“Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” – John 12:24
“The last enemy to be destroyed is death...Death is swallowed up in victory.” – 1 Corinthians 15:26, 54
"The greater the sin, the greater the mercy, the deeper the death and the brighter the rebirth.” - C. S. Lewis
"This story...has the very taste of primary truth." - J. R. R. Tolkien

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Christianity and Science

Some things I've written on the subject of science (including quantum mechanics, cosmology, and evolution) and faith (theism more broadly, and Christianity in particular):

  • Thoughts on Dawkins' The God Delusion, ch. 4: Complex things should be explained in terms of simpler things, but God, says Dawkins, would have to be extremely complex, and is therefore a poor explanation for the existence of our world.  But must we think of God as Dawkins does?
  • Is God Physical?: Our complex universe is generated by simply mathematical laws of nature. Is there a simple nature within God that underlies his complexity?  Is it mathematical?  "Physical"?
  • "The Cardinal Difficulty of Naturalism"?: Can our ability to reason be accounted for in terms of natural selection, or must we appeal to a designer?  And what does the answer imply about God as maker?
  • A Spiritual Universe: We perceive meaning and beauty in the world.  The world is made up of spacetime and quantum fields which obey fundamental laws, so is this beauty "planted" in the laws of nature themselves?
  • The Tree in the Seed: The universe is planted and encapsulated in the laws of physics, so in order to understand the more "fundamental" laws, we must also understand the "emergent" realities they give rise to or generate.
  • Fine-Tuning Arguments for God are not the best apologetic arguments for God.
  • The Kalam Cosmological Argument also has problems - it's not the right way of thinking about God or the universe.
  • Dark Energy, Cosmic Acceleration, and the Anthropic Principle: The anthropic principle has a place as a scientific explanation. When used properly, it is neither a philosophical appeal to God as designer, nor a philosophical attempt to escape from God.
  • An Open Universe: How Does God Interact with the World?: How can God's detailed involvement with individual human lives be consistent with the very tight, quasi-deterministic constraints of the laws of physics? How can our world be "open," part of some larger physical reality, rather than closed off from anything beyond it?
  • In his new book The Grand Design, Stephen Hawking claims that science renders God unnecessary.  Is this a scientific conclusion or a larger philosophical statement?
  • The Domain of Science: What things can science explain, and what things are beyond the domain of science?
  • Dawkins, the "God of the Gaps," the Domain of Science, and the Question of Existence: Science, they say, has eliminated the "God of the gaps," but what kind of gaps are we talking about here?
  • Can a Christian believe in evolution?  In these posts I suggest that evolution is something we might expect of God, who uses natural processes to accomplish his purposes:
  • C. S. Lewis on Theistic Evolution
  • Videos of Alister McGrath (biologist and theologian), John Polkinghorne (physicist and priest), and Francis Collins (head of the human genome project) on faith and science.

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