Views of Scientists on the existence of God

Introduction :

The subject of existence of Almighty God is of fundamental importance. The central point of a religion is Almighty God. The cause of crime and unrest in the world can be traced to the absence of faith in God in the hearts of the people. Thus this subject is closely related with the establishment of peace in the world. Indeed, as the Holy Qura'n says:

''God is the source of peace and Bestower of Security''. (59:24)

The Holy Qura'n presents the universe as an evidence for the existence of God. It says:

''In the creation of the heavens and the earth, and in the alternation of the night and the day, there are indeed Signs for men of understanding.'' (3:191)

'' And among His Signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the diversity of your tongues and colours. In that surely are Signs for those who posses knowledge.(''30:23)

''Are you in doubt concerning Allah, Maker of the heavens and the earth.'' (14:11)

These verses of the Holy Qura'n clearly indicate that the study of the creation of the heavens and the earth leads to Almighty God. Seeking God's help. I now present some aspects of science and views of scientists on these topics.

Religion and Science

It is specially worth mentioning that after the advent of our Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, Muslims developed science to a great extent and they were the people who believed in Almighty God and who acquired deeper knowledge of God through science. For example, the renowned Arab astronomer, Abdullah Muhammad ibn Jabir Al-Batteni, who spent forty years of his life from 878 to 918 C.E. in observing and studying heavenly bodies, says:

''The science of the stars.....tends to recognize God's oneness and highest Divine wisdom''. (History of Astronomy by A. Pannekoek, Interscience New York,1961)

Later in the seventeenth century of the Christian era when scientists put forward the view that the earth is not the centre of the universe, the European clergy opposed this idea and it was generally felt that there is a Sichotomy between religion and science. But now in the present age we find that many scientists do not regard religion and science as contradictory. Many of them do believe in God.

A book entitled Evidence was published from U.S.A. in 1959. It consists of essay by forty famous scientists in different fields of science, who declare their affirmative views of God. The full title of this book in The Evidence of God in an Expanding Universe. This book was also printed in India 1968.(Distributed by Pockets Distributing Co. 11 Oak lane, Forth Bombay 1)

Mr. John Clover Monsma, the Editor of the book, writes in the Introduction as follows:

''The basic postulate of this book, its point of departure, is that science can establish, by observed facts of Nature and intellectual argumentation, that a superhuman Power exists. It cannot identify the Power to describe it, except in very general terms. For identification and more detailed description special revelation (the Bible) in needed. But by proceeding from the basic postulate I feel our scientists have struck effectively at the heart of atheism.''

Max Planck, the world famous scientist of the twentieth century, who did fundamental work in understanding the atom, and who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1920 regarded both religion an science to be mutual helpers in leading us to Almighty God. He says:

“Religion and Natural Science are fighting a joint battle in an incessant, never-relaxing crusade against skepticism, against dogmatism and against superstition, and the rallying cry in these crusades has always been, and always will be: On to God.” (Evidence p.247)

Dr. George Earl Davis, Physicist, University of Minnesota, U.S.A writes:

''That atheism exists in scientific circle is undeniable. But the popular belief that atheism is more prevalent among scientists than among the unscientific has never been proved and is, infect, contrary to the expressions gained at first hand by many of the scientists themselves.'' (Evidence p.70)

Dr. H.T.Stetson who was the Director of Perkins Observatory, Ohio, U.S.A. wrote:

''It is not without significance that many of the eminent men of science, have been devout followers of religion. Among such may be mentioned Galileo, Newton, Faraday, Kelvin and Pasteur. (Men and the Stars_ by H.T.Stetson p.214 Mc Graw Hill 1930)

I have also found that many scientists believe in God. Dr. Ravada Stayanarayana, Professor of Physics and former Vice-Chancellor of Osmania University, under whom I started research, and Professor Nelson Limber, under whose supervision I worked for my PhD degree, firmly believed in God.

