Atoms vs God

I was fortunate enough to take part in a conversation with two other biochemists once. We all came from different religious backgrounds (one Hindu, one Jew and one Christian). We posed the question "Can science explain everything? [about the universe]". This was quite an interesting question, especially as we didn't already know the others' viewpoints (we were only working together briefly). The discussion didn't last long because we all had exactly the same viewpoint, which was that "Science can explain a lot… but only up to a certain point. Beyond that there is something more."

In my scientific career, I've noticed a few scientists having the poor logic of "Everything can be explained by atoms, therefore God doesn't exist". Even if you could explain all of the physical laws by atoms and quantum mechanics (which in itself is a matter up for debate!), this is not necessarily proof that there is no God. It's simply a discovery of the physical universe God set up. Make no mistake, scientific inquiry is simply an observation of nature. If you mentally 'zoom out' from this idea and simply contemplate the physical surroundings of the outdoors (which anyone can do), you are also observing nature, just on a larger scale. Observing nature doesn't tell you whether or not God exists.

Richard Dawkins popularized the idea of 'the blind watchmaker', that things just started on their own. Although I personally don't agree with this idea, it's a valid theory. But there is nothing to favor that theory over the idea of God existing. Merely observing the universe won't tell us anything metaphysical – it's a bit like listening to a piece of music and expecting to have it tell us what color clothes the composer wore when he was composing it. You might say green, I might say blue. The problem here is not who's right – the problem exists if we expect we can make this deduction from mere observation of the music.

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