Scientists use the "scientific method" to study the cosmos. Wikipedia says the following about the scientific method.
Scientific method refers to a body of techniques for investigating phenomena, acquiring new knowledge, or correcting and integrating previous knowledge. To be termed scientific, a method of inquiry must be based on gathering empirical and measurable evidence subject to specific principles of reasoning. The Oxford English Dictionary says that scientific method is: "a method or procedure that has characterized natural science since the 17th century, consisting in systematic observation, measurement, and experiment, and the formulation, testing, and modification of hypotheses. "The chief characteristic which distinguishes a scientific method of inquiry from other methods of acquiring knowledge is that scientists seek to let reality speak for itself, and contradict their theories about it when those theories are incorrect, i. e., falsifiability. Although procedures vary from one field of inquiry to another, identifiable features distinguish scientific inquiry from other methods of obtaining knowledge. Scientific researchers propose hypotheses as explanations of phenomena, and design experimental studies to test these hypotheses via predictions which can be derived from them. These steps must be repeatable, to guard against mistake or confusion in any particular experimenter. Theories that encompass wider domains of inquiry may bind many independently derived hypotheses together in a coherent, supportive structure. Theories, in turn, may help form new hypotheses or place groups of hypotheses into context.
Scientific inquiry is generally intended to be as objective as possible, to reduce biased interpretations of results. Another basic expectation is to document, archive and share all data and methodology so they are available for careful scrutiny by other scientists, giving them the opportunity to verify results by attempting to reproduce them. This practice, called full disclosure, also allows statistical measures of the reliability of these data to be established.
In general, science is quiet about the existence of god, because scientific investigations of the cosmos give no indication of a supernatural or spiritual personage. Many scientists are atheists and say there is no god. Other scientists are agnostics and say they don't know if there is a god or not. Still other scientists believe in god but admit their belief is a matter of faith and not of scientific investigation.
Some scientists are investigating the existence of god or the importance of a belief in god, but their studies are difficult since scientific instruments and observations are geared to objects that have mass or energy. In addition, other scientists are investigating experiences that some people say happened to them when they are close to death or even after they died. Scientists are trying to determine if such experiences are due to normal functioning of our bodies or are due to external sources of energy and intelligence. Here are links to some of their research.
Praying for a romantic partner or close friend can lead to more cooperative and forgiving behavior toward the partner, according to a new study co-authored by a Florida State University researcher.
Experiences ' (NDE), which people who are close to death can experience in particular. Products of the mind? Psychological defence mechanisms? Hallucinations? These phenomena have been widely documented in the media and have generated numerous beliefs and theories of every kind. From a scientific point of view, these experiences are all the more difficult to understand in that they come into being in chaotic conditions, which make studying them in real time almost impossible. The University of Liège's researchers have thus tried a different approach.
New research indicates that urban native American youth who follow American Indian traditional spiritual beliefs are less likely to use drugs and alcohol. Arizona State University social scientists will present their findings at the 107th Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association in Denver, Colorado.
"In many ways, the results of our study support the idea that spirituality functions as a personality trait," said Dan Cohen, assistant teaching professor of religious studies at MU and one of the co-authors of the study. "With increased spirituality people reduce their sense of self and feel a greater sense of oneness and connectedness with the rest of the universe. What was interesting was that frequency of participation in religious activities or the perceived degree of congregational support was not found to be significant in the relationships between personality, spirituality, religion and health."
Scientists have speculated that the human brain features a "God spot," one distinct area of the brain responsible for spirituality. Now, University of Missouri researchers have completed research that indicates spirituality is a complex phenomenon, and multiple areas of the brain are responsible for the many aspects of spiritual experiences. Based on a previously published study that indicated spiritual transcendence is associated with decreased right parietal lobe functioning, MU researchers replicated their findings. In addition, the researchers determined that other aspects of spiritual functioning are related to increased activity in the frontal lobe.