A question was asked of the late Dr. Allan Sandage, one of the most influential astronomers of the 20th century, “Can the existence of God be proved?”
“I should say not with the same type of certainty that we ascribe to statements such as ‘the earth is in orbit about the sun at a mean distance of 93 million miles, making a complete journey in 365.25 days,’ or ‘genetic information is coded in long protein strings of DNA that, in cells of a particular individual, replicate during mitosis, and in reproduction unite with DNA from another individual to produce the hereditary similarity of progeny with their parents, etc.’ The enormous success of modern science is undeniable in producing such facts, which have a strong ring of certainty, and this success simply cannot be ignored.
“Proofs of the existence of God have always been of a different kind-a crucial point to be understood by those scientists who will only accept results that can be obtained via the scientific method. God can never be proved to them for that reason (Those who deny God at the outset by some form of circular reasoning will never find God.) Science illumines brightly, but only a part of reality.
“The classical proofs of God by Anselm and by Aquinas via natural theology do not give the same type of satisfaction as proofs of propositions arrived at by the method of science. To the modern mind they seem contrived. Nevertheless, they were sufficient for Pascal to finally approach his certainty in God’s existence by preparing his mind for God’s necessity, if the world is to make ultimate sense. After that preparation, he simply could then abandon the God of natural theology and of the philosophers, and could at last will himself to faith by leaping across the abyss, from the edge of reason on this side of the chasm. For those who have experienced this way to God, I would say that God’s existence has been proved beyond doubt for them.”
D. Norris