Science cannot demonstrate the existence of God because, according to the modern meaning of the term, it has to do only with things that are perceptible through the senses, as they can only be tested by the instruments of investigation and verification used by experimental sciences. Pretending to demonstrate in a laboratory the existence of God would be like reducing Him to the rank of the beings of our world, which would be, as a start, a methodological mistake.
We have all asked ourselves this question at some point in our lives. And maybe not all of us have a clear answer to it. Probably we sometimes have doubts. If you are one of those people who asks himself/herself questions and wants to continue investigating about the existence of God, here's a video with some answers (and many other questions).
10 questions about the existence of God
No, it absolutely can’t. For the same reason that it cannot demonstrate His existence: because the scientific method cannot answer the question regarding the existence of a Being that, if He exists, surpasses completely the limits of science. Science must acknowledge its limits, as it cannot assert nor deny God’s existence.
There are those who think that science, as it evolves, slowly destroys the need to believe in God and, according to them, there will be a time when we will be able to explain all; then, the non-existence of God will be evident. This is a scientific conception and, let’s say, rather simplistic, because the more the science progresses in its knowledge of things, the stronger is the need for a master mind that created and arranged them.
Yes, of course. God endowed man with intelligence so he can ask himself about things, searching for them and finding them. Thus, though the experimental sciences cannot prove God’s existence, scientists can discover in the world the reasons to assert the existence of a Being that surpasses man. Many scientists have discovered this and in their investigations they have found many arguments to state that God’s existence is totally reasonable.
The famous French zoologist Pierre-Paul Grassé expressed it like this: “If I have returned to faith it is due to science, through a scientific process (…). Chance cannot be an explanation, it is absolutely impossible. Also physicists shared this opinion: for lack of time and for lack of enough possible combinations. An addition of chances does not create a law; an addition of chances does not create the adaptation (…)”.
There can never be disagreement between faith and science. All has its origin in God and God cannot deny Himself, as the truth cannot contradict the truth.
As indicated by John Paul II in his encyclical letter Fides et ratio: “There is thus no reason for competition of any kind between reason and faith: each contains the other, and each has its own scope for action”. “In God there lies the origin of all things, in him is found the fullness of the mystery, and in this his glory consists; to men and women there falls the task of exploring truth with their reason, and in this their nobility consists”.
Faith protects reason from all temptation of mistrust in its own capacities, stimulates it to open itself to wider horizons, keeps it alive in the search for the foundations, and when reason is applied to the supernatural field of the relation between God and the man, it enriches its work.
Benedictus XVI proposes to widen the concept of reason and its use so as to leave the situation of relativism in relation with the importance of the knowledge of reason. To achieve this, it is necessary that reason and faith meet again in a new way, overcoming the limitation that reason imposes in itself of self-reduction to what can verify with experimentation, thus opening its horizon in all its extent.
The first page of the Bible tells us that “in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” (Gn 1, 1), and then offers us the famous story of the Creation in six days. Obviously, these first chapters of the Genesis cannot be interpreted literally, because what happened to Einstein could happen to us. He lost his faith when he was nine years old, when he started to read popular science books, because there was a contradiction between them and the first chapter of the Genesis.
But, still, we cannot think that it is a myth or a pure allegorical fiction. The first chapters of the Genesis want to communicate a truth and they do it through a story. The truth they want to transmit is an interpretation of the human history and they resort to the origin. The issue of our origin is so important for all human life that it was God’s desire to reveal whatever was necessary for us to know in this regard. We can draw three important conclusions from Genesis’ Chapter 1: all that exists is God’s work; only He is the creator; and all that exists is good and depends on Him.
This is what the Bible teaches us about the origin of the Universe. The Bible does not teach us Physics or Astronomy; the Bible teaches us what we cannot discover by ourselves, and we need to know the meaning and the direction of our life and actions. As Galileo said, the Bible teaches us “not how the heavens go, but how to go to Heaven”.
We, Christians, do not simply believe in a series of theoretical proposals about God; we believe in Someone who is real, alive, personal, with whom we have a relationship and to whom we commit ourselves. Faith is a personal encounter of man with God in Christ.
Faith cannot be something merely intellectual, because God is not an idea, nor a theory, but Someone that addresses man’s heart and waits for an answer. And this answer must emerge, also, from the heart. But faith cannot be reduced to a merely affectionate degree, as it implies the gift of all our being to Him who created us and loves us. In a word, it is an action of absolute trust.
Faith means to say “yes” to God and to His project. Faith is to say “yes” to God’s invitation, entrusting ourselves to Him, committing ourselves to Him, letting Him love us and to love Him back. To trust God means to be ready to let Him transform and change our lives, so He can guide us. Faith means an absolute availability and an unswerving trust in God, because He never deceives us, because He is faithful (1 Cor 1, 9).
The personal acceptance and allegiance to Jesus Christ is possible only thanks to a gift. No man can have faith with his only natural forces, no matter how hard he tries. It is not enough to “want to believe”: we must receive the gift from above. That’s why there are people who want to believe but cannot. Faith is a gift of God, a supernatural virtue infused by him (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 153).
Thus, there cannot be faith where there has not been a particular call from God, an attraction that has echoed in the soul of the believer, pushing him to accept the divine word. That’s why the prophet Jeremiah says: “You duped me, O LORD, and I let myself be duped; you were too strong for me, and you triumphed” (Jer 20, 7).
God’s action is not imposed on man; it requires a free and conscious acceptance. Faith is indissolubly grace and free answer from man.
Faith, then, is a free action, a free commitment, the voluntary and free adherence of our whole being to the living God, evident in our hearts. God calls man to serve Him in soul and truth, so they are engaged by their conscience; but it is an invitation, not a coercion. Christ invited to faith and conversion, but never forced anyone. “For He bore witness to the truth, but He refused to impose the truth by force on those who spoke against it. (…) His rule… extends its dominion by the love whereby Christ, lifted up on the cross, draws all men to Himself” (II Vatican Council, Declaration Dignitatis humanae, 11).
Those who receive the call of God can accept it or reject it; they can open their heart to Him or close it. God is respectful of our liberty to the point that He takes the risk of being rejected and despised by us. Those who want to live with their back facing God can do it, though it will be good that they keep in mind that this decision has eternal consequences, because rejecting God cannot remain as something irrelevant; as a matter of fact, it is always cause of guilt (Jn 3, 18; 8, 24; Lk 8, 10; Mt 13, 11; 2Ts 1, 8-2; 2,10-12; Rm 10, 16; 1 Tim 1, 19). It is important to highlight that nobody loses his faith without his own guilt, because God does not forget anybody if He is not the first one to be abandoned.
The acceptance and welcoming of faith is not an irrational action, an irresponsible and blind abandonment. Certainly, the objective content of faith is something that is not evident or easy to demonstrate; if it were the object of a rational demonstration it wouldn’t be a free action. But this does not mean that an act of faith disregards reason completely. “The believer must have known enough by himself to understand what is all about” (Josef Pieper, Las virtudes fundamentales, Rialp, Madrid 1997, p. 306).
If the Word of God were totally and completely incomprehensible for us we would not believe it, or we would stop believing in it. How can we believe in Christ and His message if we can’t understand absolutely anything? It is impossible to have faith in something that is nonsense. That’s why Saint Augustin says that without previous knowledge there is no faith, and that nobody can believe in God if he does not understand something. And Saint Thomas stated that “man could not assent by faith to any proposal if he somehow does not understand it “.