Australian apologist John Smith finds that even in the rarefied world of science God seems to be making a return.
Following a recent atheism/Christianity debate in the United States, both combatants expressed relief that "It is encouraging if this is the best (the opposition) can do."
A common problem that people face is that they are unable to feel they can confidently believe in something, while at the same time being open and humble enough to take seriously the questions, doubts and struggles of earnest seekers who hold different perspectives from their own. Hence we end up with closed-minded fundamentalists on both sides.
Providing something of a summary of current research, the Scientific American special Life In The Universe featured a number of articles from scientists most eminent in their respective fields.
Nobel Prize (for Physics) winner Steven Weinberg states, "...how surprising it is that the laws of nature and the initial conditions of the universe should allow for the existence of beings who could observe it. Life as we know it would be impossible if any one of several physical quantities had slightly different values... one (particular) constant (requiring accuracy to 120 decimal places) seems to require an incredible fine tuning..."
Another article, The Evolution Of The Universe, concedes, "We do not know why there was a Big Bang or what may have existed before."
Foreshadowing the startling November discovery that, "The universe is far smaller (and) younger...than previously thought," Robert Kirshnet, chair of the Astronomy Department at Harvard, states, "It would be embarrassing to find 14-billion-year-old globular clusters in a universe that is aged only seven billion years." Such is a current major hurdle facing science.
Prominent Harvard professor and science writer Stephen Jay Gould tells us that, "Humans arose as a fortuitous and contingent outcome of thousands of linked events, any one of which could have occurred differently and sent history on an alternative pathway that would not have led to consciousness."
A couple of years ago, enigmatic agnostic-believer-in-something physicist Paul Davies became the second scientist - both Australian - to receive the international $1.4 million Templeton Prize for contribution to religious thought. Davis considers consciousness to be a "fundamental rather than incidental part of the universe" and notes the universe's "ingenious features and felicitous nature, with such mathematical order, harmony and beauty."
While wishing to stay open to reasonable debate, I can only reflect that the atheist argument that there is no God requires at least as much faith as does belief in a personal First Cause. Moreover, one detects a constant tight philosophical backdrop in the midst of much mainstream scientific research: regardless of the impossible odds or scientific evidence, a central tenet is (pre) held that the universe is utterly accidental and directionless.
Scientific postulations of no reason, no meaning, no direction read like a suicide note from a thirsty soul. In the 19th century, God was proclaimed dead. As we enter the 21st century, it seems more than plausible that God may yet experience mainstream resurrection, even among current academic atheists and agnostics.The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.
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