Review Science-Religion Interface
Why Scientists and Theologians are talking

Factual Links between Science and Religion

What have we learned about the link between science and religion?

  1. First, we have discovered that the universe appears to have had a beginning and it will also have an ending. The sun will not last forever. Eventually, all the stars will burn out and the entire universe will become a place of cold, eery, lonely darkness. The earth will not support life forever. If humans are only physical beings (do not have a soul), then the human race is meaningless since the universe will end. Scientists without any spiritual beliefs acknowledge this ordeal.
  2. "The more the universe seems comprehensible, the more it also seems pointless..."

    Steven Weinberg: U.S. Physicist

    Support for these conclusions comes from the universal law of decay. Evidence for this law is abundant all around us as cars rust, people grow old, buildings fall down, and on and on. Humans will never be able to stop the universe from decaying. In support of these conclusions, the famous astronomer, Arthur Eddington, spoke of the certainty of the law of decay.

    "To deny the universal tendency for physical things to wear out is akin to denying reality."

    - Arthur Eddington, British astrophysicist

    However, the fact that the universe had a beginning and is destined to end cannot prove that God(s) exists. Regardless of the inability to prove God(s) exists using science alone, the general tendency for all physical things to wear out gives credible support that an outside force or Supreme Being(s) created the universe.


  3. Second, we learned that the universe is highly ordered and appears to be designed. The very concept of design requires a Designer, whether the Designer is a Supreme Being(s) or a creative force. Life appears to have been "fine-tuned" by God(s). Many scientists believe in the existence of God(s) due to "fine-tuning" ideas.
  4. However, some people believe that the universe came to exist due to a random event. They get their ideas from the study of subatomic particles (quantum physics). Scientific experiments show that there is considerable randomness in how subatomic particles behave.

    The biggest issue with particle accelerators relates to the test setup. When a particle accelerator takes a measurement of a particle, the particle is influenced by the test measurement system. Since test measurements influence the outcome, scientists become philosophical about the results.

    These people hypothesize that multitudes (billions and billions and billions) of hidden universes exist. We just happen to live in a universe that randomly permitted life to evolve. Since these people believe there are untold numbers of these hidden universes, the miracle of life is simply a random event. There is no Supreme Being(s) according to this viewpoint. It is very important that we understand the viewpoint of people who have absolutely no proof of these unseen universes as follows:

    "One hears a great deal about "other" universes in cosmology today: "parallel universes," "baby universes," "bubble universes." But these appeals to invisible universes have a certain unpersuasive quality to them: They are reminiscent of medieval theologians' speculations about the number of angels that could dance on the head of a pin.

    " Patrick Glynn, God the Evidence page 8

    Is the random generation of life in the universe credible? In truth, no one will ever know if the random universe theory is true based on reason alone or mind-bending experiments. The correct assessment is that the random universe idea is best viewed as a form of "blind faith." For people who emotionally support this viewpoint as being credible, it should be viewed as religious "blind faith." It truly has minimal scientific support since it has been shown that the Big Bang theory requires fine-tuning on the order of at least 10 to the power of 1030.

    Based on the idea of random universes as compared to a fine-tuned creation, we can only conclude that science by itself does not permit humans to know whether the universe has been created by a Supreme Being(s) or not. However, the evidence appears to support that the universe has been created based on the evidence for design.


  5. The third major item is that 20th century science has shown that the universe appears to have had a beginning. The Big Bang theory appears to have credible support through theory and observation. The following outline simply reminds you of earlier discussions. If you wish to review one of these ideas, click on it and you will return to that concept.
    • Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB): Did light exist before the stars formed? This idea was theorized in 1948 by scientist, George Gamow, and in 1950, by scientists Ralph Alpher and Robert Herman.
    • In 1965, Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson were the first to discover the CMB. Since then, NASA has designed and built two advanced satellites that confirmed the CMB; in 1992 the COBE satellite and in 2001 by the WMAP satellite. The WMAP satellite produced a sharp focused image of the CMB light.

    • Star Birth rate has declined since the beginning: Observed in 1995, 1996, and 2004 by the Hubble Space Telescope, which took pictures of deep space. The most advanced photos were taken in 2004. In all cases, the Hubble telescope was pointed at a tiny bit of sky that shows total darkness. But the HST pictures picked up the faintest galaxies that had ever been seen. The light from these galaxies began its trip to earth more than 12 billions years ago. The photos show that star birth was ten times higher billions of years ago. As time passes, star birth will someday stop. It is a fact that all the stars will someday stop burning and die out as time moves steadily onward.
    • All Galaxies formed in the Early Universe: Observed in 1995, 1996, and 2004 by the Hubble Space Telescope, which took pictures of deep space. The most advanced photos were taken in 2004. Several ideas support that all galaxies came to exist in the early universe as follows:
    • Deep space pictures show that baby galaxies looked very different than current galaxies. Baby galaxies were very small and did not have spiral arms in the beginning. To grow bigger, the galaxies crashed into one another and collected gas and other matter spread across the universe.

      In addition, deep space pictures show that the inner cores of distant galaxies give out extremely bright light, which is due to quasars in the early universe. Quasars are the brightest objects in the universe. The measured brightness of a single quasar is like a thousand galaxies combined. Their super mass attracts and consumes passing stars and other space debris. The intense heat of these massive systems heat up by friction and cause mind-boggling intense light.

      Based on the evidence, scientists concluded that galaxies in the early universe appear very different than galaxies of today. Most important, scientist concluded that all galaxies came to exist in the early universe. Since all galaxies came to exist in the early universe, we have another fact that supports the universe had a beginning.

    • Nuclear Chemistry of the Big Bang: Theoretical predictions based on Big Bang cosmology expects that the universe would be made of about 75% hydrogen and 25% helium. Observation of light using a spectroscope supports that the universe (the sun, stars, and galaxies), is made of about 75% hydrogen and 25% helium. Theory and observation agree.
    • Accelerating Universe: We only know of the universe we live in. We know that this universe will not contract again to be born again. This evidence destroys the oscillating universe theory (The known universe is not a randomly repeating universe. It was created one time and it is dying).


  6. The fourth major item relates to Albert Einsteinís special relativity. Relativity permits us to investigate whether God has actually revealed spiritual truth through a world religion. As discussed in the previous section, the laws of nature do not allow time travel to the past. We can conclude that time-space prevents time travel, which appears to be the "key" to finding out if God exists.
  7. The entire physical creation is locked Inside time-space. No one will ever be able to time travel to the past. In contrast, if there is a Creator who exists Outside time-space, then the Creator is not controlled by time-space. The Creator could potentially be present in the past, the present, and the distant future. In essence, the Creator would be able to foretell future human events about life on planet earth.

    The next page will apply scientific principles to the religious belief system in its various forms that is commonly referred to as pantheism.


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