Monday, September 30, 2019

Language of God 3

See here for notes on chapter 1 and here for notes on chapter 2.

Chapter 3: The Origins of the Universe
  • "One of the most cherished hopes of a scientist is to make an observation that shakes up a field of research... Any assumption that a conspiracy could exist among scientists to keep a widely current theory alive when it actually contains serious flaws is completely antithetical to the restless mind-set of the profession" (58).
  • I resonated with this comment, although I did finally plow through Hawking after 25 years: "It seems likely that the 5 million printed copies of Hawking's book [A Brief History of Time] remain largely unread by an audience that overwhelmingly found the concepts within its pages just too bizarre to comprehend" (60).
  • Eugene Wigner: the "unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics" Why is it that math corresponds so well with the world? (62)
  • The Big Bang - actually very amenable to faith because it posits a clear beginning.
  • Robert Jastrow - "For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream.. as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries" (66).
  • "The Big Bang cries out for a divine explanation" (67).
  • The Anthropic Principle - basically he presents the fine tuning argument for the existence of God. "Our universe is wildly improbable" (74). This basically reduces to two possibilities--a multiverse or God. As a stand alone universe, not at all a realistic option--too improbable.
  • Freeman Dyson - "The universe in some sense must have known we were coming" (76).
  • Bottom line - "The Anthropic Principle certainly provides an interesting argument in favor of a Creator" (78).
  • Laplace argued hard determinism around 1800. Quantum mechanics smashes him to quantum bits.
  • Genesis is poetic. Augustine - "In matters that are so obscure and far beyond our vision, we find in Scripture passages which can be interpreted in very different ways without prejudice to the faith we have received. In such cases, we should not rush in headlong and so firmly take a stand that, if further progress in the search for truth justly undermines this position, we too fall with it" (83).

1 comment:

Martin LaBar said...

Some wise insights!