Before you and I start with this post, read this one.
My favorite academic dean has written a post to which I left a comment and so forth:
He has raised an issue regarding the nature of the debate. The debate was about biological origins and not cosmological origins. In perfect timing, just a few days before the debate, Brian Greene spoke with Krista Tippett about cosmological origins. Neither Bill Nye nor Ken Ham (only one of these is actually a scientist) are physicists. Greene is actually one.
If you listen to Greene in this interview you will detect something uniquely spiritual, even if it is deism, in Greene’s words. But, in the end, he is a cosmologist. Ham thinks he is, by the way, because he is confusing biological origins on planet Earth with the creation of the cosmos. No doubt, without the cosmos, we couldn’t have biological origins; however, you can have the cosmos without the planet earth.
The cosmos, or rather, the deep mysteries of the creation of the cosmos was not discussed in Nye v. Ham 2014. Should it have been? Maybe, but at that point, the debate would have gotten far, far behind what either side could speak to.
Ham would simply point, again, to a man-made book (the bible).1 Nye could equally point to human-made computations. Both would have to start with a small view and it would get only worse.
But, the discussion of the cosmos is what fascinates me. This is why I like Brian Greene and Lee Smolin. When you read them, God (although they may object to that) becomes manifest. They cross the lines from cold science into warm philosophy. I would argue that the only reason either of them may claim atheism (Greene, I believe, claims to be agnostic) is that the definition of God presented to them is a rather small one. But listen to him and really listen to him.
Cosmological origins are the more interesting aspect because there we find God. Yet, we are stuck in the discussion of biological origins because there we think we find the Gospel. I believe the Gospel is not dependent upon what course life took to bring us to where we are now. Of course, this is theology, rather than science. The discussion of biological origins can only take us to a fixed point in time, some 4.5 billion years ago. It can draw a line from that time to this one. However, it does not answer what else God has been up to, even before the creation of this present universe.
Anyway, some continuing thoughts.
- Plasma Astrophysics (independent.com)
- A Case For A Creator (ricktapia.wordpress.com)
- Does Cosmology Require Knowledge Of Reality? (thebibleistheotherside.wordpress.com)
- Is Genesis 1 An Argument Against Evolution? (glennpackiam.typepad.com)
- Philosophy of Cosmology (compuscience.net)
- Vedic Cosmology: Integrating God and Physics (medurisss.wordpress.com)
- For those of you aghast at this phrase, I used the term “the bible” pointedly rather than calling it Scripture. ↩