A third argument postulated by theologians is the ‘something from nothing’ argument; Dawkins doesn’t say much about the physics of this this in his book, but modern physics certainly has an answer. Put simply, the total energy content of the universe may well be zero – if so, it is entirely possible that the universe arose as a quantum fluctuation (see earlier post).
A more serious problem between religion and science is of course scripture – there is quite strong disagreement between several passages in the Book of Genesis and scientific fact e.g.
Earth is not stationary
Sun does not orbit the earth
Age of earth is wrong
Age of sun is wrong
Timeframe of creation is wrong
One solution is to take a non-literal interpretation of the Bible, as suggestioned by Augustine. However, this raises 2 problems
(i) as hardliners point out, where does the slide stop?
(ii) many Christians insist on a literal interpretation, resuting in statements like
Any theory of origins that is contrary to the early chapters
of Genesis is not true and will not stand the test of time’
…not so reasonable
3 responses to “More on God”
I’m with Augistine on this one. Genesis is a bit of a soft target. Scholars suggest that Genesis began to take shape in 1200BC (or BCE depending on your persuasion!). Applying modern scientific analysis to ancient story-telling based narrative is a little tricky.
Most mainstream Christians would accept that creation, Noah, etc. are myths. They are stories handed down from generation that are not meant to be interpreted literally. Despite this acceptance, it always concerns me that an exorcism prayer is performed at Catholic baptisms, because babies are born with original sin. Original sin represents Adam’s misdemeanours in the Garden of Eden resulting in the “Fall of Man”. So a literal interpretation of Genesis forms part of one of most important Catholic sacraments!
As regards “the slide”, one could argue, perhaps, that the it stops (or slows) when a biblical account records reasonably contemporary events. John’s Gospel is now believed to have been written 50-70 years after the crucifixion. Hardly contemporary by modern standards, but by biblical standards it almost represent hot off the press!
Yes, but it’s interesting that Augustine philosophy probably arose from an attempt to reconcile apparent contradictions between different gospels – only later was it used to reconcile differences between the literal gospel and the world as man began to perceive it through science!
Re literal interpretation, there are quite a few instances where we regularly invoke a literal interpretation of scripture – the passion week every Easter, communion, holy water, funeral rites, to mention but a few…Cormac
If all were to add up to zero in the universe (theory theirs), that would not mean for sure something came out of nothing but it could mean that on this basis, equilibrium of physical creation was established and that, indeed, all physical creation sums up to ‘zero’ (I am the Alpha & the Omega says God) in front of what is _beyond_ of what the flesh/matter can read/perceive. And that is because the built cannot study the unbuilt unless the unbuilt wishes to contact with the built. Our zero could only be OUR zero – meaning, humans see what God allows them to – that is why those who seek Him through what He gives see Him and those who use other means (science or themselves or the cosmos) eventually don’t [and perhaps in the end redirect their faith]. It is really self-centered for one to believe that (have faith into) what his/her relative experiments display are actually the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Aren’t we in need of a teacher?
God given mechanisms >…> man-made contraptions.
The Son of God (Truth) came to save the world! The world is a decaying one – not an internal one which with the right scientific discoveries it will be ‘saved’ [from what? physical decay? what about choice? what about evil?] – we are not in need of physical saving but of a spiritual one. We need a savior. We need a Holy, Eternal Father to make us eternal brothers.
Science cannot save our spirits.
We are headed up :: άνθρωπος – the one who sees (faces towards) up (the heavens).
So, I believe we should keep science as a tool like a hand and sanctify it through God. But if it is too much of a scandal for one, it might as well ‘be chopped off’. It is better to enter the Kingdom of God (where God is the King) with ‘one arm’ than to not enter it at all.
I apologize if I’ve gone off topic but I wanted to share this information which I believe is important. Now is temporal. Act now, invest in Eternity. Only Love can make an Eternity worthwhile. And God is Love & Love is of God.