God vs. Science?

I want to quote David Hayward’s helpful comments about today’s cartoon before sharing the cartoon, since, as David himself emphasizes, the cartoon depicts a misconception and not the way he thinks things ought to be viewed:

This cartoon was inspired by Neil Tyson’s famous quote:

“God is an ever-receding pocket of scientific ignorance that’s getting smaller and smaller and smaller as time goes on.”

You know he said this in response to the naive statement believers often make:

“You can’t understand it- God did it.”

I agree with Tyson: using belief as an excuse for ignorance is a dying maneuver. Hiding from the rising tide of scientific discovery behind faith is doomed.

Actually this cartoon represents the false because dualistic worldview. It believes in a god that is a separate entity rather than The All in all. With this mindset the concept of God and science will always be in competition for our allegiance.

There is no separation, distinction or conflict. Reality is reality is reality. Truth is truth is truth. Reality rules. Truth rules.

  • Richard Blankenship

    Here is where truth starts concerning science. God is the creator period. Meaning , the creator of the science you so love to study. As I have studied science God has revealed himself to me in a deeply intimate way. Rather than becoming some smaller and smaller idea as Scientific understanding develops in my own mind, God has become much more prominent aspect. I have a feeling Mr. McGrath, that he will continue to present himself to you through science or whatever other means it will sink in. Sometimes we refuse to see what’s right in front of us because we think we know it all. Like Tyson, he thinks he knows it all on this matter, but does he? Introduce Neil Tyson to Tetryonics and we can continue this discussion. He doesn’t really know as much as he thinks he does. Also, Tyson’s an atheist so he is not only thinking with a scientific mind, but wrapping his Beliefs, or non-belief into the subject of science thus clouding the reality and truth. So are you, and I am too, wrapping our own beliefs into the subject of science. I think I can handle the truth and seek nothing but the truth in all things. If you truly are seeking the truth you must wear both hats, the one of non-belief must be put to close scrutiny against your hat of Belief. I don’t know it all obviously, but there is a knowing that can take place only by the hand of God and when he is at the heart of your yearning for truth there you will find what you are looking for. I’ve worn both hats, and come out he other side a believer in a divine creator God, but if you are unwilling to go to the fitting room with a hat of belief then are you really seeking truth, or just trying to quote some other intellectual in an attempt to sound intellectual yourself. I don’t write these comments to be confrontational, however with my spirit of truth and seeking, I must investigate where posts such as these are really coming from, and would love to continue the discussion at any time. This is good for everyone.

    https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/101091059990562251330

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

      I have a funny feeling that you didn’t read the post all the way through.

    • Ian

      “Introduce Neil Tyson to Tetryonics and we can continue this discussion.”

      I’m sure NDT would roll his eyes at yet another QM and free energy fruitcakery. ‘Cus, you know, there’s plenty of electrical engineers who think they’ve discovered the fundamental rules of the universe. Funny how they always manage to fill pages and pages of the web without every writing an actual paper, though… Hey ho.

      Good luck on your new found faith, Richard. It seems you are Kelvin’s first true acolyte.

  • Susan Burns

    “There is no separation, distinction or conflict. Reality is reality is reality. Truth is truth is truth. Reality rules. Truth rules.”

    The truth is that the word of God is not “debr”, it is “devour”. Every living organism must devour another living organism to sustain and create new life. This is reality. God must devour to create new life. Farmers know this. Actually, the devourer was originally a Goddess whose totem was a serpent that continuously devoured her own tail. Cattle (boqr) are wonderful devourers because they continuously graze. Their devouring causes the new birth of the sun every morning (boqr). The body of Jesus is symbolically devoured to create a new type of life.

  • Wayne Ferguson

    In this extended quotation from “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance,” Robert Pirsig seems to show that scientific ignorance necessarily expands over time:

    Phædrus’ break occurred when, as a result of laboratory experience, he became interested in hypotheses as entities in themselves. He had noticed again and again in his lab work that what might seem to be the hardest part of scientific work, thinking up the hypotheses, was invariably the easiest. The act of formally writing everything down precisely and clearly seemed to suggest them. As he was testing hypothesis number one by experimental method a flood of other hypotheses would come to mind, and as he was testing these, some more came to mind, and as he was testing these, still more came to mind until it became painfully evident that as he continued testing hypotheses and eliminating them or confirming them their number did not decrease. It actually increased as he went along.

    At first he found it amusing. He coined a law intended to have the humor of a Parkinson’s law that “The number of rational hypotheses that can explain any given phenomenon is infinite.” It pleased him never to run out of hypotheses. Even when his experimental work seemed dead-end in every conceivable way, he knew that if he just sat down and muddled about it long enough, sure enough, another hypothesis would come along. And it always did. It was only months after he had coined the law that he began to have some doubts about the humor or benefits of it.

    If true, that law is not a minor flaw in scientific reasoning. The law is completely nihilistic. It is a catastrophic logical disproof of the general validity of all scientific method!

    If the purpose of scientific method is to select from among a multitude of hypotheses, and if the number of hypotheses grows faster than experimental method can handle, then it is clear that all hypotheses can never be tested. If all hypotheses cannot be tested, then the results of any experiment are inconclusive and the entire scientific method falls short of its goal of establishing proven knowledge.

    About this Einstein had said, “Evolution has shown that at any given moment out of all conceivable constructions a single one has always proved itself absolutely superior to the rest,” and let it go at that. But to Phædrus that was an incredibly weak answer. The phrase “at any given moment” really shook him. Did Einstein really mean to state that truth was a function of time? To state that would annihilate the most basic presumption of all science!

    But there it was, the whole history of science, a clear story of continuously new and changing explanations of old facts. The time spans of permanence seemed completely random he could see no order in them. Some scientific truths seemed to last for centuries, others for less than a year. Scientific truth was not dogma, good for eternity, but a temporal quantitative entity that could be studied like anything else.

    He studied scientific truths, then became upset even more by the apparent cause of their temporal condition. It looked as though the time spans of scientific truths are an inverse function of the intensity of scientific effort. Thus the scientific truths of the twentieth century seem to have a much shorter life-span than those of the last century because scientific activity is now much greater. If, in the next century, scientific activity increases tenfold, then the life expectancy of any scientific truth can be expected to drop to perhaps one-tenth as long as now. What shortens the life-span of the existing truth is the volume of hypotheses offered to replace it; the more the hypotheses, the shorter the time span of the truth. And what seems to be causing the number of hypotheses to grow in recent decades seems to be nothing other than scientific method itself. The more you look, the more you see. Instead of selecting one truth from a multitude you are increasing the multitude. What this means logically is that as you try to move toward unchanging truth through the application of scientific method, you actually do not move toward it at all. You move away from it! It is your application of scientific method that is causing it to change!
    — end quotation of Robert Pirzig –

  • themysteryofgod.org

    This cartoon clearly illustrates the relationship between Science and Religion from an atheistic perspective. First, they misconstrue the history of Science and Religion. Next, they divide between Science and Religion. Then, they exalt Science to the most relevant point and reduce Religion (God) to the most irrelevant point. Finally, they market their new “Slyence” as a convincing Religion of truth and order, which by chance exploded and evolved from the No-God of random nothingness.


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