God vs. Science

Sunday, September 30, 2007

It’s been a while, but I’ve just been busy, that’s all. Here’s a little something for everyone who likes brain food.

(From http://sweetsong.wordpress.com/)

A science professor begins his school year with a lecture to the students, “Let me explain the problem science has with religion.” The atheist professor of philosophy pauses before his class and then asks one of his new students to stand.

“You’re a Christian, aren’t you, son?”

“Yes sir,” the student says.

“So you believe in God?”


“Is God good?”

“Sure! God’s good.”

“Is God all-powerful? Can God do anything?”


“Are you good or evil?”

“The Bible says I’m evil.”

The professor grins knowingly. “Aha! The Bible!” He considers for a moment. “Here’s one for you. Let’s say there’s a sick person over here and you can cure him. You can do it. Would you help him? Would you try?”

“Yes sir, I would.”

“So you’re good…!”

“I wouldn’t say that.”

“But why not say that? You’d help a sick and maimed person if you could. Most of us would if we could. But God doesn’t.”

The student does not answer, so the professor continues. “He doesn’t, does he? My brother was a Christian who died of cancer, even though he prayed to Jesus to heal him. How is this Jesus good? Hmmm? Can you answer that one?”

The student remains silent.

“No, you can’t, can you?” the professor says. He takes a sip of water from a glass on his desk to give the student time to relax.

“Let’s start again, young fella. Is God good?”

“Er…yes,” the student says.

“Is Satan good?”

The student doesn’t hesitate on this one. “No.”

“Then where does Satan come from?”

The student falters. “From God”

“That’s right. God made Satan, didn’t he? Tell me, son. Is there evil in this world?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Evil’s everywhere, isn’t it? And God did make everything, correct?”


“So who created evil?” The professor continued, “If God created everything, then God created evil, since evil exists, and according to the principle that our works define who we are, then God is evil.”

Again, the student has no answer. “Is there sickness? Immorality? Hatred? Ugliness? All these terrible things, do they exist in this world?”

The student squirms on his feet. “Yes.”

“So who created them?”

The student does not answer again, so the professor repeats his question. “Who created them?” There is still no answer. Suddenly the lecturer breaks away to pace in front of the classroom. The class is mesmerized. “Tell me,” he continues onto another student. “Do you believe in Jesus Christ, son?”

The student’s voice betrays him and cracks. “Yes, professor, I do.”

The old man stops pacing. “Science says you have five senses you use to identify and observe the world around you. Have you ever seen Jesus?”

“No sir. I’ve never seen Him.”

“Then tell us if you’ve ever heard your Jesus?”

“No, sir, I have not.”

“Have you ever felt your Jesus, tasted your Jesus or smelt your Jesus? Have you ever had any sensory perception of Jesus Christ, or God for that matter?”

“No, sir, I’m afraid I haven’t.”

“Yet you still believe in him?”


“According to the rules of empirical, testable, demonstrable protocol, science says your God doesn’t exist. What do you say to that, son?”

“Nothing,” the student replies. “I only have my faith.”

“Yes, faith,” the professor repeats. “And that is the problem science has with God. There is no evidence, only faith.”

The student stands quietly for a moment, before asking a question of His own. “Professor, is there such thing as heat?”

“Yes,” the professor replies. “There’s heat.”

“And is there such a thing as cold?”

“Yes, son, there’s cold too.”

“No sir, there isn’t.”

The professor turns to face the student, obviously interested. The room suddenly becomes very quiet. The student begins to explain. “You can have lots of heat, even more heat, super-heat, mega-heat, unlimited heat, white heat, a little heat or no heat, but we don’t have anything called ‘cold’. We can hit up to 458 degrees below zero, which is no heat, but we can’t go any further after that. There is no such thing as cold; otherwise we would be able to go colder than the lowest -458 degrees.”

“Every body or object is susceptible to study when it has or transmits energy, and heat is what makes a body or matter have or transmit energy. Absolute zero (-458 F) is the total absence of heat. You see, sir, cold is only a word we use to describe the absence of heat. We cannot measure cold. Heat we can measure in thermal units because heat is energy. Cold is not the opposite of heat, sir, just the absence of it.”

Silence across the room. A pen drops somewhere in the classroom, sounding like a hammer.

“What about darkness, professor. Is there such a thing as darkness?”

“Yes,” the professor replies without hesitation. “What is night if it isn’t darkness?”

“You’re wrong again, sir. Darkness is not something; it is the absence of something. You can have low light, normal light, bright light, flashing light, but if you have no light constantly you have nothing and it’s called darkness, isn’t it? That’s the meaning we use to define the word.”

“In reality, darkness isn’t. If it were, you would be able to make darkness darker, wouldn’t you?”

The professor begins to smile at the student in front of him. This will be a good semester. “So what point are you making, young man?”

“Yes, professor. My point is, your philosophical premise is flawed to start with, and so your conclusion must also be flawed.”

The professor’s face cannot hide his surprise this time. “Flawed? Can you explain how?”

“You are working on the premise of duality,” the student explains. “You argue that there is life and then there’s death; a good God and a bad God. You are viewing the concept of God as something finite, something we can measure. Sir, science can’t even explain a thought.”

