Starting from the assumption that there is a God and
that he was the creator and architect of the Universe,
and also assuming that God has an ongoing part to the
play in his Creation, we are confronted with a question,
or series of questions.
principal question is did God set Creation up with some
sort of plan at the outset that it will run to? And
if He did, what evidence is there that he "interferes"
in the ongoing outworking of that plan?
[Note: I use the term Universe
as meaning the supernatural and the natural. The Cosmos
is "the natural" or "ordered" part of creation. "Heaven"
is a shorthand descriptor for "the supernatural".]
In ancient times when basically all knowledge of the
universe was pretty much in the realms of mystery we
had no way of really knowing. Today, and largely through
science we can see that God doesn't "stuff around" changing
the laws of science in some random or serendipitous
way. There is simply no evidence in the really "Big
Picture stuff" that God has "changed his mind" as it
were, half way through the plan and decided to construct
a couple of new galaxies over there, a few more stars
down here, or put his "arm" into the whole brew and
mixed 'em all about. There's still a heck of a lot that
we don't know. But we do know enough now to be able
to see that basically from the beginning of Creation
the "Big Picture Stuff" has followed a series of well-defined
laws that unravel in time.
I appreciate this is difficult because one of the surprising
discoveries of the last half century, is that we have
also discovered things like Chaos theory and Quantum
fluctuations which are basically just random events.
But even within Chaos Theory and Quantum theory there
are still laws of probability that determine all these
things. They are not "serendipitous" or random in the
sense that the architect might have had a "bad hair"
day, or that he might have woken up one morning and
decided to take all the kiddies down the shop for an
ice-cream or treat.
Science cannot talk about God. God is not in the lexicon
of science. God is in the province of theology. This
does not mean that the notion of God is foreign to science,
or that science is trying to prove God does not exist.
It's merely saying that science has a boundary. That
boundary is basically studying things that happen within
the ordered cosmos. It can assume there is a creator
but it cannot prove absolutely there is a creator, or
there is no creator, as it can all the things within
its purview and bounds of reference, which are, basically,
the extent of everything within the bounds of the cosmos
- in other words the things we can see, touch, taste,
smell, or hear with the five human senses.
We human beings "sense" by means other than the five
core senses that there might be more than the Cosmos
though. That is why we have a term like "the Universe"
or a term like "the Supernatural". All that "stuff"
which we can't "see, touch, taste, smell, or hear" is
basically outside the purview of science.
While science cannot tell us anything about what is
going on in the Supernatural, it can tell us with reasonable
certainty if it appears as though God might be stuffing
around with the rules of what does happen within the
Cosmos. Basically the evidence is that it would appear
God does not interfere with his Creation at the very
Big Picture Level. He doesn't seem to be a person who
made mistakes and then in 2005 decided to add a few
billion new stars to the equation, or "zapped" a few
billion stars out of the picture in some random way.
The stars that are disappearing are doing so according
to simple laws, in just the same way that human beings
eventually die. There's no "magic" about the Cosmos
at that Big Picture Level. It's friggin' awe-inspiring,
and scientists have little orgasms when they find out
new discoveries but, basically the further we travel
on, all these new discoveries that are occurring are
simply confirming more and more that the universe is
supremely ordered and that "whoever" it was that thought
the whole thing up must have been some "cool guy" or
"cool dame". The "miracle" if there is a miracle in
it all is in the original architecture (which we are
still discovering). There is no "miracle" in the sense
that on Saturday morning God puts his great arm down
into creation and sweeps a great swathe of stars to
destruction. Neither does he go "zap" with some "fairy
powder" on Sunday morning and suddenly create a whole
galaxy of new stars where there were none before.
you follow me so far?
There is more evidence for random events at the very,
very small or Quantum Physics scale. For example the
whole thing that led to the Big Bang is theoretically
possible from what we now know in Physics. Something
can literally be created out of nothing. This is happening
at the very small level all the time. Very small particles
of matter, sub-atomic particles and blobs of energy
just seem to materialise literally out of nothing. But
they never last long. They only last for nano-seconds
or millionths of a second before disappearing back into
nothing again. It takes a lot to understand this stuff
because it is totally foreign to our macro way of seeing
the world. I can assure you though that scientific experiments
now are proving all these "weird" things. We still don't
know much about this stuff but I'd suggest we do
now know enough to be able to speculate that these weird
behaviours are still explained by the laws of science
rather than by having to resort to Mystery and
theories that some "unseen creator" is sitting behind
everything like some pyrotechnician "firing off the
computer signals" that trigger these events to occur.
They might be chaotic and random but they are happening
"within the cosmos" rather than being manipulated or
"caused to happen" from outside "ordered creation".
So, with a little less certainty than at the "Big Picture
Level", but still pretty good certainty, we can see
that the "Very, Very Small Picture" seems to be the
same. The one thing science runs up into a brick wall
with is what happened before the Big Bang? We don't
know. There seems to have been "no time". Literally
everything started with the "Big Bang" and particularly
the four boundaries of the cosmos, length, breadth,
depth and time began some infinitesimally small moment
after the initial "explosion into life". The "trigger"
MAY have been one of these random Quantum fluctuations
but, just as likely it may have been "the Word" - someone,
who for the convenience of description we'll label "G-O-D"
said, or thought, "let the party
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