Atheists sometimes claim that the advancement of science disproves the existence of God. According to this theory, the people of ancient times, being unable to understand or control natural phenomena, ascribed the mysterious workings of nature to the supernatural, or God. But now that science promises to explain everything and give man full mastery over his environment, belief in God is naive, superstitious. But is this theory borne out by the facts? Some recent occurrences in Moscow show the boldness—and fallacy—of such atheistic claims.
Last November, when Soviet Premier Yuri Andropov was absent from a Red Square parade, newsmen speculated that the Soviet leader must be the victim of a serious illness. Mr. Andropov’s absence caused such a political stir that another significant event of the day went largely unnoticed: the appearance of the sun. But sure enough, on that overcast November day, just as on the same day of the previous year, the chilly Moscow gloom suddenly evaporated as the sun appeared, shining down on the Politburo members as they stood atop the Lenin Mausoleum.
When this had happened during the 1982 parade and commentators had suggested it might have been divine intervention, Soviet officials had scoffed at the remarks. But this year the Moscow newspaper Moskov skaya Pravda asserted flatly that the appearance of the sun over the parade on Red Square was due to Soviet scientific technology, not to God. Moscow’s Experimental Production Laboratory had employed six special planes for six hours in spraying the offending clouds with a chemical capable of dispersing cloud formations for a short time. Thus the Soviets “subjugated” the sun, ordering it to shine on their parade. And the Soviet leaders were quite pleased with the results, although Mr. Andropov was not well enough to attend the spectacle.
The point I wish to raise here is a blunt one. If the Soviets are actually such competent controllers of nature, why didn’t they cure their premier of his disease? Moving aside some clouds for a few moments is a playful tinkering of small consequence compared to restoring Premier Andropov’s health. Yet despite the latest in medical and technological skill, the top Soviet physicians could not give health to their leader’s aging, ailing body. And countless similar examples could be cited of man’s helplessness before the powers of nature, all proving that scientific prowess does not make a human being the supreme controller. In fact, when tiny human beings offer their relative scientific achievements to disprove the control of the supreme being, they only prove their own foolishness.
The fact is, scientific prowess does more to prove than to disprove the power of the Supreme Godhead. Whenever science makes practical advancement, it is by the exertion of intelligence and control over some limited aspect of nature. For example, scientists have created satellites that they can fly in space by remote control. But when we consider this phenomenon reasonably, we conclude that there must also be a guiding intelligence behind all the stars and planets in the universe. Only an uninformed child or fool would think the satellites orbiting the earth are doing so independent of any control or intelligence. And similarly it is foolish to conclude that the entire cosmos has been created by chance and is working independent of any higher direction.
Although some scientists attempt to discredit God by postulating various evolutionary theories to explain the complex laws of universal harmony, their theories are constantly changing and are therefore unreliable. Their theories are merely mental concoctions for avoiding the obvious conclusion: nature is controlled by a superior intelligence—God. The Vedic literature, however, informs us directly that creation, maintenance, and annihilation throughout the entire universe are all being carried out by Sri Krsna, who is the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
The Benefits of “The Day After”
According to a Gallup poll taken after the airing of ABC’s nuclear holocaust scenario The Day After, forty-five percent of the U.S. population thinks that nuclear war will take place within the next ten years. One of the most shocking features of the film was its portrayal of how people’s normal lives of unassuming mediocrity suddenly ended when the bombs hit, creating an unremitting hell. Thus The Day After had the sobering effect of forcing millions of people to consider that death may come at any moment.
Although it is unfortunate that people are growing more and more anxious and pessimistic, this prevailing mood of negativity may be used toward a positive end. As stated by Mukunda Goswami, the Public Affairs Minister of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, “When wholesale destruction of population seems imminent, the basic problems of life (disease, old age, birth, and death) can more easily be perceived as the essential problems of mankind—problems which have existed since eternity and which will continue to exist.”
In these times of growing awareness of death, the Krsna conscious philosophy stands able to assist a bewildered humanity. Lord Krsna’s teachings in the Bhagavad-gita begin with the understanding that we are not these material bodies and that the real self is the indestructible spirit soul, which does not die at the demise of the body. Beyond this, the Bhagavad-gita brings one up to the point of realizing and serving the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna, and, after leaving this body, returning to Him in the eternal, spiritual world.
We have no greater need than learning that which will free us from death, and if the morbid predictions of holocaust will lead people to consider the ultimate remedy, Krsna consciousness, then there is a ray of real hope.