“It uses electricity and magnetism, but has never seen, much less fully understood either one. To view death as the opposite of life is to be ignorant of the fact that death cannot exist as a substantive thing. Death is not the opposite of life, just the absence of it.”

“Now tell me, professor. Do you teach your students that they evolved from a monkey?”

“If you are referring to the natural evolutionary process, young man, yes, of course I do.”

“Have you ever observed evolution with your own eyes, sir?”

The professor begins to shake his head, still smiling, as he realizes where the argument is going. A very good semester, indeed.

“Since no one has ever observed the process of evolution at work and cannot even prove that this process is an on-going endeavor, are you not teaching your opinion, sir? Are you now not a scientist, but a preacher?”

The class is in uproar. The student remains silent until the commotion has subsided.

“To continue the point you were making earlier to the other student, let me give you an example of what I mean.”

The student looks around the room. “Is there anyone in the class who has ever seen the professor’s brain?” The class breaks out into laughter.

“Is there anyone here who has ever heard the professor’s brain, felt the professor’s brain, touched or smelt the professor’s brain? No one appears to have done so. So, according to the established rules of empirical, stable, demonstrable protocol, science says that you have no brain, with all due respect, sir.”

“So if science says you have no brain, how can we trust your lectures, sir?”

Now the room is silent. The professor just stares at the student, his face unreadable.

Finally, after what seems an eternity, the old man answers. “I guess you’ll have to take them on faith.”

“Now, you accept that there is faith, and, in fact, faith exists with life,” the student continues. “Now, sir, is there such a thing as evil?”

Now uncertain, the professor responds, “Of course, there is. We see it everyday. It is in the daily example of man’s inhumanity to man. It is in the multitude of crime and violence everywhere in the world. These manifestations are nothing else but evil.”

To this the student replied, “Evil does not exist sir, or at least it does not exist unto itself. Evil is simply the absence of God. It is just like darkness and cold, a word that man has created to describe the absence of God. God did not create evil. Evil is the result of what happens when man does not have God’s love present in his heart. It’s like the cold that comes when there is no heat or the darkness that comes when there is no light.”

The professor sat down.

That science professor isn’t a very good science professor, IMO. We need opposing concepts in order to qualify or quantify anything — we cannot possibly make a measurement without two standards. “Cold” is not the opposite of heat; it’s the opposite of “hot.” It’s a very specific and subjective standard of heat, just like “hot.” And with these two standards, one can place a temperature sensation on a scale between or beyond “cold” or “hot.” Likewise, “dark” and “bright” are opposing concepts that we use to measure light intensity.

The student, on the other hand, is also making a big assumption. By saying that “evil does not exist unto itself,” he is defining “evil” as the absence of something… the absence of “God.” Hypothetically, we could reverse the definition, saying that “God does not exist unto Himself,” and that “God” is the absence of “evil.” Now we see the mutual dependence of “evil” and “God,” and that they are two measurements on a scale that we use as standards to define something.

Forgive me if I dismiss this as a cute read on a Sunday afternoon =D


  1. XWingz87 says:

    We haven’t really _seen_ evolution as it continues, because we _shouldn’t_ see a process that takes millions of years in a mere few thousand years that humans have lived on the planet. Indeed, the theory of evolution would be completely flawed if we saw the process happen with our own eyes. But the fact that monkeys and humans have over 99% similarity in our DNA (I might be wrong on this statistic, but the statistic is a very high number nonetheless), I would argue, should be a very convincing evidence that we did evolve from monkeys.

    As for the professor’s brain, while it is true that no one has seen it, we have strong reasons to believe that his brain exists. For instance, I can safely call my Dell XPS M1210 a computer, even though I have never opened it up and seen the transistors and the capacitors in it, it is made like any other computer, and it functions like a computer in every way; it is too similar to other computers to be called anything else. The professor is conceived the same way as every other human, and exhibits much similarity to other human beings. We have cut open enough human beings to know that there exists a brain in every human being, so it should be safe to assume that the professor has a brain.

  2. inportb says:

    See, the thing about the professor’s having a brain or not… one should not be limited to using the five senses directly. Because one knows what a brain is supposed to do, one can test for its effects. But it doesn’t have to be an indirect measurement at all — one can open up the professor’s head and ascertain that he does, in fact, have a brain. Or does not.

    How would one test for the existence of that student’s God?

    Now, we do accept the process of evolution on faith. Nobody’s seen it happen, pretty much. But that’s why it remains a theory. Nobody’s calling it a law of nature.

  3. antimatter15 says:

    About evolution, we haven’t seen any real “advanced” creatures evolve, like say from monkey -> homosapien. But we have seen the evolution of viruses, and bacteria, mutations that cause it to become drug-resistant.

    And any type of darastic evolution, builds on top of the evolution of the smallest particles. Such as if 50% of all the cells in your body suddenly alter, then you have effectively become a new species.

  4. inportb says:

    Hm… speciation seems to be defined by reproductive viability, however. As long as two groups of organisms have no barriers to reproduction and produce many viable generations of offspring, then they’d be considered a species. Strains of bacteria that are drug-resistant belong to the same species as strains that are drug-susceptible, but that is still evidence of evolution.

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