Monday, July 25, 2011

Does Science Disprove God?

Here is the current draft version of the slides for my talk in The God Experiment series in Melbourne tomorrow.
Comments welcome.


  1. Hi Ross.
    I had a look at your slides. I had a couple of quick things to say.

    Firstly, you seem to advocate 'non-overlapping of magisteria' when it comes to the relationship between religion/faith and science. Are you aware of Alister McGrath's (and others) proposal of partial-overlapping magisteria? In his response to the God Delusion, McGrath suggests that there may be, using the words of Francis Collins "a richly satisfying harmony between the scientific and spiritual worldviews" (p19). Positing POMA, while not without its problems, seems to have some merit in light of the obvious finetuning of the universe - something you have noted. It also seems biblically coherent when Romans 1 is considered. Do you have any thoughts?

    Also, in one of your slides you quote Psalm 19. I would point out that verse 3, "There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard", is interpreted in different ways. John Goldingay proposes a similar interpretation to yours, but other commentators suggest a different take. Derek Kidner, for example, says verse 3 proposes a paradox - that there is a natural revelation before us that speaks, but in a different way .... a voice without sound. I can't tell enough from the slides to work out the exact nuance of how you see it.

    Basically, I am curious that you would say that science can't address the issue of whether there is a God in any way. You move away from creation as a source of true knowledge about the one who made it, and stick only to the written and incarnate Word. That's fine, but can I ask, is there a Barthian influence?

    Anyway, comments were welcome, so there they are!

    Regardless, it's nice work. The Gospel presentation at the end is great. I hope the talk goes well.

  2. Hi Matt,

    Thanks for this very useful feedback.
    I do need to fine tune the slides. I do not think that `non-overlapping of magisteria' is helpful or accurate. Broadly, I would tend to agree with Collins and McGrath. My view is probably that "Science does not really give any clear answers about the existence of God. But, it does make us ask the questions. When we look for answers outside of science (through Scripture) we find answers that help us make sense of the created order."
    The second talk will amplify these points.

    Thanks too for the comments on Psalm 19. I think I am following Kidner. Clearly, as many earlier blog posts show, my perspective is heavily influenced by Karl Barth, for better or for worse.