One often hears atheists conclude that there is no God as He cannot be seen, heard, or felt. At least by the majority anyway. However, the case of atheists arriving at this conclusion contradicts the rationale that someone would need to submit for a research proposal. If you ask any researcher or scientist about the process of seeking funds for their research, you would hear that, to begin with, they have to write a rationale, which is a proposal that includes the literature review; examine the previous research done in the field and ascertain why the current idea is essential, list the methods or techniques, and materials that will be used to conduct the research and finally, explain what benefit or impact it will have on society. Of course, the method quality depends on the funding, facilities, and resources available.
A good researcher should know and understand the importance of unbiased research that can take form in blind studies to help remove any bias. An article in the Public Library of Sciences (PLOS) Biology showed that in the life sciences research, overall 80-92% of research is carried out knowing the treatment and identity of the subject group or samples, where only the medical and health sciences field is currently carrying out 20% blind studies. In contrast, psychology and cognitive sciences are staggering behind at a meager 7% blind studies rate (1). Why are blind studies critical? More often than not, the topic of the existence of God is very popular among well-known scientists who have concluded with a lack of crucial research on how He does not exist due to the seemingly prevalent suffering in the world. There are many facets of science, and mathematics is also mentioned to downplay or prove God’s non-existence. Sometimes the reason for children suffering from diseases such as brain cancer is often used to show how God, if He exists, is evil or unloving.
The topic of suffering has been discussed by many, but no one discusses the scientific method to find God.
Theists often present rational arguments against atheists, while it may seem that atheists work with the same flow to provide logical arguments. This is because the prejudiced or biased mind often does not allow them to think of any method to find God. Why focus on a method? Methods are a way for us to quantify or qualify a sample, thing, or being. Methods are solutions that can be in the form of an instrument such as a microscope to see small things incapable of being seen by the naked eye. For example, Western blotting, to observe and quantify protein levels, High-Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC), a technique in analytical chemistry used to separate, identify, and quantify each component in a mixture.
There are many other methods, such as sonar waves to measure oceans’ depths; mathematical equations to calculate the distance between Earth and any object in space etc. The point is that we have managed to limitedly quantify unseen specimens. Now you may wonder: if God is Omnipresent yet unseen, and our limited senses cannot see or reach Him, why can’t we use these methods to find Him? Why can’t we improve these methods and make them powerful enough to see or reach God? Why can’t we find an equation to prove the existence of God? The simple answer is that these methods and equations are not powerful enough. Will they ever be? We cannot know for sure, as we have a lot to find out about ourselves, our planet, and our galaxy. Did you know that many equations in mathematics remain unsolved to this day? Did you know that only recently have we managed to find another planet beyond ours in space, confirming the possibility of other unobserved planets and perhaps other forms of life beyond Earth? (2).
Pharaohs tried to reach God by building Pyramids to show a staircase to heaven, but this effort did not work. God is not a physical being. The world is yet to solve mathematical equations, some as simple as The Collatz Conjecture, which is “3n+1” in which it needs to be proved that all positive integers will end with “1” (3).
We still await to quantify or observe pain. We only feel it at the moment, and sometimes can even quantify the level of pain through the scale of perception. We have yet to find out the exact use for the appendix in the human body. We have yet to discover exactly what proteins interact to cause diabetic complications and their relation to insulin. We have yet to find out what causes stunted growth in developing fetuses. We have seen signs of life on other planets but have yet to find other forms of life on Earth. Since there are so many undiscovered aspects of our tiny world, it becomes quite unimaginable for a time to come when God will be seen. Perhaps we shall be an extinct species or civilization by then.
Often, religious communities present their Holy textbooks to provide proof of the existence of God. These religious texts, especially the Holy Qur’an, point to an All-Knowing Being whom we call God. There are many verses in the Holy Qur’an which mention God’s infinite power and His creation, such as, the moving of mountains and the way that planets move in their predetermined orbits:
“And thou seest the mountains that thou thinkest to be firmly fixed passing away like the passing away of the clouds—the handiwork of Allah Who has made everything perfect. Verily, He knows full well what you do” (4).
“And He it is Who created the night and the day, and the sun and the moon, each gliding along smoothly in its orbit” (5).
The Holy Qur’an says that “Those who remember Allah standing, sitting, and lying on their sides, and ponder over the creation of the heavens and the earth” (6).
We believe Allah is the Creator of all things on this Earth. The whole world of creation obeys His laws. We must perfect scientific methods and push our boundaries of knowledge to observe the signs of Allah and testify that indeed this is not created in vain, as we read in the Qur’an:
“Verily, in the creation of the heavens and the earth and the alternation of night and day, and in the ships which sail in the sea with that which profits men, and in the water which Allah sends down from the sky and quickens in addition to that the earth after its death and scatters therein all kinds of beasts, and in the change of the winds, and the clouds pressed into service between the heaven and the earth, are indeed Signs for the people who understand” (7).
There is a Hadith, a saying of the Holy Prophet (sa):
“The abundance of a meal stems from washing the hands both before and after the meal. (8)”
This was stated in a pre-microscope era; how did this come about? The story developed after this in 1850, when a Hungarian doctor, Ignaz Semmelweis, observed a link between maternal ward deaths and the number of doctors coming out of the morgue without washing their hands to tend ward patients (9). This simple link and the act of washing hands eventually reduced the deaths, and the theory then developed further, leading to the germ theory and eventual confirmation of these microorganisms through the microscope.
If we reflect and understand carefully, we may not have the scientific methods to observe or use our physical senses to confirm the link or existence of something. It does not mean that the thing or being in question does not exist. It simply means that we do not yet have the power to observe it. Perhaps belief alone led to the proposal of washing hands, without any backing. Sometimes all that is needed is a determined belief; an observation, the methods to test it can be developed later, or perhaps never, due to our limited knowledge, facilities, and resources. In the cycle of life, maybe we will meet God in the later stage that comes in the afterlife, but if we are His faithful servants, we can “meet” Him in this life too, and with an unbiased mind, we may even be able to find Him through uttering a word of prayer to “Guide us in the right path” (10), which will help further the cause. We may think God is far away, but He is actually within us; as He Himself tells us in the Holy Qur’an, “We are nearer to him than even his jugular vein” (11).
This article appears in our January 2022 print issue.
1. Evidence of Experimental Bias in the Life Sciences: Why We Need Blind Data Recording. https://journals.plos.org/plosbiology/article?id=10.1371/journal.pbio.1002190 (Accessed: November 28, 2021)
2. New planet discovered after it ‘photobombs’ European Space Agency mission. https://www.mirror.co.uk/science/new-planet-discovered-after-photobombs-24416115 (Accessed: November 28, 2021)
3. 10 Math Equations That Have Never Been Solved – Interactive Mathematics. https://www.intmath.com/blog/mathematics/10-math-equations-that-have-never-been-solved-12456 (Accessed: November 28, 2021)
4. The Holy Qur’an (27:89)
5. The Holy Qur’an (21:34)
6. The Holy Qur’an (3:192)
7. The Holy Qur’an (2:165)
8. Tirmidhi, Shamail, 79
9. In 1850, Ignaz Semmelweis saved lives with three words: wash your hands | PBS NewsHour, https://www.pbs.org/newshour/health/ignaz-semmelweis-doctor-prescribed-hand-washing (Accessed: November 28, 2021)
10. The Holy Qur’an (1:6)
11. The Holy Qur’an (50:17)
Last modified: January 2022