Re: The Universe in a Single Atom

From: George L. Murphygmurphy@raex.com <Murphygmurphy@raex.com>
Date: Wed Sep 21 2005 - 10:41:46 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.)

Here's another example, albeit from an unorthodox Jewish standpoint
rather than a Christian one. In his book _Einstein's Religion_ Max
Jammer suggests that Einstein's original belief in a static universe &
introduction of a cosmological term in his field equations may have
been influenced by his commitment to Spinoza's belief in the
immutability of God - which for Spinoza & Einstein meant the
immutability of the universe. Of course the universe isn't static but
the cosmological term is a good 1st approximation to dark energy.

Shalom,
George
Received on Wed Sep 21 10:44:37 2005

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