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Atheist Physicist Cringes When Scientists Deny a Creator

Physicist Sabine Hossenfelder is a research fellow at the Franklin Institute for Advanced Studies in Germany. Her YouTube channel has over 550,000 subscribers. She admits she cringes when scientists like the late Stephen Hawking, and many others, make numerous unsubstantiated pronouncements like “there is no possibility of a creator.” She is uncomfortable with “overconfident proclamations” like widely held beliefs on the origin of the universe, the existence of other universes, and other unverifiable beliefs.

Hossenfelder wants scientists to be:

… mindful of the limits of their discipline. Sometimes the only scientific answer we can give is “We don't know.” It therefore seems likely to me that, in our ongoing process of knowledge discovery, religion and science will continue to co-exist for a very long time. That's because science itself is limited, and where science ends, we seek other modes of explanation.

(Some) of these limits stem from the specific math we currently use (which, for example, requires initial conditions or indeterministic jumps), and they may be overcome as physics advances further. But some limits seem insurmountable to me. Eventually, I think, we will have to accept some facts about our universe without scientific explanation, if only because the scientific method can't justify itself. We may observe that the scientific method works, conclude that it's to our advantage to continue using it, but still never know why it works.


Sabine Hossenfelder, Existential Physics: A Scientist's Guide To Life's Biggest Questions, (Viking Press, 2022), p. 218

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