Saturday, October 20, 2012

CERN Oct 15 2012 meeting - some personal comments

An image of data recorded at Cern during experiments is search of the Higgs boson (c) Cern
The discovery of a "Higgs-like particle"
preceded this religious and scientific meeting

BBC News article
Victoria Gill from BBC News summarizes the CERN meeting of scientists, theologians and philosophers nicely in her article Big Bang: Is there room for God?

The main conclusion of the event has been simple: keep talking.
"We face a problem in our culture of hyperspecialisation," says Dr Pinsent.
"This ignorance of other fields can cause problems, like a lack of social cohesion.
And although Prof Krauss said the meeting felt at times like "people who can't communicate trying to communicate," even he sees some value in this somewhat esoteric exchange.
"Many people of faith view science as a threat," he said.
"I don't think science is a threat, so it is useful for scientists to show that they don't necessarily view it that way."
As one contributor put it during the meeting: "Religion doesn't add to scientific facts, but it does shape our view of the world."
And since Cern is searching for clues about how that world came to exist in the first place, it wants to see how its discoveries might fit into any world view.
BBC News

My comments
Here are some short comments from a theologian who is interested in space sciences as they are and believes that it is pure science working according to its own ground rules that best glorifies the name of God of Israel by showing the wonders of what He has done.
(The quotes are from the cited BBC News article by Victoria Gill)

1. Not a God of the Swiss cheese
But even the idea of a "time before the Big Bang" is impossible territory for physicists.
It is a zone of pure speculation - before time and space as scientists understand it came to exist, and where the laws of physics completely break down.
So does that make it a realm where science and religion can come to an understanding?
The idea underpinned in this line of thinking is that there is room for God only in the areas that science cannot explain.

The "Swiss cheese holes god" is simply stupid but surprisingly prevalent. As if scientific explanation of the first seconds after Big Bang already replaces the Creator by anonymous Laws of Nature that nobody has set!

However, it is the outrageous claim of the God of Israel Himself that He has created everything that I believe in Creator. Personally I do not believe because of results of some scientific inquiry that supposedly prove there is a divine mind behind all this.

I do not think that Stephen Hawking is qualified to answer the question "is God necessary".

(Mind you that many other believers who present Intelligent Design and who have much higher IQs then I have do claim that studying the works of creation proves that there is a Heavenly Watchmaker).

2. Religious people know already, scientists ask
Alas, this is often true statement is a powerful message to all religious people - sit down and to start to study what scientists have asked and what answers they have found. Learning more about the works of God is not easy, it takes years of study in any field of knowledge and even after that there are many unanswered questions, thank God!

I think Einstein put it nicely when he said "Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind".
""The power of science is uncertainty. Everything is uncertain, but science can define that uncertainty.
"That's why science makes progress and religion doesn't."
 Lawrence Krauss, a theoretical physicist and director of the Origins Project at Arizona State University
But the suggestion that science and religion are fundamentally incompatible was a point of contention during the meeting.
3. The mystery of human soul and spirit
John Lennox, professor of mathematics at the University of Oxford, is also a self-declared Christian. He thinks the very fact that human beings can do science is evidence for God.

I would personally never use the expression "evidence for God" as it is rather problematic perhaps even blasphemous. But Professor Lennox points at the mystery of our ability to THINK and then to OBSERVE. In my words, pure mathematical thinking has often preceded scientific discovery - take, for example, the evidence possibly now found for the existence of the Higgs boson that was mentioned as one of the reasons for having this conference.

Thinking before observation! What a divine spirit we humans have been given to understand God's wonders!

For I see Thy heavens, a work of Thy fingers, Moon and stars that Thou didst establish.
What is man that Thou rememberest him? The son of man that Thou inspectest him?
And causest him to lack a little of Godhead, And with honour and majesty compassest him.
Psalm 8:3-5 YLT

4. Depth of language
Prof Heuer said he wanted the participants to "develop a common understanding" of one another's' viewpoints.
But even exchanging ideas was, at times, tricky; scientists and philosophers often speak a very different language.
Andrew Pinsent is research director at the University of Oxford's Ian Ramsey Centre for Science and Religion. He is also a trained physicist who once worked at Cern.
"We have to educate one another in the terms that we use," he says.

The importance of praising God of Israel for His marvelous deeds
According to Saint Paul letter to the Romans our job is to praise Him for the wonders of His works. Let us rejoice in Him while we put the fruits of our research into use for the benefit of humanity and not waist brilliant minds to trying to prove that there is no need for God.

For that line of thinking and disbelief has led humanity from one idolatry to another, from worshiping insects and sun to kneeling in front of the Great Leader of the German People or Father Sun or Mister Mao and other awful monsters.

What is even worse, according to Saint Paul, not worshiping God and praising Him for the wisdom and glory of creation is met by rejection of humans by God.

What kind of rejection is that, who cares!

Well, we should care, because God rejects those who reject Him and worship idols by stopping the work to save them from sin. No more divine will how to live as He wants, no more divine call to repent from our evil ways, no more gospel that He forgives.

Abandoned to living freely as humans without God! The worst fate there is.

So let us praise Him and listen to His Word and do good science!

Praising the Lord, knowledge and ethics
This is what Saint Paul wrote about 2000 years ago to the early Christians living in the center of civilization of Rome.

Rough stuff.

For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one who believeth, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith; as it is written: “The just shall live by faith.”

[The crime - worship of idols]
For the wrath of God is revealed from Heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness, because that which may be known of God is manifest in them, for God hath shown it unto them.

For from the creation of the world the invisible things of Him are clearly seen, being understood through the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.

For when they knew God, they neither glorified Him as God, nor were thankful, but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man, and to birds and fourfooted beasts and creeping things.

[The punishment - given up to "freedom"]
Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies among themselves. They changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshiped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women changed the natural use into that which is against nature.

And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another, men with men, working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense for their error which was meet.

And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind to do those things which are not fitting, being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness, full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malignity. They are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, spiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affections, implacable, unmerciful.

And knowing the judgment of God, that those who commit such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but have pleasure in those who do them.
Romans 1:16-32 KJ21

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