There was a time when philosophy, especially physical philosophy which attempted to answer existential questions coupled with understanding the physical environment, and what we today understand as modern physics, were one. Both are a result of human beings reflecting upon their own existence and asking the deep questions: why am I hear? How did the world come into being? Is there a purpose to life? Is there meaning?
As the scientific revolution caught on and an objective understanding of physical reality was developed and codified in various theories made up of mathematical equations that not only described how things work, but also made falsifiable or testable predictions, a separation of the ‘how’ and ‘why’ questions took place. Einsteins general relativity theory and the standard model of particle physics are two very good examples of scientific theories that have come to dominate scientific thought. Science has taken up the “how” questions and left the “why” questions to metaphysics and religion. A graver mistake could not have been made. And the fault lies squarely with religion.
The fault I am laying at the the door of religion is accompanied by a great irony. For it was largely the priest community that began scientific investigations many times finding great harmony between the spiritual and the natural or physical. The television series, Cosmos, has popularized one of these priests, Giordano Bruno. Bruno was a complicated figure who tried his best to appease his inquisitors while maintaining that the heavens are infinite, that God is infinite and that there are an infinite number of worlds out there. Of course, over time Bruno was proven correct and once again, in an attempt to define God within religious dogma, religion, supposedly the representative and defender of God, got it wrong, ultimately murdering Bruno for his beliefs.
Some philosophers and theologians accuse science of being a religion of its own. Others, try to explain the divergence of religion and science as two separate magisteria that should not be joined to one another. They assert that religion should separately deal with the deeper “why” questions and leave the “how” questions to science. Such a separation of “how” and “why” simply begs the deeper questions of spirit, purpose and meaning; the very reason we ask questions in the first place. In addition and more importantly science ultimately runs into the “why” questions. They are unavoidable.
That is because reductionism, often used as part of the scientific method, eventually gets you to the smallest components of life and leaves you baffled as to how those components can come together to produce the things we see and understand as reality. As a result of the science of quantum mechanics, which seeks to understand how things work at the smallest level possible, one of its chief proponents, Niels Bohr, was forced to declare, “Everything we call real is made of things that cannot be regarded as real.” This statement echoes the words of scripture in Hebrews 11:3, “By faith, we understand that the universe has been framed by the word of God, so that what is seen has not been made out of things which are visible.” I believe that the two quotes, one from science the other from scripture clearly represent the unity between science and NOT religion, rather between science and the spiritual nature of God.
I should make it clear here as I have attempted to do many times in these writings, that “religions” whether Christian, Buddhist, muslim, or whatever they claim to be do not represent God or the incarnation of His son, Jesus Christ. People within those religions may be earnest and honest seekers of the truth, but they are mostly misled and beguiled by their separation from God, rather than taught how to become one with God. Science for its part and atheist scientists in particular, deceive people into believing that the detached, objective approach to acquiring knowledge is superior to any notion of God. They point to the clear fallacies of religious representations of God as evidence as to why science clearly supports their belief that there is no God; and in one sense they are right. The limited notion of God put forward by religions of the world may as well represent the notion of, God is dead. On the other hand, the atheist scientists inability to recognize the glory of God in their own discoveries is equally dead. It offers nothing more than empty knowledge devoid of spirit purpose and meaning, once again leaving the “why” questions unanswered.
Scientific discoveries divorced from the atheistic rants of some scientists should cause religions to rethink their dogma and man made doctrines; AND those same discoveries should cause scientists to rethink their atheistic positions and recognize the glory and wonder of an infinite God with whom we all have the opportunity to bond with in a ONENESS that will ultimately lead to transcendent beings destined to share in the infinite “Great Never Ending” as co-creators in a Kingdom that has no beginning or end.
That there is no beginning or end is one of the great debates going on within the scientific community today. The recent discoveries by the BICEP project to confirm the cosmological concept of “eternal inflation”, a theory of how the visible part of our universe formed, may be yet another revelation of the glory of God. The theory of eternal inflation naturally leads to the conclusion that there must be multiple universes out there. As controversial as this may be scientifically, if the BICEP findings hold up to further testing, we may have to once again rethink our limited understanding of the nature of God and the universe. And for that,
To God Be The Glory, Forever and Ever