The Problem of the origin of the universe:

We can think of three possibilities for the origin of the universe, namely, (a) the universe existed from extent that the age of the universe has been determined. No doubt in the light of new observations the estimated age may be revised to obtain a more accurate value. But the determination of the age of the universe on the basis of observations and the laws of nature, is one of the greatest achievements of the twentieth century and is an illuminating example of the fulfillment of the prophecy of the Holy Qura'n:

And when the heaven is laid bare.(81:12)

It was not possible to determine the age of the universe in the previous centuries. As a matter of fact, until the nineteen century astronomers did not even know what a galaxy is.

According to our present knowledge, the age of our universe is about fifteen billion years. It is obvious that if an object's age can be found, it means that the object did not exist from eternity. Hence our universe did not exist from eternity.

Our inference of the age of the universe is based on observations. We have learnt that our universe is composed of innumerable galaxies, each galaxy consisting of billions of stars like our sun. In 1929, the remarkable discovery was made by Professor Edwin Hubble from a study of the spectra of galaxies that galaxies are moving away from each other with speeds proportional to their separation from each other. Hence in the remote past, the galaxies were very close to one another. According to the generally accepted view, all the matter that comprises the galaxies was conflicted to a space some 15 billion years ago. It was exceedingly hot and dense. Then a Big Bang occurred and the matter got broken up into many parts which receded from one another. From these parts the galaxies and the stars were formed. In 1965 Penzias and Wilson discovered a radio radiation corresponding to black body radiation of temperature of three degrees Kelvin which supports this view.

The American scientist, Dr. Harry L. Shipman of the University of Delaware, concludes his book on Black Holes, Quasars and the University with the following words:

“The Bing Bang Theory leaves one unanswered question. Who created the material that example exploded as Big Bang? For this astronomer has no answer. We may be able to look back to the early seconds of the evolution of the universe, but our vision stops there. This book ends by leaving the problem of creation to the philosopher and the theologian.” (Black Holes. Quasars and the University by Harry L. Shipman, Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, U.S.A. 1976, p.288)

And that to thy Lord do (all things) ultimately go. (53:43)

The Holy Qura'n also draws attention very effectively to the existence of God by referring to the creation as follows:

Do not the disbelievers see that the heavens and the earth were a closed-up (mass) and we opened them out? And We made from water every living thing. Will they not then believe?(21:31)
(For an excellent comment on this verse, see {The Bible, the Qura'n and Science} by Monsieur Morice Bucalle, Crescent Publishing Company. Aligarh, 1980, p.139)

It has been inferred from an important principle of physics, namely, the law of entropy that our universe did not exist from eternity. According to this principle, if hot and cold bodies are in contact with each other, energy would flow from the hotter bodies to the colder bodies until, at last, the temperature would be universally uniform and there would be no more useful energy; hence life itself would cease to exist. Drawing attention to the law of entropy and the Big Band origin of the universe, Dr. Edwin Luther Kassel, Professor of Biology, University of San Francisco, has made the following illuminating comment:

''If only all scientists would consider the evidence of science here described with the same honesty and lack of prejudice with which they evaluate the results of their own research; if only they would let their intellects rule their emotions; they would be compelled to acknowledge that there is a God. This is the only conclusion that will fit the facts. To study science with an open mind will bring one to the necessity of a First Cause, whom we call God.'' (Evidence p.52)

Chemistry also opposes the view that our universe existed from eternity. Dr. John Cleveland Cothram, Professor of Chemistry, writes:

''Chemistry discloses that matter is ceasing to exist, some varieties exceedingly slowly, others exceedingly swiftly. Therefore, the existence of matter is not eternal. Consequently matter must have a beginning.” (Evidence p.41)

The presence of radioactive elements in the universe also indicates that the universe in not eternal. Dr. Donald Robert Carr, Geochemist, writes:

“In a universe which had no beginning but had always existed, no radioactive elements would remain. (Evidence p.134)

In short, Astronomy, Physics, Chemistry, and Geology are all unanimous in rejecting the view that the universe had no beginning.

