Science Is ‘Scientifically Unsound’

Does our title shock you, dear reader? Perhaps your mind will be changed by a column appearing today in the Washington Times, titled Science’s godless problem. It was written by Cheryl Chumley, that newspaper’s online opinion editor. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

Cosmologist Stephen Hawking made headlines from beyond the grave this October when, seven months after his death, his presumed last book was published bearing these words: “There is no God.” And with that, the already wide gap separating science and religion, physical from spiritual, got a bit wider. What a shame. What a missed opportunity to learn and grow.

Yeah, Hawking blew it. Then she says:

But it doesn’t have to be that way. As Jay Richards, author of [Who cares?] suggested: What’s missing from much of today’s modern science is the God factor. “We need to have this argument with people,” he said in an interview. “We’re free beings made in the image of God.”

Your Curmudgeon wants to orient you properly, so you should know that Jay W. Richards is a Discoveroid senior fellow who, along with Guillermo Gonzalez (or “Gonzo” as we call him) co-authored the classic creationist book, The Privileged Planet, a “fine tuning” argument applied to Earth. Richards was a former faculty member at Biola University, a bible college, where he taught apologetics.

Okay, back to Cheryl’s column. She tells us:

Far too often, though, scientific inquiry and spirituality are being treated as mutually exclusive, as if never the two shall meet. That’s not simply an anecdotal observance. [Skipping statistics on the beliefs of scientists vs. the beliefs of the general public.] Call it a great divide. But what results is a widespread pressure in the scientific world to approach inquiry from an assumption of atheism — as well as a growing sense within the God-fearing world to regard the scientific community with rank suspicion. And once again: What a shame.

*Curmudgeon hangs his head in shame* Cheryl continues:

In Hawking’s view, atheism may be the “simplest explanation” to life’s mysteries. But is it really the most scientifically sound? [Brilliant question!] Is it even, truly, the “simplest” to support with fact and common sense? There’s a whole community of faithfuls out there who say no.

Ooooooooooooh! The faithful say “No.” Let’s read on:

A science world with a default premise of No God is a disservice, in the end, to true scientific inquiry.

Are you following this, dear reader? Scientists are doing a disservice to true scientific inquiry. And now we come to the end:

At the very least, as Richards pointed out, having the argument keeps up the search for truths. And that’s just got to be good for all sides concerned.

Perhaps, dear reader, Cheryl’s column will cause you to re-think the error of your ways. It’s not just science that’s at stake; there’s also the possibility of spending eternity in the Lake of Fire.

Copyright © 2018. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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17 responses to “Science Is ‘Scientifically Unsound’

  1. It was in the Washington Times, not the Washington Post. Given that the former is owned by the Moonies, who reject Evolution, it is hardly surprising.

  2. You’re right, Hrafn. That was a ghastly blunder. All fixed now. Thanks.

  3. Once again.
    Give an example of what, how, why it could make a scientific difference.
    BTW, I’m not denying the existence of God.

  4. “Scientists are doing a disservice to true scientific inquiry.”
    Yeah, that’s what Ol’Hambo and the IDiots from Seattle have been saying for decades.

  5. Michael Fugate

    I can’t say if there are or aren’t gods; I don’t know what they are. The “modern” version has little resemblance to the ones depicted a few thousand years ago. Who knows what people are talking about when talking about gods? I get the feeling that the “common sense” version advocated by Ms. Chumley is “a name for what I can’t explain”.

  6. “In Hawking’s view, atheism may be the “simplest explanation” to life’s mysteries”.
    I don’t know how Hawking is wording that, but it is not true.

    It is creationism which claims the simplest explanation: God did it. Science assumes that every event has a natural cause. It doesn’t allow the supernatural in its explanatory framework – that’s called methodological naturalism. It doesn’t mean that there is nothing supernatural. Hawking, Dawkins, Coyne etc. step out of their field of science if they make claims about the supernatural.

  7. Sorry hans435 but they did not step out of their feilds as when westerners use the word god they mean the mythical psycho called ye-oh-way or his idiot son jesus. science has shown them to be mythic in every way possible. And Hawking said that based on the evidence there is no gawd! And so show some evidence then we can talk about supernatural … absence of evidence IS evidence of absence!!

  8. Michael Fugate

    God did it is not an explanation. It is an assertion, but it explains nothing.

  9. Michael Fugate

    And this:
    https://www.theguardian.com/science/shortcuts/2018/nov/07/oumuamua-alien-spaceship-scientists-harvard-professors

    Aliens, Schmaliens – it’s a message from God. How to interpret it, like the Bible, is up to you.

  10. I am intrigued that Richards calls for “an argument”. Not a discussion, not a dialogue, not a free exchange of thoughts and ideas. Perhaps it is just an antipodean response, but in my limited experience arguments are very rarely constructive experiences that conclude with either party having a positive opinion of the other.

    By way of contrast, consider the approach of Dr Joshua Swamidass and his Peaceful Science website. This seems to enable a open and respectful dialogue but which pulls no punches in terms of the underlying science.

  11. May I suggest this:
    Atheism, like theism, is not an explanation.

  12. @ L.Long
    I politely disagree. Science has nothing to say about the supernatural. Once you found a natural cause of an observed phenomenon, it ceases to be supernatural.
    You can believe in God or not – science is not going to help you either way.

  13. @TomS: you may suggest that, but Herman Philipse in his God in the Age of Science disagrees. Perhaps you should consider reading it. Of course Philipse is not a scientist.

  14. In [Stephen] Hawking’s view, atheism may be the “simplest explanation” to life’s mysteries. But is it really the most scientifically sound? [Brilliant question!] Is it even, truly, the “simplest” to support with fact and common sense? There’s a whole community of faithfuls out there who say no.

    Ah, yes. Lots of true believers say no, so no it is.

  15. “The Washington Times, founded in 1982 with headquarters in Washington D.C., is a newspaper printed daily. It was founded by Sun Myung Moon.”

    — “The More You Know”!

  16. The only argument worth having here is whether scientific inquiry is aided by “spirituality” — which Chumley never bothers to define (who the hell can?) — or whether science functions just fine without “need of that hypothesis.” Otherwise, she’s just re-stating the shop-worn plea for mutual co-existence (“Oh, why can’t we all just get along!”); or “teach all sides equally”; or some other familiar blather.

    Two further points: No-one in this day and age should be blithely using the word “truths” without the accompanying quotation marks. And no-one should be uncritically quoting hack apologists like Jay Richards when he claims: “We’re free beings made in the image of God.”

    Anyone who repeats such pious certainties deserves to have their nose rubbed in the fossil record for hominin evolution, and I’d be more than happy to do it for them.

  17. @FranKB
    Herman Philipse
    God in a Age of Science

    Thank you. I will put this on my to-be-read list. Although I am not in the habit of arguing about the existence of God. I am arguing that the existence of God has nothing to do with whether evolutionary biology has any alternative to contend with. Neither atheism nor theism IMHO tells us about the fact that Homo sapiens has its closest relative among the present world of life with species of Pan and other members of the Hominids; and other undoubted facts about the variety of the world of life on Earth.

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