Oh boy, a God and science post. There’s no telling what I may be setting myself up for. I have to be careful with these kind of posts because people make the assumption that I may be attacking or trying to persuade, when my intent is to do what I always do – post stuff that may or may not interest you. Some may call B.S. on this, and there’s nothing I can write to change your mind, so I guess that’s all Kool and the Gang.
Sidenote: I once sat behind Kool and the Gang at a Mavs game and didn’t know it until they performed after the game. They got a kick out of seeing my face when they started to perform just as I realized they were the ones sitting in front of me and my friend.
Okay, back to God and science. Where was I?
Nancy Ellen Abrams has a new book called A God That Could Be Real: Spirituality, Science, and the Future of Our Planet. Rather than just cut and pasting what the book is about and who the author is, just click the link, and you’ll see why I’m posting about it. Specifically that part that starts off with, “Many people are fed up with the way traditional religion alienates them:”. In short, she’s trying to answer this question – “Could anything actually exist in the scientific universe that is worthy of being called God?”
Well, let me play spoiler by stating her answer to that question is “yes”.
It’s not so much the book that I find BagOfNothing worthy, but the first of her series of posts on NPR about the subject and book.
I think my Christian friends might benefit from these posts because it may give them a glimpse into a world they aren’t accustom to – how atheists and/or people of science process their thoughts and understand their perspective of what or who God is. My Christian friends aren’t going to agree with hardly anything she states (especially the redefining God part), but it may help them forge a relationship with these kind of folks if they can better understand their way of thinking, instead of just going off assumptions. And yes, that cuts both ways.
As for my non-Christian friends, this just might be an interesting read. For my friends that are of both faith and science, it could just be thoughtful and enlightening reading.
I already provided a link above to her post(s), but here’s a sample to wet your whistle.
Does God have to be part of our understanding of the universe? No. But if scientists tell the public that they have to choose between God and science, most people will choose God, which leads to denialism, hostility to science and the profoundly dangerous mental incoherence in modern society that fosters depression and conflict. Meanwhile, many of those who choose science find themselves without any way of thinking that can give them access to their own spiritual potential. What we need is a coherent big picture that is completely consistent with — and even inspired by — science, yet provides an empowering way of rethinking God that provides the human and social benefits without the fantasy. How can we get this?
Science can never tell us with certainty what’s true, since there’s always the possibility that some future discovery will rule it out. But science can often tell us with certainty what’s not true. It can rule out the impossible. Galileo, for example, showed with his telescope that the medieval picture of earth as the center of heavenly crystal spheres could not be true, even though he could not prove that the earth moves around the sun. Whenever scientists produce the evidence that convincingly rules out the impossible, there’s no point in arguing. It’s over. Grace lies in accepting and recalculating. That’s how science moves forward.
What if we thought this way about God? What if we took the evidence of a new cosmic reality seriously and became willing to rule out the impossible? What would be left?
We can have a real God if we let go of what makes it unreal. I am only interested in God if it’s real. If it isn’t real, there’s nothing to talk about. But I don’t mean real like a table, or a feeling, or a test score, or a star. Those are real in normal earthbound experience. I mean real in the full scientific picture of our double dark universe, our planet, our biology and our moment in history.