    We could clarify this to state science disproves each particular god. Where have claims made by the religions, and these can be isolated and shown to be false. Science disproves all recorded gods, but not necessarily the deistic notion. That exists in its own category and cannot be disproved as that god-notion does not interfere in this world, so we shouldn’t expect to see any influence. Plus, no claims are made by the deist beyond the suggestion that that being is responsible (somehow) for existence, and we’re therefore either working towards it, or, as Scott proposes, reassembling it. Deism and Humanism can coexist quite happily, I think. Theism and Humanism are antagonistic by nature.

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  2. Hariod Brawn says:

    As John says OM “Theism and Humanism are antagonistic by nature.” More than that perhaps, each is the antithesis of the other, each adherent to either left preaching to the converted alone. Then again, we human animals do so love to prove ourselves correct, and seem to know little of futility.

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  3. well, a fellow called “Christ centered teaching” will tell me how Einstein supports his creationist deepities over on Mike’s blog, what comes to my mind. It’s sure to be true……

    Train wreck to follow 🙂

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  4. tildeb says:

    Science isn’t in the business of proof. It’s in the business of modeling reality accurately and, in this sense, is incompatible with religious belief that denies reality any say in religious claims made about it.

    The fact that modeling reality accurately demonstrates “no supernatural push and to this extent science has shown no divine agency is necessary” is a damning report on religious beliefs holds sway only over those who think reality should have some dominant say for claims made about it. The religious, by necessity, are immune from reality’s arbitration of their claims and in this sense cannot be convinced by anything reality has to say in these matters. So science cannot by religious fiat disprove god because it never had any say in the matter to begin with.

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  5. judyt54 says:

    In thinking all this over, and having read way too many ‘he said/she said” arguments, I find that in theism there is a huge amount of “me-ism” involved , to the point where it becomes a personal god, from God’s lips to my ear sorta thing, and for someone to deny the existence of that personal god might just be stepping too close to something you simply do not want to let go of–and it can be very difficult to let go of what must be a heady experience on a daily, hourly basis, “God is talking to ME…
    There is also the wavery note of fear, because they have leaned on this personal God for so many years. If they faced the fact of a badly built foundation erected on shifting sands, there would be nothing left to lean on. Your own personal recognizance, while also heady, can be a strange and wondrous place to be in, but it takes time to get used to, and to learn what works and what doesnt work. We are all we have. It’s not always pleasant to know that.

    Scientists, heavy thinkers, deep thinkers, face this kind of reality daily and are well aware of how nebulous a craft they practice. About the best anyone can do is say, truthfully, something happened, but we arent sure how or when or why. Just that it did. And for now, that’s enough.

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    • makagutu says:

      Hi judy
      I agree with what you say here.
      I don’t know is a statement some of us never learnt.
      The theist cannot talk about their god without the me-ism as you put it. Unless they want to be considered polytheists or deists

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  6. Barry says:

    As one who is religious, but neither a theist nor a deist, I have to disagree with your argument that if evolution is fact, then Genesis 1 is disproved and this is a case of science disproving god. It’s a case of science proving Genesis 1 is not factual. It does not disprove god.

    The same can be said for an old universe. Again it’s a case of science disproving a young universe. It does not prove a deity does not exist. It only proves the stories attributed to a deity creating a universe are not factual.

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    • As one who is religious, but neither a theist nor a deist”

      Barry, are you a polytheist?

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    • makagutu says:

      Barry hope you have been well. Haven’t seen you many days.
      Are you a spiritualist? Those who believe in some power and not a personal god?

      There is no other place deity is described except in religious books and if the claims made by such books are not factual, the deity they describe doesn’t exist. You will have to describe another deity.

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      • Barry says:

        Migraines can cause what I term “brain fog”, that kind of limits any sort of intellectual discussion, and the best I can do is click the “like” button if a blog makes sense to me.

        Deities are not only mentioned in books. They have been part of oral tradition in most, if not all cultures. This doesn’t prove they exist, but I suspect that such beliefs have evolved with mankind.

        Some people, myself included, have a sense or awareness of something beyond that which can be explained rationally. I have no idea if it really exists, is part of cultural/social conditioning, or part of the evolutionary process that aided human survival, and personally I don’t think its source is important. But whatever it is, I’m not able to deny it.

