Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Scientist and theist?

This post is my personal opinion on the theistic scientist question. It is a question that I feel very strongly about as a practising research scientist and I have been avoiding it since I started this blog.  So I decided to sit down and put my opinion out there, as important questions deserve answers.

Simply put, can you be a scientist and a theist? The answer is clearly yes. In the same way we can ask, can you be an atheist and not a sceptic? Again the answer is clearly yes.

However, the answer to the scientist and theist question is one I think should be a simple no. It just makes no sense in any way or form. As a scientist, you need to embrace scepticism and evidence. Yet there is no proof for a theism, by that I mean there is no evidence for a god of any sort. In effect, I think any scientists that holds the opinion that theism is a rational position to hold needs to be rethink their position as a scientist. The stance is illogical as it does not adhere to the principles whereby scientists should live and approach their work.

If an atheist is not a sceptic, I can understand that. However to be a sceptic and not an atheist, then I have serious misgivings that a person is really a sceptic. Science embraces scepticism, if it did not we would have creationism taught in schools after all you cannot disprove the god concept. Although, I would say the Christian god concept has well and truly been debunked

However, this is not the only reason I have a problem with the scientist and theist question. The larger problem I have is this. How can we expect religious people to ever accept science when some scientists (prominent ones at that) fold to the irrational beliefs of theism. This truly is the biggest problem that needs to be addressed. If for example Richard Dawkins was a Christian (he is not) how many people would take his views on evolution seriously? If you answer that question honestly, you can see what a massive dilemma being a scientist and a theist can create for the public. Who should they believe, the Christian who is a scientist or the Christian who is the preacher.

My only hope is that more scientists start smelling the morning coffee and stop attempting to reconcile irrational beliefs with scepticism.