Thursday, July 9, 2009

(4) Considerations

Nonetheless, I delved into other books that talked about the scientific
quest and the idea of God. By this time, I even ran across some
theological treatises devoted to wondering what the universe might
offer in relation to their religion. Most were written by priests, who
also happened to be scientists. But I decided to avoid these tomes,
in that they tried to "fit" scientific data into their specific faith systems.

Probably pursuing the idea of a Cosmic Plenum, or the Solar Logos,
was bad enough I suppose. But this idea incorporated a much more
universal approach to God or the Creator or the Sustainer of the World.
Anyway, I found here and there more major scientists who talked about
the possibility of a Plenum, if you will. Or at least they scooted around
the topic.

There's Eric Chaisson, an astrophysicist connected with Tufts University.
Previously he served as senior scientist and division head at the Space
Telescope Science Institute of Johns Hopkins University and was also
affiliated with the Harvard- Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory.

Chaisson believed that the very expansion of the universe generates
*information.* But for information to occur, there has to rise an order
out of chaos. In the very earliest moments of the universe, it seemed
chaos reigned. But within a few next moments equilibrium occured,
allowing neutral atoms to move into a re-combination phase--a phase
of some half-million years that allowed energy and matter to couple.
Chaisson felt this cosmic evolution was a result of information that
"drives order from chaos." And at this point, I would like to inject a
small explanation of Chaos Theory.

[Chaos Theory tell us how the cosmos and we *create.* Chaos is
necessary for order! We go through periods or levels of chaos, and
(if we are fortunate) we move away from that path and rise to a higher
level of order. This is called "bifurcation" by the scientists. On the other
hand, precious order can not be allowed to remain stagnant. We have
to engage in that intermittency of chaos and order in order to evolve to
higher levels of creativity and being. If we don't, we would be aiming
towards total equilibrium--which, according to scientists, equates with

Paul Davies is another scientist who I selected. He is a Professor
of Mathematical Physics at the University of Adelaide in Australia.
In one of his earlier books he immediately proposes that there is no
positive scientific evidence for a designer and creator of cosmic order.
However, as Davies put, there is more to nature than its mathematical
laws and its complex order. A third ingredient requires explanation too,
the so-called fundamental constants' of nature. "It is in that province
that we find the most surprising evidence for a grand design."

[By fundamental constants, physicists mean certain quantities
that play a basic role in physics, and which have the same
numerical value everywhere in the universe and at all moments
in time. All nature's forces contain numbers like this that determine
their strength and range.]

And, finally, I found a small selection of earlier scientists, now dead,
who pondered the great question over which I struggle. For this
journal I'll mention Werner Heisenberg, a Nobel Prize winner in
physics, famous for his Uncertainty Principle, who discussed the
motivations behind much scientific discovery and technological
innovations. As he nicely put it, "the development of science and
technology has produced, for example, the IDEA of the airplane."
Heisenberg was talking about that which is *a priori.* To quote:

"At that moment...when the true Ideas rise up, there occurs in the soul
of him who sees them an altogether indescribable process of the
highest intensity. It is the amazed awe that Plato speaks of in the
Phaedrus, with which the soul remembers, as it were, something it
had unconsciously possessed all along."

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