There are some popular conceptions about religious beliefs that are dead wrong.Â Here are a few of them:
That no one can be a scientist and also have religious faith.Â Wrong.Â At least one poll has shown that many scientists do, indeed, have religious faith;
That no one can be effective in research and have religious faith.Â Wrong.Â While it is necessary that a researcher treat results of empirical experiment as real, and not deny them, interpretation is not to be confused with certitude.Â If it were certitude, there would be no need of interpretation.
That the existence of God has been disproved by science.Â Wrong.Â It has not.Â Neither has the existence of God been proved by science.Â At least not yet.Â It has neither been ruled in nor ruled out by empirical means.Â Some atheists go on the presumption that God does not exist until proven to exist.Â Those who argue this often cite the "Occam's razor," reasoning.Â Go back to ANY highly-developed phenomenon in science -- take concepts of what heat is, for example -- and apply Occam's Razor (which demands that the simplest notion of what experimentation ultimately will reveal about it, and that is not the way new knowledge turned out to be).Â The more we humans learn about a phenomenon the MORE complex it turns out to be -- not the simpler.
That there is a comparable percentage of atheists in every field of scientific research.Â Wrong.Â A far smaller percentage of atheists are to be found among physicitsts, say, than biologists.Â The deeper one delves into physics, the less certainty and the less consistency is discovered.Â Nowadays the notion of parallel universes (other worlds with other "laws," is fairly well accepted. Different laws apply at different scales of reference (quantum scale "reality" is quite different from the scale most accessible to the human sensory experience.
That certain popular atheists in the sciences have reasoned away the existence of God for any but the most naive of thinkers.Â Wrong.Â Empirically God cannot be ruled in nor ruled out.Â There always have been things scientists have not yet ruled in nor ruled out.Â That does not make assumptions about those things one way or the other way more reasonable.Â If one starts with the presumption God is not, then everything confirms it.Â If one begins with the presumption God is, then from there everything confirms it.Â Why?Â Because BY DEFINITION logic leads inevitably back to the postulates with which it begins.Â Pure objectivity is letting things not yet proved nor disproved remain open.Â This does not rule out faith.Â Faith is what we choose to believe until and unless it becomes settled:Â ruled in or out, one way or the other.
To close one's mind to one possibility is not scientific.Â To rely upon what one can
establish as a certainty in science, however, would result in tossing out all textbooks.Â This is because the vast bulk of all we humans perceive ourselves to know for a certainty is based on circumstantial evidence,subjective interpretation of that circumstantial evidence, statistical probabilities, assumptions about things not yet discovered (vis a vis dark matter, what gravity is, what heat is, what light is).
Each of us, in every day of our lives, must act upon unfalsified assumptions.Â We take our best guesses and act upon them, because if we did not we would never have enough "information certain" to function.
Some of the best argumentations one can use to support the validity and practicality of having a faith stance the God exists can be found among the very same thinkers who have chosen the stance (between two unknowns) that God does not exist.
Many philosophers have taken the one of the open stances, and many, the other.
That is any person's choice.Â For those who have chosen one stance to belittle those who have taken the other, is not scientifically objective, is not the most intelligent choice, is not the most rational choice.Â Why should there be a heated discussion over who is right and who is wrong in which choice he has chosen.
I have an atheist friend who said to me, years ago, "I'll start believing in God the day I am presented with solid, irrefutable evidence He exists."
I responded that I will stop believing in God the day I am presented with solid, irrefutable evidence He does not exist."Â He and I agreed that day, years ago, to accept each the other's right to choose what we will assume.Â And the day the question is settled, we shall both be on the same page.