Richard Dawkins has many problems with religion. Not only does he see religion as being false, he sees it as being dangerous. The danger is not just in terms of religious violence but as an obstacle to scientific advancement. The argument is that religious young people looking at the world around them, instead of seeking knowledge and understanding about why they are the way they are, will just shrug their shoulders and resign themselves to: “I guess that’s just the way God made it.” The basic idea is that a belief that God is the Creator is incompatible with scientific inquiry.
I could list the many respected scientists who are Christians, but instead I am going to take another approach. Imagine that a space ship from another planet crashed on earth. The aliens were killed in the crash but much of their technology survived the impact. How would scientists respond to the presence of all that alien technology? Would they be content knowing that the technology came from those aliens and simply put it on display for people to enjoy visually? Unlikely. In fact we would never see that technology publicly as the world’s best scientists would be taking it apart, trying to understand how it was built and attempting to learn as much as we could about it. Knowing that the technology came from aliens would not prevent our scientific inquiry, it would increase it.
If that is the case, why should people then assume that a belief that the natural world was designed by God will prevent scientific curiosity? I find myself more interested in the natural world because I see God as the Creator. Religion may have its’ problems, but one of them is not an obstacle to scientific research.