IS SCIENCE ON THE VERGE OF DISCOVERING GOD?
There was a time when to write about science and God in the same book was reserved only for theologians or eccentrics trying to argue that Jesus was a space man, states Dr.David Wilkinson in the latest version of his book God, Time and Steven Hawking. Today it seems all the rage..., he continued.
The Rev. Dr David Wilkinson has a PhD in Theoretical Astrophysics and is a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, a Methodist minister, and Fellow in Apologetics at St Johns College, Durham, UK.
Recently he was interviewed by the editor of a Christian publication in the UK and asked if he thought the average man or woman in the street has a clear understanding of what we now know about the universe.
His answer in part was, No, I dont think so... Im sure many of your readers still have the old picture, based on Isaac Newtons understanding of physics, that the universe is like a gigantic clock, moving methodically and predictably. We know the universe is a lot more complex. Its not like a clock at all. The scientific community know this, but havent been able to communicate it to the average person... Theres a big gap between what science is now understanding, and where most people are. What really worries me is that most theologians are also about 100 years behind the times in these matters.
I think this pretty much described me until 1993 when the former director of Fermilab, Leon Ledermans book, The God Particle was published. The title was intriguing, capturing my interest enough to buy his book and start reading about the subject. Which lead me to read another book and another and another. Also around this same time Fermilab started its Physics for Everyone lunch time program which I started attending regularly.
As I read and listened I found Dr. Wilkinsons statement to be the rule more than the exception i.e. scientists are now writing about science and God in the same books...speaking of them in the same lectures.
What has brought them to this point constitutes the progress that has been made in the decades since Newtonian theories prevailed.
Thats not saying they are ready to give up scientific research in favor of theology but its getting more difficult for many to cling to their belief that the origins of our universe can be fully understood without a God.
Some use terms other than God, for instance, the physicist John Wheeler is said to have extended his interpretation to suggest that it is in fact MIND which has brought the universe into being.
In Dr. Wilkinsons book, he quotes Stephen Hawkings remarks from a radio interview: "It is difficult to discuss the beginning of the Universe without mentioning the concept of God. My work on the origin of the Universe is on the borderline between science and religion, but I try to stay on the scientific side of the border. It is quite possible that God acts in ways that cannot be described by scientific laws. But in that case one would just have to go by personal belief."
Cosmologist Paul Davies, also a popular writer and broadcaster in the area of science, believes that science far from disproving God, may lead us towards him.... Devoting his life to science as a way of pursuing unanswered fundamental questions, in his 1983 book God and the New Physics he suggested that science offers a surer path to God than religion. He is not a Christian but believes that the nature of the universe cannot be fully explained without reference to intelligent design.
In former NASA astrophysicist, Robert Jastrows book God and the Astronomers , Jastrow captures the mood: For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; and as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.
So is Science on the verge of discovering God?
As they continue their search for the origin of our universe scientists have reached what some feel is the last frontier... the Higgs boson, field, or particle. Whether they call it that or Mind, Intelligence or The Theory of Everything, scientists are basically down to one more major discovery that will cause all former pieces of the puzzle to fall into place...what Dr. Lederman calls... The God Particle.
When and if Scientists do discover God...will they know him?
During an interview by the editor of a Christian publication in England, eminent scientist, academic and theologian, Sir John Polkinghorne, was asked how he would advise a sincerely - seeking colleague who wanted to devise an experiment to prove God exists.
He thought for a moment and then said, `I think I would have to ask them to pray.'
The interviewer, Dr. John Halford went on to say. That wasn't a cop out, it really is the answer. You see, God is not interested in being the result of a successful experiment in which we congratulate ourselves and then move on to something else.
God is interested in establishing a relationship, not just a nodding acquaintance. This relationship develops over a lifetime, and consistently opens up new truth and new understanding, giving meaning, purpose and direction to that life - a life God intends should last forever.
God wants access to our mind, our emotions, our deepest thoughts and innermost feelings, so that he can work with us, teach us and inspire us in the most intimate and personal way.
`Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the
only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.' (John17:3)