Dan Gilgoff–Francis Collins: A Scientific Basis for God

Collins says belief is ultimately a matter of faith””that God’s existence can’t, in the end, be proved by science. And yet he sees plenty of “pointers to God,” natural phenomena that imply the existence of a biblical God. Here are Collins’s “pointers”:

* There is something instead of nothing.

* The unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics, which make simple and beautiful laws.

* The Big Bang: out of nothingness, the universe came into being. That cries out for explanation, since we have not observed nature to create itself . . . it causes us to postulate a creator, and the creator must be outside of time or you haven’t solved the problem.

* The precise tuning of the physical constants in the universe. If gravity was a little weaker, things would all start flying a part. You can see a creator in these constants.

Collins says his work reconciling science and religion has received mixed reviews from the evangelical Christians that it’s largely aimed at.

Read it all.


Posted in * Culture-Watch, Religion & Culture, Science & Technology

9 comments on “Dan Gilgoff–Francis Collins: A Scientific Basis for God

  1. alfonso says:

    I think the best way to look at this issue is, “A Divine basis for Science” rather than “a scientific basis for God.” Regardless, there should be no fear of looking at how the two are connected.

    Off topic, Christ Johnson’s MCJ (The Midwest Conservative Journal) is down at the moment. Backup: http://mcjbackup.blogspot.com/

  2. R. Eric Sawyer says:

    I think the arguement from the “big bang” is very complelling. Short of a cyclical universe, which expands from a unity to a maximum size, and then contracts to a point from which the cycle is repeated, (and this doesn’t seem to be in the math, not to mention the problem of entropy), then one has to ask “Why?”

    But for devil’s advocate, the argument from a finely tuned set of physical constraints seems to me much more problematic. If there are indeed one such set of constraints that will work, then of course that will be the only set we will observe. The other “universes” would not have “held together” and would thus leave no trace. We wouldn’t know about any of them.
    If creation is such that it “got it right” in one go, that would be statistically outstanding. But have we any reason to guarenty that? If the universe was such a thing that continually pushed out on it’s own, with completely random contraints, given infinite time the right set of numbers would come up eventually. After all, somebody realy does win the lottery. It is not surprising that the winning numbers are chosen. It IS surprising that I am the one who chose them. Looking at it from the end of the ticket, the odds may be 20,000,000 to one against. Looking at it from the game as a whole, the odds are pure 100% that there will be a winner.
    Unless we can prove that a materialistic solution had one and only one shot at getting the numbers right, that argument won’t go far.

  3. Militaris Artifex says:

    If Professor Frank J. Tipler, a mathematical physicist at Tulane University and author of [i]The Physics of Christianity[/i] (© 2007) is correct, and his argument is very compelling, then the Quantum Theory of Gravity proposed by Feynman effectively [i]proves[/i] the existence of a Triune God. I have just finished reading the book this morning, and despite the book having been out for well over a year, no one has offered any experimental refutation of his assertion that [i]every experiment thus far performed is consistent with Feynman’s theory[/i]. The italicized comment is one of Tipler’s statements of the evidence which led him to his conclusions.

    It is relatively accessible to a literate reader without requiring substantial understandings of math and physics, and it is, if nothing else, an interesting read.

    Pax et bonum,
    Keith Töpfer

  4. NewTrollObserver says:

    My understanding of the Big Bang theory is not that the Bang came out of “nothingness”, but that the Bang came out of a “singularity”, an infinitesimally small point of something.

    The basic question is still, “Why is there something (whether this something is a result of a steady-state universe, a Big Bang, a Big Crunch [only one Big Bang, then universe collapses back into singularity], or a Big Bounce [cyclic Big Bangs and Crunches]) instead of nothing?”

  5. R. Eric Sawyer says:

    I think the only route that does not require an outside agent is the Big Bounce. A bouncing universe is in a sense, steady-state and static. You are right in that it doesn’t remove the question of why a static universe should exist, but, as with older materialists, the universe could be self exixtent. The expanding universe has a time arow that is unidirectional, with a point origin. I have never been able to get my head around any way to imagine this that doesnot require an outside agent of some sort to initiate the bang form the singularity. What’s the spark-plug?

    I suppose the thinking must link up with the idea that time itself does not exist before the bang, so trying to sequence “Before” “During” “After” becomes a nonsense question.

    I would sure appreciate someone who realy knows something setting me straight!

  6. NewTrollObserver says:

    One current hypothesis is that a true singularity is physically impossible; thus, making a Big Bounce — where the universe approaches but never reaches singularity — a more plausible scenario.

    [blockquote] * Einstein’s general theory of relativity says that the universe began with the big bang singularity, a moment when all the matter we see was concentrated at a single point of infinite density. But the theory does not capture the fine, quantum structure of spacetime, which limits how tightly matter can be concentrated and how strong gravity can become. To figure out what really happened, physicists need a quantum theory of gravity.
    * According to one candidate for such a theory, loop quantum gravity, space is subdivided into “atoms” of volume and has a finite capacity to store matter and energy, thereby preventing true singularities from existing.
    * If so, time may have extended before the bang. The prebang universe may have undergone a catastrophic implosion that reached a point of maximum density and then reversed. In short, a big crunch may have led to a big bounce and then to the big bang.[/blockquote]


  7. Militaris Artifex says:

    According to Tipler, the Big Bang arose from a singularity. The Singularity itself is outside of time and space.

    Keith Töpfer

  8. tgs says:

    “The God Theory” by Bernard Haisch is an interesting easy to read book which includes information on the zero-point energy (creative) field.

  9. Alice Linsley says:

    A singularity which led to a singular fixed order of creation. And since the order of creation is fixed there is no real change. That’s why science progresses… it can count of fixed laws in math and physics. That science advances because there is no real change mitigates against the view of macro-evolutionists. Plato was right. Read this: http://college-ethics.blogspot.com/2009/04/plato-and-intelligent-design.html