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And that's that, haha :)

PostPosted: Sat Jul 02, 2011 1:38 pm
by Naveen
Science and Religion tend to lock horns with each other but have at least two things in common. a) Both agree that something can be created out of nothing (seems to defy reason, does it?) b) Both can be equally bewildering

Instead of addressing the basic commonality both seem to distance themselves. Science has now invoked about eight extra hidden dimensions, posited totally unexplained things like dark matter and presented us with the weirdness of multi-universes. In the meantime religion has fractured into about 8000 separate varieties and subsets with each having a different take on the act of creation and its purpose.

In the end but, do Science & Religion know something that we don't? Do they know more than the rest of us?

Re: And that's that, haha :)

PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:46 pm
by ChristusDeusEst
I am a little confused by your last two questions. How can Science and Religion comprehend anything apart from an human mind? Do we not rather comprehend the world through Science and Religion? In that case, they cannot know anything that we don't.

Of course, there are many things that Science and Religion may someday reveal that we just don't know yet. There also may be things which are impossible for human minds to fully know. If anything fits into this category, the secret of creation definitely would.

Since we cannot understand how something comes from nothing, how is it that we come to posit this thesis in the first place?

Philosophically, we might as well posit that matter is not created, but eternal; yet this fails to satisfy our teleologically-oriented minds. Further, it contradicts our own process of inquiry: if matter is eternal, no higher spiritual order can exist; yet how do we even question the existence of such a spiritual order if it does not exist? Molecules bouncing around in the brain cannot create concepts.

It seems then that although we cannot really comprehend the idea of something being created from nothing, most of us nevertheless accept it as the only viable (if not completely verifiable) alternative. Both Science and Religion do lead to the same conclusion. Although most scientists would probably shy from saying that the universe was created, the Big Bang Theory amounts to essentially the same thing. Scientists can describe the physical processes that went on during the Big Bang, but these do not themselves explain the Big Bang. Once again, we can figure out what happened, but we cannot scientifically know why it happened. The question of why is a philosophical question that science cannot answer. And, again, the very fact we ask why suggests there is something behind the Big Bang (and behind all creation, for that matter) that we cannot observe, but which nevertheless exists.

The multi-verse theory cannot circumvent this philosophical conclusion. Our universe may be just one of many, but this still does not explain how any of these universes came to exist.

Religion embraced the same philosophical conclusions which science cannot escape long before scientists even questioned the world's origins. All signs point to creation, which of course implies a Creator. Scriptural revelation says that "in the beginning, God created," and the natural revelation of science, when paired with the right philosophy of science, can only support that statement.

Whether one arrives at this conclusion through Religion or through Science, one reaches it through faith in the obvious. There are no scientific methods or measurements that can prove or disprove philosophical claims. As the philosopher and scientific genius Michael Polanyi once stated, "I hold that the propositions embodied in natural science are not derived by any definite rule from the data of experience, and that they can neither be verified nor falsified by experience according to any definite rule."

Neither do hidden dimensions explain creation. There must be something (some Creator) within those dimensions for creation to happen. The idea of many dimensions is fully compatible with the claims of religion. God exists beyond the dimension of time; therefore he creates in the beginning. We can imagine multiple dimensions, but never actually comprehend them. Just as two-dimensional cartoon characters cannot experience our three-dimensional existence, we cannot fully comprehend God or his act of creation. We intuit, but we do not know. In short, we must accept it through faith--faith in the sufficiently obvious. In this way, Religion (what we believe) takes us farther than Science (what we know, scientia). Religion uses this faith as the starting point, whereas Science can only bring us as far as this faith. Religion answers the question: once we know God created the earth, how ought we to live?

To answer your question, then (and contradict what I originally said): Religion, being dependent on belief, comprehends things we cannot; however Science, being dependent on knowledge, takes us only as far as our minds can go.

Re: And that's that, haha :)

PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2011 3:11 pm
by ChristusDeusEst
I forgot to mention:

Anyone looking for a good book about philosophy/science/creation-debate should read There Is A God, by Antony Flew, in which the author outlines the philosophical arguments which led him to convert to theism after his 50+ year career as a prominent atheist philosopher. In his heyday, Flew debated C.S. Lewis, the renown Christian apologist (who, incidentally, also converted from atheism) better known to the non-Christian world as the author of The Chronicles of Narnia.

I also would recommend anyone interested in this subject should read the collected works of Michael Polanyi.

Re: And that's that, haha :)

PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2011 9:56 pm
by mirjana
To answer your question, then (and contradict what I originally said): Religion, being dependent on belief, comprehends things we cannot; however Science, being dependent on knowledge, takes us only as far as our minds can go.

Hi ChristusDeusEst,
Welcome to DS. =0)
I read all your inspiring answers and like the way you comment things. I took your last lines from this answer as a good illustration for that.
As about religion, I think that philosophy corresponds even better to the description above. But, then, there is again a question. Can we completely put belief out of knowledge? Isn't it very connected to the knowledge, following the evolution of knowledge? What we have today are interpretations of old believes put into the context of the knowledge evolved so far.
I see them as two sides of the same coin that support and inspire each other even then when it seems that they oppose each other.