Re: Separation of science and religion

George Murphy (
Thu, 20 Nov 1997 17:55:01 -0500

Moorad Alexanian wrote:

> I do not know if you read my comment that from the truth that God created
> the world, and hence the actual order of nature from among possible orders,
> there is no enlightenment as to what that order is. The latter may be
> discovered whether or not one believe in God. This fact constitutes the
> element of truth in the statement attributed to Laplace, that experimental
> science has no need of God. Do you disagree with this statement? Of course,
> if you go outside of the experimental sciences, then one has to be careful
> whether our conventional notion of science is relevant to the questions
> being raised. I will repeat it again that it is not self-evident to me that
> the question of origins is an obvious scientific question. Is it obvious to you?

Theology isn't based on science & science isn't based (other
than perhaps historically) on theology. The world is knowable
_etsi deus non daretur_ - Laplace was right. But that wasn't the point
at issue! The question was whether or not there could be any
interaction between science & religion, specifically Christianity, & I
think I provided clear examples of how there could be. A person doesn't
have to be concerned with those questions (e.g., how God answers
prayer), but they are not simply ruled out of court.
Science does not tell us that the Holy Trinity - or any other
God - created the universe. In fact, God's mode of origination seems to
be such as to conceal any such direct view of God at work. But science
does speak about what happened in the early universe, and there is no
reason in principle why we should not try to extend Laplace's claim as
far back toward t = 0 (if there is a t = 0) as possible. _If we start
from the standpoint of Christian faith in God as the creator_, science
is telling us something about how God brought the universe into being.
If not, not. As so often is the case, it's a matter of faith in search
of understanding.
George Murphy