        My own thought is that religion is an attempt to rationalise this sense by giving it natural or supernatural powers. Perhaps there is a form of religion that is “correct”, but as we have no way of verifying that, I respect all religions provided it does not try to impose its beliefs on others. This goes for Christianity and atheism as well.

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        • tildeb says:

          Some people, myself included, have a sense or awareness of something beyond that which can be explained rationally. I have no idea if it really exists, is part of cultural/social conditioning, or part of the evolutionary process that aided human survival, and personally I don’t think its source is important. But whatever it is, I’m not able to deny it.

          And if this source of this sense, this awareness, can be demonstrated to originate solely within your own cerebral cortex, then does that matter to you at all?

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          • tildeb says:

            See, that’s a problem… if and only if you want to find out if this sense correctly identifies an real exterior source or an imaginary interior creation.

            I would think that source matters if one wishes to evaluate the possibility that it’s real or pure fiction rather than take on board an assumption that has no means to establish any truth value to it independent of inserting some level of confidence where none is warranted by merit.

            I would think that the source doesn’t matter only if one wishes to maintain that most uncomfortable position of trying to straddle the faith fence… to be able to disagree with most if not all religious beliefs on one butt cheek while keeping the other free to say, Hey, I ain’t no kin to no athiesm.

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          • Barry says:

            I would think that source matters if one wishes to evaluate the possibility that it’s real or pure fiction rather than take on board an assumption that has no means to establish any truth value to it independent of inserting some level of confidence where none is warranted by merit.
            I’m struggling to understand what you mean by this sentence. What do you mean by “truth value“?

            Why would I ever want to say “Hey, I ain’t no kin to no atheism“? Am I supposed to believe something is wrong with it? Atheism is a perfectly rational point of view,

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        • makagutu says:

          Very well Barry. In the OP, I said the gods that are out beyond possible experience are not affected by my argument.

          Tolerance for each other is important and I would be the last person to oppose it.

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        • tildeb says:

          I couldn’t help but think of you, Barry, when I read this.

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          • makagutu says:

            The creators of those drawings are great at what they do

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          • tildeb says:

            Yeah, it usually takes me about 1500 words to express the same idea.

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          • Barry says:

            I like it! I’d go as far as to agree with the first frame, but after that I
            part company. Firstly I don’t “know” there is “something else”. It’s a sense, or feeling, not a fact. It’s quite possible it’s all in the mind. So what? If it stirs my conscience to consider and question my values, then it’s doing its job.

            I certainly don’t consider myself above anyone else. In fact quite the opposite. I sometimes wish I was certain of what I believe as many religious and atheistic folk are.

            Being the butt of peoples jokes for more than fifty years, kind of takes the edge off any sense of superiority. In fact it tends to have the opposite effect – thinking one is somehow inferior. It wasn’t until I was diagnosed as autistic when I was sixty that I realised I wasn’t less than other people, just different. Now I’m making up for lost time 🙂

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  7. One fact you fail to mention here, Mak is this: God exists in a space-less, timeless, boundless, immaterial realm. He watches over us from there. And though I, nor anyone else, can prove any of this gibberish, it is undeniably true since atheist dogs can not prove it is not. I know more than you, and I’m so much smarter than you, because I know this is true. The words “I don’t know” never come from my mouth because I do know, and since you can’t prove I don’t, you must except that I do, give me tax exempt status on my church, give 10% of your wages to my church if you join it, and kiss my ass with with bowed deference because, if you don’t, I’ll cry and say you’re disrespecting me and my undeniably true religion. $Amen$ 😀

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  8. A Guy Without Boxers says:

    A very compelling thought, my Nairobi brother. One that will further the debate even further. Belief and knowledge are two entirely separate qualities that will probably never reconcile during our lifetimes. A wonderful mid-week debate. Much love and many naked hugs! 🙂

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  9. “If there is a God, his plan is very similar to someone not having a plan.” ― Eddie Izzard

    – sonmi nodding upon the Cloud

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  10. […] This post by Makagutu over at “Random Thoughts” discusses the relationship between science and belief in deities. Often there are many statements about this on the Internet, ranging from “science disproves god” to “science disproves atheism.” Navigating through the truth of these statements requires careful examination, and often there’s no quick way to tell whether or not one can agree with a statement. […]

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