I follow several physicists on twitter. I love keeping up with new discoveries and information about the universe that I couldn’t hope to fully understand. And therein lies the problem. At some point, I realized that I take so much “proof” about science on faith that I don’t know where the line is.
Case in point: one physicist ranted in his blog that a popular television commentator twists, and sometimes just ignores, scientific fact to “prove” the existence of God. The example he (the commentator) was using is that “…we don’t know how the Moon was made, or how it got there.” (I’ve paraphrased.) So the man states that the only explanation possible is that God did it. The physicist went nuts. His response: “Because we know how the Moon got there (a Mars-sized planet struck the Earth a glancing blow about 100 million years after it formed, splashing debris into orbit which coalesced to form the Moon).”
< Sound of screeching brakes >
Uhh, Mr. Physicist? Because I am of puny brain, I have to take on faith that what you just said is true. Where is the proof? Inferences can be made based on evidence, but I see no proof. It can’t even be held up to true scientific method – you know, where you set up controlled experiments under similar circumstances and get the same results. So what makes belief in science any different from belief in a Higher Power?
Now, that doesn’t mean that I am a Creationist. Far (FAR) from it. But I get very irritated when a scientist scoffs at belief in God – because belief in science follows the same mental channels for most of us. We’re making sense of the Universe in ways that fit best for us. And, either way, we’re trusting Someone Who Knows More Than We Do (physicist or religious sage) to tell us the Truth. Belief in scinece, or just belief?