RE: [asa] Multi-worlds, parallel histories, and theology

From: Alexanian, Moorad <alexanian@uncw.edu>
Date: Sat Mar 22 2008 - 21:17:39 EDT

 http://www.economist.com/science/displaystory.cfm?story_id=10875666
 

Where angels no longer fear to tread

 

Mar 19th 2008

From The Economist print edition

 

Science and religion have often been at loggerheads. Now the former has decided to resolve the problem by trying to explain the existence of the latter

 

Illustration by Stephen Jeffrey

 

BY THE standards of European scientific collaboration, EUR2m ($3.1m) is not a huge sum. But it might be the start of something that will challenge human perceptions of reality at least as much as the billions being spent by the European particle-physics laboratory (CERN) at Geneva. The first task of CERN's new machine, the Large Hadron Collider, which is due to open later this year, will be to search for the Higgs boson-an object that has been dubbed, with a certain amount of hyperbole, the God particle. The EUR2m, by contrast, will be spent on the search for God Himself-or, rather, for the biological reasons why so many people believe in God, gods and religion in general.

 

"Explaining Religion", as the project is known, is the largest-ever scientific study of the subject. It began last September, will run for three years, and involves scholars from 14 universities and a range of disciplines from psychology to economics. And it is merely the latest manifestation of a growing tendency for science to poke its nose into the God business. .........................

.......................

That quip, though, makes an intriguing point. Evolutionary biologists tend to be atheists, and most would be surprised if the scientific investigation of religion did not end up supporting their point of view. But if a propensity to religious behaviour really is an evolved trait, then they have talked themselves into a position where they cannot benefit from it, much as a sceptic cannot benefit from the placebo effect of homeopathy. Maybe, therefore, it is God who will have the last laugh after all-whether He actually exists or not.

 

________________________________

From: asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu on behalf of Dehler, Bernie
Sent: Sat 3/22/2008 3:56 PM
To: ASA
Subject: RE: [asa] Multi-worlds, parallel histories, and theology

Hi George- I thought Christ came for the sole purpose of redeeming man. If no fall, no redemption is necessary. Christ came to reverse the curse-no sin, no curse, no redemption needed... no Christ entering the world to redeem it, since it doesn't need redemption, therefore no relationship or knowledge of Christ. Christ did come because we sinned, and God knew it would happen (in this world), so he knew from the start He would send Christ.

 

But if we believe there was no real Adam, he's a metaphor, then there was no historical fall event and we are sinners and still need Christ, because we were built by God as sinners.

 

Of course, we all agree this is nonsense (multi-verse), right? Therefore, all the multiverse speculation is nonsense, correct?

 

________________________________

From: George Murphy [mailto:gmurphy@raex.com]
Sent: Friday, March 21, 2008 7:00 PM
To: Dehler, Bernie; ASA
Subject: Re: [asa] Multi-worlds, parallel histories, and theology

 

Your 2d paragraph assumes that the Incarnation was contingent on human sin. I think that that is not the case, but that the Incarnation is the purpose of creation - cf. Eph.1:10. (I am very happy to have excised from the Exsultet at our Easter Vigil tomorrow the line "O happy fault that deserved to have so great a redeemer." That doesn't express a profound mystery, as sometimes thought, but just a misconception. We didn't earn Christ's taking flesh by sinning!)

 

Shalom
George
http://web.raex.com/~gmurphy/ <http://web.raex.com/~gmurphy/>

 

----- Original Message -----

From: "Dehler, Bernie" <bernie.dehler@intel.com <mailto:bernie.dehler@intel.com> >

To: "ASA" <asa@calvin.edu <mailto:asa@calvin.edu> >

Sent: Friday, March 21, 2008 6:13 PM

Subject: RE: [asa] Multi-worlds, parallel histories, and theology

 

Christine- to take it further- could there be a world were God forgives
Satan? He forgives everyone? No need for hell?

Also, in a world where the fall never happened, Christ never came to die
on the cross, so there would be no relationship with Christ. If the
fruit of the "knowledge of good and evil" were never eaten, would
everyone be perpetually ignorant?

-----Original Message-----
From: asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu <mailto:asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu> [mailto:asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu] On
Behalf Of Christine Smith
Sent: Thursday, March 20, 2008 6:36 AM
To: asa@calvin.edu <mailto:asa@calvin.edu>
Subject: [asa] Multi-worlds, parallel histories, and theology

Hi all,

I was pondering the multi-worlds hypothesis last
night, and came across a question that I don't think
has yet been specifically addressed on the listserv
yet?

As I understand it, the multi-worlds hypothesis states
that there is just one universe (with one set of
physical laws), but that within this universe, every
possible outcome at a quantum level (and by extension,
the macroscale level) occurs. Assuming my
understanding is correct, would this imply that in
other "worlds", Biblical events such as the Babylonian
exile, the crucifixition and resurrection of Christ,
the conversion of Paul, etc. would not happen?
Likewise, would that imply that of the multiple copies
of "me" in other worlds, some would be Christian and
some would not? What would this then imply about the
nature of heaven and hell, and of God's plan of
salvation? Indeed, would there be some worlds where
"the fall" never happened?

In short, although multi-worlds could be broadly
consistent with Christianity (or perhaps Theism is the
better term here) in the sense that it does not
contradict the doctrine of God as a sovereign Creator
of a rational universe, how would/could it be
consistent with other Christian doctrines, if at all?

In Christ,
Christine (ASA member)

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Received on Sat, 22 Mar 2008 21:17:39 -0400

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