Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Hello, God: This is the Big Bang. Okay, look, I done it. What do I do NOW?

From David Berlinski's The Devil’s Delusion: Atheism and Its Scientific Pretensions,

Those who believe in God and those who do not may resolve their differences by agreeing to say nothing. There is nonetheless a striking point at which Big Bang cosmology and traditional theological claims intersect. The universe has not proceeded from the everlasting to the everlasting. The cosmological beginning may be obscure, but the universe is finite in time. This is something that until the twentieth century was not known. When it became known, it astonished the community of physicists - and everyone else. If nothing else, the facts of Big Bang cosmology indicate that one objection to the argument that Thomas Aquinas offered is empirically unfounded: Causes in nature do come to an end. If science has shown that God does not exist, it has not been by appealing to Big Bang cosmology. The hypothesis of God's existence and the facts of contemporary cosmology are consistent. p. 80
Of course, science (I assume that Berlinski means by science here, physics) has not shown that God does not exist but likely the opposite. That's probably why so many atheists - when they weren't looking to alternative universes - looked to neuroscience to save their belief system, as Mario Beauregard and I discuss in The Spiritual Brain. If anything, the human brain (the most complex item in the known universe) has pretty much fried their unpalatable system and served it on stale toast. See, for example,
Materialists start to come to grips with global failure, but materialism dies hard,
"Neural Buddhists, Christians, and the Mud that failed", and
Neural Buddhism: Do neurons get reincarnated?

on why all that isn't working any more.

I will be reviewing Berlinski's book this summer (when the bench arbour is finally both warm and dry), and will link to the review.