It may be asked what is the view of those scientists who do not believe in God, concerning the origin of the universe. In his book entitled The Fascinating Astronomy, Dr. V.N.Komorov, gives the following quotation from Academician Pyotr Fedoseyev, a leading Soviet philosopher:

'' A material philosophy does not recognize the idea of the creation of the physical world by consciousness, by a supreme being. If we agree that the universe being studied today originated 20 billion years ago, then it is important, from a philosophical point of view, to acknowledge the objective nature of this process as a cosmic stage in the self-evolution of matter. It is the task of concrete science to understand and describe this process in physical terms. It is possible to conceive of the existence of many a universes with a complex topology. It is sensible therefore, to distinguish between the notion of the natural scientist, which defines the knowledge we have amassed by now, and the philosophical notion of the material world, which includes in a concealed form all the future achievements of natural science in their study of the universe. (The Fascinating Astronomy, English Translation, Mir Publishers Moscow, 1985, p.137)

It is clear from this quotation that those who deny God, do not have any scientific proof in support of their view. They do so only on the basis of their philosophy. They do not know from where the earliest material came into existence and merely hope, on account of their philosophical outlook, that the science of the future will provide the answer. Even if the science of the future were to discover the source of the initial material, those who believe in God would then question: what is the origin of that source? The universe did not come into existence by chance

The second possibility, namely, that the universe came into existence by chance is also not valid since so much other, intelligence and wisdom underlie the universe that it cannot be said that all these are accidental.

Scientists strive to discover the laws of the nature. The very fact that laws exist shows that there is a Maker of laws. Dr. John Cleveland Corthren, professor of Chemistry' University of Minnesote, says:

'' The study of matter and energy.....consistently has shown in the past and still continues to show that the behavior of even insensible matter is not at all haphazard but on contrary 'obeys' definite natural laws.' (Evidence p.38)

He further says:
'' Can any informed and reasoning intellect possibly believe that insensible matter just chanced to originate itself and all this system, then chanced to impose this system upon itself, where after this system just chances to remain imposed? Surely, the answer is 'No' (Evidence p.41)

Dr. Frank Allen, Professor of Biophysics, University of Manitoba, Canada, has drawn attention to the same point in his essay entitled; The Origin of the World by Chance or Design? He has drawn attention to the properties of water in support of the view that God exists. He says:

''Four remarkable properties of water: its power of absorbing vast quantities of oxygen at low temperatures, its maximum density at 4 degrees c above freezing where by lakes and rivers remain in liquid, the lesser density of ice than water so that it remains on the surface, and the power of releasing great quantities of heat as it freezes, preserve life in oceans, lakes and rivers throughout the long winters.' (Evidence p.21)

Likewise another scientist, Dr. Thomas Davis Park, an expert in chemistry, says:

''Water is the only known substance which becomes lighter as it freezes. This is tremendously important to life.' (Evidence p.75)

Let us ponder and think, water is the only substance which has the exceptional property that its density decreases on freezing and by virtue of this property life in the ocean is preserved. Does not one see deep wisdom behind this?

Our universe has come to the present state after a long evolutionary development. Extremely subtle particles formed electrons and protons and these subsequently formed atoms and molecules. Amino acids were then produced and life originated. Finally intelligent man came into being.

Dr. Irving Williams Knobloch, professor of Natural Sciences, Michigan State University, U.S.A. says:

'' I believe in God.....because I do not think that the mere chance could account for the emergence of the fort electrons or protons, or for the first atoms, of for the first amino acids, or for the first protoplasm, of for the first seed, or for the first brain. I believe in God, because to me His Divine Existence is the only logical explanation for the things as they are.' (Evidence p. 89)

If we do not accept that this universe has been created by a Supreme Being Who possesses knowledge and wisdom, we will have to believe that lifeless particles are considerably more intelligent than us since through their mutual interaction and co-operation, the sun and the moon, the mountains and the oceans could be forms but we human beings even by collaborating with one an- other in this age of advanced science are yet incapable of making even a leg of an insect.

