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Stephen Meyer: The New Cosmology: Theistic Implications

This is an exceedingly strange development, unexpected by all but the theologians. They have always accepted the word of the Bible: In the beginning God created heaven and earth. ...It is unexpected because science has had such extraordinary success in tracing the chain of cause and effect backward in time.

Robert Jastrow

For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.

Robert Jastrow

A rather naïve reaction is to posit a God who performs a creation of the universe.

Christopher Isham

Naïve Because...

  • The theological doctrine of creation does not require a temporal beginning.

  • Natural laws or physical theories may ultimately explain (or at least describe) the origin of the universe or may eliminate the singularity.

Not Necessary, But Sufficient

A temporal beginning may not be necessary to support theistic belief or a doctrine of creation - but if there was a temporal beginning, it would nevertheless support theistic belief.

I. Confirmation of Hypothesis

Hypothetical-Deductive Model

If H, then E
E                 
Perhaps H

A Fallacy

If it rains, then the streets will get wet
The streets are wet  
Therefore it rained

Affirming the Consequent

If R, then W
W              
Therefore R

An Important Qualification

If it rains, we would expect the streets to get wet
The streets are wet  
Therefore perhaps it rained

So What’s the Big Deal?

The best data we have (concerning the Big Bang) are exactly what I would have predicted, had I nothing to go on but the five books of Moses, the Psalms, and the Bible as a whole.

Arno A. Penzias, Nobel Laureate

Genesis 1:1

In the beginning God created the heavens, and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

Titus 1:2

...a faith and knowledge resting on the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time... 

2 Timothy 1:9

...who has saved us and called us to a holy life--not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time...

Confirmation of a Theistic Hypothesis

If theism and the Judeo-Christian view of creation are true, then we have reason to expect evidence of a finite universe.
We have evidence of a finite universe
.
Therefore, we have a reason to think that theism and the Judeo-Christian view of creation may be true.

Confirmation of a Theistic Hypothesis

If T, then F
F              
Perhaps T

II. Inference to the
Best Explanation

The Instant of Creation Remains Unexplained

Alan Guth, physicist.

A Causal Theory?

The actual point of creation lies outside the scope of presently known laws of physics.

Stephen Hawking

In my view the question of origin seems always left unanswered if we explore from a scientific point of view alone. Thus, I believe there is a need for some religious or metaphysical explanation. I believe in the concept of God and in His existence.

Charles Townes, Nobel Laureate

III. A Revised Kalam Cosmological Argument

The Cosmological Argument

  1. Everything that begins to exist must have a cause.

  2. The universe began to exist.

  3. The universe must have a cause (separate from itself).


Email link | Feedback | Contributed by: The Discovery Institute

Topic Sets Available

AAAS Report on Stem-Cells

AstroTheology: Religious Reflections on Extraterrestrial Life Forms

Agency: Human, Robotic and Divine
Becoming Human: Brain, Mind, Emergence
Big Bang Cosmology and Theology (GHC)
Cosmic Questions CD-ROM Preview...
Cosmic Questions Interviews

Cosmos and Creator
Creativity, Spirituality and Computing Technologies
CTNS Content Home
Darwin: A Friend to Religion?
Demystifying Information Technology
Divine Action (GHC)
Dreams and Dreaming: Neuroscientific and Religious Visions'
E. Coli at the No Free Lunchroom
Engaging Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence: An Adventure in Astro-Ethics
Evangelical Atheism: a response to Richard Dawkins
Ecology and Christian Theology
Evolution: What Should We Teach Our Children in Our Schools?
Evolution and Providence
Evolution and Creation Survey
Evolution and Theology (GHC)
Evolution, Creation, and Semiotics

The Expelled Controversy
Faith and Reason: An Introduction
Faith in the Future: Religion, Aging, and Healthcare in the 21st Century

Francisco Ayala on Evolution

From Christian Passions to Scientific Emotions
Genetic Engineering and Food

Genetics and Ethics
Genetic Technologies - the Radical Revision of Human Existence and the Natural World

Genomics, Nanotechnology and Robotics
Getting Mind out of Meat
God and Creation: Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Perspectives on Big Bang Cosmology
God, Humanity and the Cosmos: A Textbook in Science and Religion
God the Spirit - and Natural Science
Historical Examples of the Science and Religion Debate (GHC)
History of Creationism
Intelligent Design Coming Clean

Issues for the Millennium: Cloning and Genetic Technologies
Jean Vanier of L'Arche
Nano-Technology and Nano-ethics
Natural Science and Christian Theology - A Select Bibliography
Neuroscience and the Soul
Outlines of the Science and Religion Debate (GHC)

Perspectives on Evolution

Physics and Theology
Quantum Mechanics and Theology (GHC)
Questions that Shape Our Future
Reductionism (GHC)
Reintroducing Teleology Into Science
Science and Suffering

Scientific Perspectives on Divine Action (CTNS/Vatican Series)

Space Exploration and Positive Stewardship

Stem-Cell Debate: Ethical Questions
Stem-Cell Ethics: A Theological Brief

Stem-Cell Questions
Theistic Evolution: A Christian Alternative to Atheism, Creationism, and Intelligent Design...
Theology and Science: Current Issues and Future Directions
Unscientific America: How science illiteracy threatens our future
Will ET End Religion?

Current Stats: topics: >2600, links: >300,000, video: 200 hours.