Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017

Bang! (II)

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SOG Cover imageIn Bang! (I), I suggested that it might be intellectually and spiritually very satisfying to be able to show that the scientific and biblical views of our time about creation are converging. This is what author Gerald Schroeder set out to show in The Science of God, the convergence of scientific and biblical wisdom . Here I will review parts of Schroeder’s challenging book to identify a few of the assertions and arguments he makes about the creation event and the convergence of the scientific and biblical views regarding it. Does such a convergence really exist?

Convergence

The Prologue to the book ends with a quote from Immanuel Kant (1724-1804): “Two things fill the mind with ever increasing wonder and awe — the starry heavens above me and the moral law within me,” to which the author says, “I propose that they are one and the same whispering voice.” Perhaps God has been steadily opening our eyes to the wonders of the cosmos to help us better understand God and ourselves.

But, wait a minute! Are not many scientists concluding something quite different? Are they not telling us that science has now replaced the Bible as the source of wisdom and facts about who we are and how we got here? That doesn’t smack of convergence. In fact, we are in the middle of a great debate. Who is winning?

There are many misconceptions on both sides of the debate.

Today, universities have science classes galore on all phases of the mechanics of the universe, from black holes to bacteria. Unfortunately, scientific investigation stops at an account of how the universe functions. It cannot go further. The attempt to discern if a purpose to existence underlies the how is left as a private exercise, one that is usually neglected.

And so the quest that underlies the question of dinosaurs remains. It is a topic guaranteed to draw a full house.

The “opposition” to scientific enquiry “is viewed with a level of knowledge frozen at high school or pre-high school level. …For the religious believer, it is time to render unto Einstein that which is Einstein’s: science has given us a powerful tradition for the examination of life as we know it. Scientists are not always right, but they are very good about testing their own theories and correcting their mistakes.”

I think the author may be talking about me and my church friends. We might start by trying harder to understand what Einstein and his friends are saying.

Scientists are becoming quite knowing regarding the plumbing of the universe, but to know its purpose may require their listening more to the theologians than they are accustomed to do. This is the convergence that Schroeder is talking about. He attempts to avoid the subjective tendency of bending Bible to match science or science to match Bible. To do this, he cites only peer-reviewed scientific opinions appearing in respected scientific journals. His theological sources are those of works predating modern science by centuries. Whether he succeeds, his readers must ultimately decide.

(to be continued)

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