Looking into the dragon’s mouth

Science cannot tell us whether or not there is a God because the question of God’s existence of God is beyond the scientific method.  Why that is so is worth more than one post.  But for now, let us walk bravely into the dragon’s mouth and look at one world view which some scientists believe is the inevitable conclusion of the world science reveals.

“Man, so far as natural science by itself is able to teach us, is no longer the final cause of the universe, the Heaven-descended heir of all the ages.  His very existence is an accident, his story a brief and transitory episode in the life of one of the meanest of the planets…

“After a period, long compared with the individual life, but short indeed compared with the divisions of time open to our investigation, the energies of our system will decay, the glory of the sun will be dimmed, and the earth, tideless and inert, will no longer tolerate the race which has for a moment disturbed its solitude.  Man will go down into the pit, and all his thoughts will perish.  The uneasy consciousness, which in this obscure corner has for a brief space broken the contented silence of the universe, will be at rest.  Matter will know itself no longer.  ‘Imperishable monument’ and ‘immortal deeds’, death itself, and love stronger than death, will be as though they had never been.”

Arthur Balfour 

Or as Albert Camus put it in fewer words:  “Be prepared to discover that the meaning of life is limited.”

Not all great scientists – including Albert Einstein – espouse this bleak view.  They make rational arguments for why, without even the possibility of ever finding scientific proof, they think there is a transcendent being we call God.

One group looks at the astonishing universe revealed by science and sees an impersonal, meaningless destiny.  Another group sees this amazing, fantastic, universe into which science gives us a glimpse as a manifestation of God’s incredible power and majesty.  The first group thinks science is important because it is all we have.  They believe God is a chimera we use as a crutch when we are unable or afraid to depend on ourselves.

The second group values science and its extraordinary, unexpected, and often challenging revelations just as much as the first.  But for them it is a light that beckons us to go beyond our personal fears and limitations.  They do not believe we need to reduce science to accept God, but rather that science, which gives us a glimpse of His glory, challenges us to deepen and enrich our incomplete idea of God. 

Because it is “by His fruits you will know Him.” 

That is why for some people, science is a religious, even transcendent, experience.

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About Terry Sissons

Terry Sissons is the author of The Big Bang to Now: All of Time in Six Chunks, and this blog is a dialogue about the universe and what’s happened in the last 13 billions years.
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4 Responses to Looking into the dragon’s mouth

  1. Lee says:

    Isn’t the creator the scientist? With the first reaction (the big bang) came another reaction (life). Were we not placed here to care for the planet? Is not Earth a creation? Are we not all creations and creators?
    Some believe only one religion, and by God they will kill to keep it. But isn’t it supposed to be the time of reuniting all factions of religions under one Sun. (This is the Dawning of the age of Aquarius!) If we took the time to look at the heart of religion, we’d see their common threads. (It’s time to start gathering back together, joining and assisting one another. We’ve lost that sense of community.)

    I wonder if the dinosaurs out grew the planet, as we currently are? If they did, didn’t they have a lot longer to wreak havoc on the mother planet? We are a greedy bunch, and have forgotten that Earth was meant to sustain us. Everything is about instant gratification to us. Well, in a blip on the time line, we have basically instantly destroyed the pristine quality of life the Planet once offered.

    I believe in the oneness of all, therefore know that life has phases, and we are currently in this one. If the Armageddon occurs, it won’t be as the evangicals hope. Life will continue, perhaps in the glory of Creator’s presence. They may have to explain how the message of their Christ was practiced in their role upon Earth. It will be interesting. (Not that my own descriptions will earn me Sainthood!)

    Thanks for the indepth info on this site. I am a nurse feeling the need to be Earth’s nurse.

  2. I see it that way too – we are both creator and created.

    And thank you for your feedback on the site. It helps keep me going.

    Terry Sissons

  3. Jeeral Harold says:

    i believe that science is a proof of God’s existence and glory . to know that God is always there watching you is enough to keep you strong and to give you the purpose of life . seeing those incredible creatures and pondering to our mighty sky will definitely lead us all to one great fact that is whenever there is a creation there is a creator .
    only those who read the holly books ( the true undistorted versions) will know that actually most scientific discoveries were told in these books and even things humans did not discover yet .
    trying to search for God is a waste of efforts . the true believer of God should take what’s necessary to live and satisfy the Almighty Lord.
    thank you very much.

  4. Lee says:

    We are but the hands of the greatest scientist, our creator is us, too.

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