In short, this universe clearly points towards a Mighty and All-Knowing Being. The Holy Qura'n says:

''And if thou ask them: Who created the heavens and the earth? They will, surely, say: The Mighty, the All-Knowing created them. (43:10)''

Wisdom in nature

The Holy Qura'n has emphasized that there is no flaw in God's creation. Thus it says:

''He has created seven heavens in harmony. No incongruity can you see in the creation of the Gracious God. Then look again: Seest thou any flaw? Aye, look again, and yet again, thy sight will only return to thee confused and fatigued. (67:4,5)

The Holy Qura'n thus draws attention to the impeccable wisdom which nature displays. This bears eloquent testimony to the fact that the universe is not an outcome of chance but is a result of creation by a Wise Being.

When the renowned scientist Prof. Abduls Salam, who won the Nobel Prize in physics in 1979, visited India in 1981, the Illustrated Weekly of India. (In its issue of February 1-7,1981), described him as 'Nobel Laureate with profound faith in God. Referring to the verse of the Holy Qura'n just quoted, he says:

''This in effect is the faith of all physicists, the faith which fires and sustains us, the deeper we seek, the more is our wonder excited, the more is the dazzlement for gaze.' (Review of Religion vol.76 p.139 June 1981)

The Nobel Laureate professor S.Chandrashekhar, one of the topmost astrophysicists, has expressed his views on Nature as follows:

''Nature has shown over and over again that the kinds of truths which under lie nature transcend the most powerful minds..... I think that one could say that a certain modesty toward understanding nature is a precondition to the continued pursuit of science.'' (Span, February 1983)

Through science to the Almighty

Dr. Albert McCombs Winchester, who is an expert in biology, has expressed his views as follows:

''.....after many years of study and work in the fields of science, my faith in God, rather than being shaken, has become much stronger and acquired a firmer foundation than heretofore. Science brings about an insight into majesty and omnipotence of the Supreme Being which grows stronger with each discovery.'' (Evidence p.165)

When the great scientist Galileo looked through the telescope and discovered multitudes of new stars in the Milky Way, the four moons of the planet Jupiter, the phases of the planet Venus, the details of the moon, and other celestial phenomena, he wrote as follows:

'' I am quite beside myself with wonder and infinitely grateful to God that it has pleased Him to permit me to discover such great marvels.' (The Growth of physical Science by Sir James Jeans, p.173, Cambridge, 1951)

Maulana Wahiduddin Khan of Islamic Centre, has written a nice book entitled 'God Arises'. (Published by Maktaba al Risala, c-29 Nizamuddin West, New Delhi,1987) in which he has collected the evidence of science and the saying of the scientists on the existence of Almighty God. He has narrated an inspiring incident in this book, which I shall relate. Allama Inayatullah Mashriqi had visited England in the year 1909. On a Sunday when it was raining hard, he met Sir James Jeans, the famous astronomer of the Cambridge University, going to a church with a Bible clutched under his arm. Mr. Inayatullah Kan expressed his astonishment that a person of such a universal fame like him is going to pray in a church. Sir James Jeans asked Mr. Inayatullah Khan to come to his house and have tea with him in the evening. Accordingly, Mr. Inayatullah Khan went to his house in the evening. Sir James Jeans was lost in his thoughts, he asked What your question was? But without waiting for an answer, he gave an inspiring description of the creation of the celestial bodies, their motions and the astonishing order to which they adhere. His voice and his movements clearly showed that he was deeply impressed by the Power and Majesty of God. He said You know Inayatullah Khan when I behold God's marvelous feats of creation, my whole being trembles in awe at His majesty. When I go to church I bow my head and say, 'Lord, how great you are' and not only my lips, but every particle of my body joins in uttering these words. I obtain incredible peace and joy from my prayer. Compared to others, I receive a thousand times more fulfillment from my prayers. So tell me, Inayatullah Khan, now do you understand why I go to Church?

