By Moosa Qureshi
We all seem to be in the mood for some debunking here; that’s good, because I want do some debunking now. Here’s the target of my debunk: the completely ludicrous idea of applying scientific criteria to God.
For hundreds of years, great scientists have confined themselves to doing what they do best: study science. What is science? Here’s a dictionary definition: “systematic knowledge of the physical or material world gained through observation and experimentation.”
Most of the great scientists of antiquity were philosophically more intelligent than the New Atheist. They possessed greater scientific genius than any modern Nobel Laureate, yet they never tried to prove or disprove God through science, they never even tried to apply science to God. Many of them believed in God, for instance Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein. However, their reasons for believing were perceptual and philosophical. They perceived the beauty of the universe and they philosophised that such perfection was by design. This wasn’t scientific, this was simply their perception and their philosophy.
Recently, however, the New Atheist has tried to apply science to discredit the idea of God. Scientists of mediocre stature who possess far lesser intellects than Newton and Einstein, have tried to debunk the idea of God. Dawkins is a prime example. He’s an evolutionary biologist, so he focuses on how evolution could happen without God (let’s forget cosmology and everything which happened during billions of years before life on earth). But he faces philosophical problems: even if he proves that evolution could happen without God, then this does not prove that it did happen without God, and, furthermore, his knowledge-base is completely irrelevant to everything that happened before human life. His argument against God, then, does not depend on scientific facts, it depends on his perception and his philosophy.
A prime example of perception and philosophy is the New Atheist’s pseudo-scientific argument against God: “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence”. What complete balderdash. To pretend this is a scientific argument. “Extraordinary” is not a scientific terminology. It has zilch to do with science. There is no scientific laboratory test to prove or disprove or measure or evaluate “extraordinariness”. The word “extraordinary” is a perceptual terminology. Extraordinary for one person is completely ordinary for another, depending on their perception. The theist could very justifiably say: “The claim that this perfect universe happened by chance is completely extraordinary. Give me extraordinary proof that God didn’t do it.” And of course, atheists provide zilch proof that God did not do it.
A serious problem arises when scientific amateurs blindly follow their cult leader Dawkins, and completely fail to understand that science measures physical properties, it has nothing to do with existence. Existence is not a scientific concept. The study of existence is known as “Ontology”, a branch of philosophy since the time of Plato, which has nothing to do with science. It is for this reason that philosophers are not at all impressed with Dawkin’s attempts to apply science to the question of God’s existence. In fact, Dawkins knows about as much about existence as my milkman. (I don’t actually have a milkman, I just like the sound of that).