During the debate, Atkins asserted, “Taken together the fact that science is omnipotent and the fact that I can understand why people like you (William Lane Craig/Christians) desperately want to believe in God; that is an argument against it (the existence of God.)
To which Dr. Craig answered, “But two fallacious arguments put together don’t make a sound argument.”
ATKINS: Do you deny that science can account for everything?
CRAIG: Yes, I do deny that science can account for everything.
ATKINS: Then what can’t science account for?
CRAIG: Well, had you brought that up in the debate, I had a number of examples that I was going to give. I think there are a good number of things that can’t be scientifically proven but that we’re all rational to accept, let me list five:
- Logical and mathematical truths cannot be proven by science. Science presupposes logic and math so that to try to prove them by science would be arguing in a circle.
- Metaphysical truths like “there are other minds other than my own” or “the external world is real” or “the past was not created five minutes ago with an appearance of age” are rational beliefs that cannot be scientifically proven.
- Ethical beliefs about statements of value are not accessible by the scientific method. You can’t show by science whether the Nazi scientists in the camps did anything evil as opposed to the scientists in western democracies.
- Aesthetic judgments, number four, cannot be accessed by the scientific method because, the beautiful, like the good, cannot be scientifically proven.
- And finally, most remarkably, would be science itself. Science cannot be justified by the scientific method. Science is permeated with unproveable assumptions. For example, in the special theory of relativity, the whole theory hinges on the assumption that the speed of light is constant in a one way direction between any two points A and B but that strictly cannot be proven. We simply have to assume that in order to uphold to the theory.
Craig finishes by driving the point home. “None of these beliefs can be scientifically proven and yet they are accepted by all of us…”