|How do I respond to a friend who says science is a reason for losing faith?|
I have a friend that has lost his faith, and he feels that going to college is one reason he lost his faith. He thinks being educated makes him see clearer and that going to college makes many lose faith. He also referred to the fact that 90% of the members of the National Academy of Science do not believe in God. How do I respond to this? I also want to add that I graduated cum laude in a science/medical major and still have my faith.
I say that your own life is perhaps the best “argument” against the point your friend is making. I am a PhD in chemical physics and a professor of chemistry and physics and I find belief in God perfectly compatable with scientific evidence. I do not know how anyone who understands the complexity, beauty and design in nature and not see a designer. The existence of natural laws does absolutely nothing to disprove the existence of the supernatural. I do not know where your friend got his data about the National Academy of Science. However, I know that there was a survey of professional scientists in the early 2000’s. They asked whether the scientists believed in a God who answers prayers. The survey showed that 42% believed in theism in 1914 and virtually the indentical percentage in 2004. This is a belief in theism, which does not include other forms of believe in some sort of supernatural such as pantheism and deism. Including those world views would bring the percentage of scientists who believe in some sort of supernatural to over 50%. From my own personal experience, I have found that nearly all physicists I talk to believe in theism or deism. Over half of chemists I have known are believers. It is five believers to two non-believers in my chemistry department. A bit less than half of biologists I have known are believers. The problem is that the atheists are more vocal and agressive, which creates a false impression.
Speaking for myself, the more I study and the more I know about science, the more convinced I become that there is design and a designer. I hope your friend will make his decision about reality based on the evidence, not on what what others believe. If you want to look at some of the evidence from science for the existence of God, you can do a word search for anthropic at my web site. You will find a number of articles and Q & As about the anthropic principle, which is the only explanation for the facts we know about the universe–that it was created with propoerties so that we could be here.