The genuinely thoughtful scientific atheist has a problem because the most basic approach to science is a process of creating a null hypothesis (God doesn’t exist) and performing an experiment that falsifies that hypothesis. Like Galileo, the father of empiricism, and Newton, the secret dogmatist, I am a believer in God. I don’t think I can prove his existence, or indeed, disprove it – particularly with “scientific”, empirically valid evidence. I believe he existed before the stuff of this world – the stuff, the philosophy, the jurisprudence of science. In fact, He brought into being both the space into which the stuff was to go, and the time of its existence. He exists… or existed… or will exist… or all of the above, since I don’t really know how to speak without time-referencing but his existence is not relevant to time or space since these are merely elements of his creation. He has been kind enough to tell us this, our predisposition to nomenclature descends from Eden, he simply said “…just call me ‘El’.”.
There was a first day and will be a last day, in my particular frame of reference and using odd, familiar little numbers. Ultimately, there will no longer be any ‘place’ for the earth or the sky and it will all just not be anywhere. I guess they (space, time, stuff) could all be considered “temporary” relative to a dimensionless eternity, an infinity of universes in which he exists. All of space-time, all of the rules inherent within space-time, which we have discovered with such labour and sweat and all the stuff inside space-time are elements of his creation. Furthermore he can and does interact within this microscopic time-capsule, this bubble of creation, tweaking this, inserting that, or cancelling the other thing at his discretion. So no set of natural experiments will require me to ‘believe’ in God – he is present outside of the world-lines that I am able to experiment on.
The image is as far away as we can get – between 12 and 16 billion light years away, at the edge of our little bubble we call the Universe.