The Artificial Sterility of Naturalistic Atheism
From time to time, you will hear of an atheistic scientist performing some experiments, or seeking to perform some experiments on the supernatural, only to find that – according to his studies – there really is none. Also, an argument which is often used against Christianity is that (with a few minor exceptions), there have been no real, hard evidence proving that miracles exist. Although miracles are [i]reported[/i] on a semi-regular basis, these reports are consistently from faith communities, where no skeptic or scientist was present to validate the experience.
Apparently, miracles just don’t happen under the microscope. This is supposed to be a major blow against Christianity – proof that theism is a meaningless vestige of a more primitive time.
The problem with this view is that it is so comfortable in its worldview that it is unable to critically assess it. What [i]is[/i] science? Whether one is a theist or an atheist, science is about studying the world [i]as it normally is.[/i] Christians never – so far as I know – based their conclusions about iron based on the one time in recorded history when God made an axe-head float. They assumed this was an exception, a deviation. This sort of thing is ruled out of the equation – they are looking for the normal, the standard, the « laws » of how things usually function. Many of the best scientists from the Renaissance until now were Christians who – I would assume – believed in miracles outside of the lab. When they entered their laboratory, they hoped – or, perhaps prayed – that God would [i]not[/i] show up, would not perform miracles, would not « mess » with the laws that He has set into place.
Science is an artificially sterile place, where deviations from the norm are assumed to be « anomalies » to be rejected. Consider, for example, what a scientist would say at a research hospital where a man dead three days rose from the dead? « After extensive study, we can only say this is an amazing anomaly of nature. We are still doing research into how this man’s body re-resuscitated itself after it was medically dead for three days… » An anomaly? Yes. A miracle? No. The artificial sterility of the scientific process does not allow miracles.
For this reason, trying to find God through scientific investigation is a little like trying to find bacteria on a surgeon’s tools. You may indeed find none – but jumping to the conclusion that [i]bacteria do not exist[/i] based upon not finding them here would be folly. Anybody can see that human intervention [i]prevented[/i] bacteria from entering this place.
The same is true of God within science. Under the microsope, God is an unwelcome intruder. When He does come, His work is assumed to be an « anomaly, » and the scientist re-adjusts his gear and tries over again. Scientists cannot find God precisely because they are looking for Him on [i]their[/i] terms. They demand that if God show up in precisely the location which He (by definition) cannot show up.
They are looking for bacteria on a sterile petri dish: Atheism proves itself precisely by faulty methods of investigation.
It is artificially sterile.