Proof #4 - Think about science

Notice what happens when anyone is "miraculously cured". A person is sick, the person prays (or a prayer circle prays for the person) and the person is cured. A religious person looks at it and says, "God performed a miracle because of prayer!" That is the end of it.

A scientist looks at it in a very different way. A scientist looks at it and says, "Prayer had nothing to do with it - there is a natural cause for what we see here. If we understand the natural cause, then we can heal many more people suffering from the same condition."

In other words, it is only by assuming that the belief in prayer is a superstition and therefore God is imaginary that science can proceed.

You can see a direct example of science at work in this article:

    Fleming had so much going on in his lab that it was often in a jumble. This disorder proved very fortunate. In 1928, he was straightening up a pile of Petri dishes where he had been growing bacteria, but which had been piled in the sink. He opened each one and examined it before tossing it into the cleaning solution. One made him stop and say, "That's funny."

    Some mold was growing on one of the dishes... not too unusual, but all around the mold, the staph bacteria had been killed... very unusual. He took a sample of the mold. He found that it was from the penicillium family, later specified as Penicillium notatum. Fleming presented his findings in 1929, but they raised little interest. He published a report on penicillin and its potential uses in the British Journal of Experimental Pathology.

    Fleming worked with the mold for some time, but refining and growing it was a difficult process better suited to a chemist. The work was taken over by a team of chemists and mold specialists, but was cut short when several of them died or relocated.

    In 1935, Australian Howard Florey was appointed professor of pathology at Oxford University where he headed up a laboratory. This was a daunting task in an economically depressed time, and seeking funding for the researchers and work he hoped to do took much of his time. One researcher he hired soon after his arrival was Ernst Chain. Chain was paid to do cancer research, and work that spilled over into Florey's own interest and work on lysozyme. Chain became quite enthusiastic about the search for antibacterial chemicals. In looking back at old articles written about lysozyme, including those by Fleming in the 1920s, he happened across Fleming's paper on penicillin. "I had come across this paper early in 1938 and on reading it I immediately became interested," he wrote.

    The Oxford team, as Florey's researchers have become known, began experimenting with the penicillin mold. They took it one step further than Fleming did: they did not just try it topically or in a petri dish, but injected it in live mice. With controlled experimentation, they found it cured mice with bacterial infections. They went on to try it on a few human subjects and saw amazing results. By now it was 1941, and England was at war. As Fleming first foresaw, the wartime need for an antibacterial was great, but resources were tight and penicillin still very experimental. Florey had connections at the Rockefeller Foundation in the United States, however, and it funded further research.

Did Fleming or Floring say, as a religious person would, "The death of this bacteria is a miracle! God has reached down and killed it in response to our prayers!" Of course not. Instead, they completely ignored "God" and understood that the belief in prayer is a superstition. They determined what was actually happening through experimentation and then made useful medicines from the mold. They took a rational approach rather than a religious approach and we all benefit from penicillin and its many derivatives today.

All of science works in this way. Only by assuming that God is imaginary and prayer is meaningless can science proceed.

The reason why scientists must assume that God is imaginary in order for the scientific method to work is because God is imaginary.

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by Marshall Brain

Coverage in the New York Times

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