Is There Something Wrong With the Scientific Method?

Some atheists assert that they do not believe anything that cannot be observed, experienced, and proven by the scientific method.  Since you can not observe God or verify His existence by means of the scientific method, God does not exist.

They may have some difficulty with this article in The New Yorker, The Truth Wears Off. The results of well respected studies have what might be a fatal flaw. It seems that proven truths may have a limited shelf life.

“But now all sorts of well-established, multiply confirmed findings have started to look increasingly uncertain. It’s as if our facts were losing their truth: claims that have been enshrined in textbooks are suddenly unprovable. This phenomenon doesn’t yet have an official name, but it’s occurring across a wide range of fields, from psychology to ecology.”

The author of the article, Jonah Lehrer, calls this the decline effect.  He concludes with this observation:

The decline effect is troubling because it reminds us how difficult it is to prove anything. We like to pretend that our experiments define the truth for us. But that’s often not the case. Just because an idea is true doesn’t mean it can be proved. And just because an idea can be proved doesn’t mean it’s true. When the experiments are done, we still have to choose what to believe. Read more here.

Yup. And just because I can’t prove that God exists, doesn’t mean that He doesn’t.  How much you want to bet that Jonah Lehrer is going to pillared for this article by some in the scientific community?

About Susan Kehoe

I am the wife of a Catholic deacon living in Des Moines Iowa. My husband Larry was ordained in 2006. We have two children and five grandchildren.. Our daughter and her family live in Ireland, and our son and his family live in Franklin Massachusetts.
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