Hearing this Mr. Inayatullah Khan told Sir James Jeans that his words reminded him of a verse of the Holy Qura'n which he would like to quote if permitted. Sir James Jeans replied: Of course. Mr. Inayatullah Khan then quoted the following verse:

'' And among the mountains are streaks, white and red, of diverse hues and others raven black; And in like manner, there are men and beasts and cattle, of various colours. Only those of His servants who possess knowledge fear Allah.''(35:27,28)

Sir James Jeans was deeply impressed by these words of the Holy Qura'n he exclaimed:

''What was that? It is those who have knowledge who fear God. Wonderful! How extraordinary! It has taken me fifty years of continual study and observation to realize this fact. Who taught it to (Hazrat) Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)? Is this really in the Qura'n? If so, you can record my testimony that the Qura'n is an inspired Book. (Hazrat) Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was illiterate. He could not have learnt this immensely important fact on his own. God must have taught it to him. Incredible! How extraordinary! '' (God Arises p.215 with reference to Nuqoosh Shakhsiyat (i.e.; Impression of Personalities) ( p .1208 -1209)

In short, the words Only those of His servants who possess knowledge fear Allah present a profound truth. The study of the universe not only leads us to the conclusion that God exists but also inculcates the love of God (Qura'n 2:164-166) and the fear of God.

God Himself says that He is the Creator

The rational proof which we get for the existence of Almighty God by pondering over the universe is strongly supported by the spiritual proof provided by the fact that Almighty God has been speaking to His messengers through the ages and informing the world through them that He alone is our Creator. On one hand science points towards God; and on the other hand, God Himself announces that He exists.

In the, book 'Evidence', some scientists have also made mention of Divine revelation in their articles. For example, the American mathematician and astronomer, Dr. Merlin Grant Smith, writes:

''God could talk with man. Man could even talk with God. And the first great thing that God told man was that it was He Who had made him and the marvelous, limitless universe around him.' (Evidence p.150)

The very first revelation which the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, received also contains the message that God is our Creator. (Qura'n 96:2,3)

The spiritual experience of the righteous people with whom God speaks, provide empirical foundation to the belief that God exists. The Holy Prophet Muhammad peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, was informed again and again by Almighty God in most majestic and sublime words, teeming with profound love and deepest affection, that He created the universe and all of us. I conclude this discourse by giving a glimpse of this. The Holy Qura'n says:

''O mankind, worship your Lord Who created you and those who were before you.(2:2)''
''Allah is He Who created the heavens and the earth.''(14:33)
''Allah is He Who created the heavens and the earth and that which is between them.''(32:5)
''Allah is He Who created the seven heavens, and of the earth the like thereof.''(65:13)
''Allah is He Who raised up the heavens without any pillars that you can see.''(13:3)
''Allah has created the heavens and the earth with truth (i.e. in accordance with the requirements of wisdom). In that surely is a Sign for the believers. (29:45)
''Says Allah (alone) is the Creator of the all things, and He is the One, the Most Supreme.'' (13:17)
''Is there any creator other than Allah Who provides for you from the heaven and the earth''.(35:4)
''He is Allah, the Creator, the Maker, the Fashioner. His are the most beautiful names.''(59:25)
''Holy is Who created all things in pairs.''(36:37)
''All praise belongs to Allah Who created the heavens and the earth and made darkness and light.''(6:2)
''All praise belongs to Allah, the Maker of the heavens and the earth.''(35:2) ''Blessed is He Who has made mansions (of stars) in the heaven and placed therein a Lamp and a Moon giving light.''(25:62)
''So blessed is Allah, the Best of Creators.''(23:15)
''Surely, you’re Lord, Who is the Great Creator, the All-Knowing.''(15:87)
''Our Lord is He Who gave unto everything its (proper) form (and) then guided (it to its proper function).'' (20:51)
''And We indeed created you (and) then We gave you shape; then We said to the angels, 'Submit to Adam,'....(7:12)
''We have created you. Why, then, do you not accept (the truth)? What think ye of (the sperm- drop) that you emit? Is it you have created it or are We the Creator '' (56:58-60)
''Glorify the name of thy Lord, the Most High, Who created and perfected, Who designed and guided.''(87:2-4)
''Recite thou in the name of thy Lord Who created, Created man from a clot of blood. Recite! And thy Lord is Most Generous, Who taught by the pen, Taught man what he knew not.''(96:2-6)
''Are you in doubt concerning Allah, Maker of the heavens and the earth? (14:11)