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How God Acts – Non-interventionist Divine Action

"The Ancient of Days", William Blake, 1794

“The Ancient of Days”, William Blake, 1794

Throughout my life I’ve experienced a wide range of beliefs: from Evangelical to agnostic, then to atheist, then a period of dabbling in Eastern religions, to Pentecostal, then to Presbyterian/Calvinist, and now, well, to where I am today let’s just say.

Once you think you have grasped a firm understanding of God, you come across something that catches you off-guard and makes you re-evaluate everything you’ve believed in.  As St. Augustine once said, “God is not what you imagine or what you think you understand.  If you understand, you have failed.

Over the recent years, as I have delved a bit more into the scientific underpinnings of God and theology, as well as my ruminations of the Bible, I’ve adopted more of a “non-interventionist” viewpoint of God.

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What is Reality? Information Continuity, Real Numbers, Quantum Mechanics – an interview with Gregory Chaitin on “Closer to Truth”

 

What is the fundamental nature of reality?

A leading theory these days among physicists and mathematicians is that true reality consists of information or “bits” – that it might be digital, consisting of 0s and 1s, as Gregory Chaitin, mathematician at IBM, states here.

Matter may just be an epiphenomenon of the universe as it processes information like a computer.

Very Platonic…

 

When Chaitin mentions “God” here, I don’t think he’s referring to the Judeo-Christian concept/understanding of God, but more of the Spinozian understanding of God as a great (or ultimate) organizing principle or logic that orders the universe – the same concept of God that Albert Einstein had – rather than a personal supreme deity.


In a nutshell, is the universe, or reality for that matter, really Mind, information, computation? 

Are we living inside a computer simulation right now for that matter (i.e. like the “Matrix”) as some philosophers and even scientists believe in?

Hmmm….

 

 

 

 

Gravity waves, the multiverse, and God

Galaxy expansion

 

As you may be well aware by now of the monumental discovery announced yesterday with the evidence of gravity waves as predicted by Einstein practically a century ago, it will be interesting how this finding will affect theology, our understanding of God, and creation down the road.

 

One of the implications of this recent finding, other than validating the occurrence of the Big Bang 13.8 billion years ago and the rapid expansion of space (faster than the speed of light) within a fraction of a second after the Bang, is that this will most likely further the case for the multiverse theory – that our universe is just one in a whole sea of an infinite number of universes – as predicted by quantum theory.  Universes might pop in and out of existence all the time.  In fact, we might even be living inside a much, much larger universe that cannot be detected by our current technology, something like the omniverse.

 

Such a thought is absolutely mind-boggling and unfathomable to say the least.

 

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Does God Play Dice with the Universe? The Role of Chance and Providence in Theology and Science

“God does not play dice with the universe.”

– Albert Einstein

“Einstein, stop telling God what to do.”

– Niels Bohr, in reply to Einstein

In Gerald L. Schroeder’s book, The Science of God: The Convergence of Scientific and Biblical Wisdom, he describes the blind forces of nature that lie behind much of human grief:

“An earthquake shakes a bridge from its foundation, dropping it onto a crowded bus passing beneath.  A chance cosmic ray smashes into an ovum, produces a free radical which in its natural drive to establish electrical balance tears and mutates a chromosome.  As a result, a crippled child is born.  The same Creator that produces the beauty of a sunrise and the colors of a flower must be credited with these horrors as well.” (p. 168)

Last year, while I was attending classes at a city college, I would always pass by a cerebral palsy center.  From time to time, I would see patients from that center lined up outside, mostly in their motorized wheelchairs, waiting to be assisted upon by their caretakers or be helped unto a transport truck.

For some reason, thoughts and questions would run through my head each time I would see these patients –

What if I were them?  What made me so special that I was born normal – even though my mother had a complicated pregnancy with me, I came out relatively normal?  But what about these patients afflicted with cerebral palsy?  Was God directly involved in contributing to their physical and mental conditions?  Or was it by pure, random chance, with no discernible reason whatsoever that they were in the condition that they were in?  Didn’t God have the power to divert the cosmic ray from hitting the ovum and mutating the chromosome perhaps?  Did he do that for me?  Why me then and why them?

Or perhaps there’s just no reason or purpose whatsoever in all this.

It was by pure random, blind chance that I was born this way and not another.

And you can run a billion what-if scenarios in your head and ruminate what your life would’ve been like if you made this decision or that, etc.

Did we even have a choice to begin with?

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Through the Wormhole: Did We Invent God?

 

Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman is one of my favorite series to watch on tv that’s on the Science Channel.

 

From time to time, they’ll show episodes concerning God and science.

 

This episode explores the latest research done in psychology and neuroscience about where the origins of human belief in the supernatural may have come from.

 

This episode poses interesting questions, such as:

  • Does God only exist in our minds?
  • Is a belief in God “hardwired” within us?
  • What is required to believe in a God or supernatural entity? Can animals believe or sense the divine? (i.e. at the bare minimum you need a theory of mind as far as we can tell.)
  • Is belief in God just a remnant from our evolutionary past to explain what’s going on in our world?
  • Is it just childish superstition that we haven’t outgrown?
  • Did God create us? Or did we create God?