Sunday, 10 August 2014

God of the Gaps

I'm 25 years old and not much of a scientist but recently I've been coming across more and more people connecting God and conciousness together. The points they make are usually along the lines of "if scientists find out how conciousness works, then it proves God doesn't exist" - because, they say, conciousness is the last God of the Gaps.

I was wondering if either of you, being scientists, agree that conciousness is the last God of the Gaps. I don't think so, simply because if God created all things natural, I think it would be wasteful to not use the natural things he'd created and I don't think it disrupts the idea of a brain connecting with spirit. Do you believe there is a strong link between the human brain and God?

Another thing I've come across is a split view where one side say lots of scientists believe in a personal, loving God and then others sayings practically no scientists believe in God. Being closer to the field of science, how do you feel the idea of any deity sits with the majority of scientists today?

The idea that “if scientists find out how X works it proves God doesn’t exist” is so obviously false that you only have to state it to see that it is ridiculous. Just as ridiculous as saying “if scientists don’t know how X works it proves God does exist”.

To find out how X works, scientifically, means to show that it is the consequence of certain scientific laws which we have good reason to believe are true, or at least good approximations, in our (region of the) universe. Theists say God, as the Creator of the Universe, made whatever fundamental laws these laws derive from. Materialists say the fundamental laws just happen to be the case. Science obviously, can never settle this question, which is philosophical.

Most scientists at present tend to be materialists, though by no means all. Surveys suggest that academics in Western universities are less religious than the general population, with scientists being rather more religious than “arts” academics. This probably has something to do with temperament and maybe that academics tend to be more male and more left-brain dominant. It says nothing about the truth of a belief whether or not it is fashionable.

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