Re: The Universe in a Single Atom

From: Ted Davis <tdavis@messiah.edu>
Date: Wed Sep 21 2005 - 08:34:01 EDT

>>> "Randy Isaac" <randyisaac@adelphia.net> 09/20/05 9:00 PM >>>writes:

This seems to be a rather lopsided type of integration of reason and faith.
 Science gets to trump faith at every turn. On the other hand, can any of
you really cite an example where faith and revelation affected science?
(not the metaphysical meaning of science)

Ted replies:
How many would you like me to name, Randy?

Let me start with 3, but I'll spare the details or I won't have time to
write even this.

(1) Kepler was motivated to try to "prove" the truth of Copernicanism, b/c
of his belief (acquired while a university student) that in the Copernican
system, with the sun (the symbol of God the Father, in Christian
Neoplatonism) in the center, the whole cosmos was (sort of) a physical image
of the Trinity: the Father in the center, the Son encompassing all as the
stellar sphere, and the Spirit filling the universe in between.

(2) Newton's understanding of universal gravitation was intimately related
to his belief in the omnipresence of God (the one, non-Trinitarian God who
was the creator and who brought redemption through the sacrifice of the
unblemished "Lamb of God" who had been created before the foundation of the
world) in all time and space. God for Newton was in the 1680s (when he
published the Principia) the actual, direct, only cause of gravitation--how
else for goodness sake could one body affect another some distance away
without an intermediate agent to do this? Physicists have always been
suspicious of genuine action at a distance, haven't they?

(3) Cantor's theory of transfinite numbers was closely related to his
belief in God. (This is the only relatively modern example I can think of
at the moment; we moderns have insisted that our science can't be influenced
in these ways by our religious beliefs, and it does seem to be a
self-fulfilling prophecy.)

Ted
Received on Wed Sep 21 08:35:20 2005

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