“Order and symmetry of pristine mathematical purity”

“Order and symmetry of pristine mathematical purity” October 12, 2018


Our galaxy's central core
This composite color infra-red image of the center of our Milky Way galaxy reveals a new population of massive stars and new details in complex structures in the hot ionized gas swirling around the central 300 light-years. This sweeping panorama is the sharpest infra-red picture ever made of the galactic core.   (Public Domain: NASA/ESA, Caltech, University of Massachusetts at Amherst)


Two quotations from Modern Physics and Ancient Faith, by Stephen M. Barr, a cosmologist and theoretical particle physicist at the University of Delaware:


“Science has given us new eyes that allow us to see down to the deeper roots of the world’s structure, and there all we see is order and symmetry of pristine mathematical purity.” 
“The universe looks far more orderly to us now than it did to the ancients who appealed to that order as proof of God’s existence.” 


I’m a great admirer of Professor Barr and his writing.  He is a committed Catholic and, in fact, serves at the moment as the leader of the Society of Catholic Scientists, an organization that, quite frankly, I envy.  So far as I’m aware, there is no Latter-day Saint analogue to the Society of Catholic Scientists, though I wish there were.




And here are three relevant passages from the late Allen Sandage (1926-2010), one of the most important astronomers of the twentieth century and, I learned only too late (since I would have loved to meet him), a neighbor of mine in San Gabriel, California, where I grew up.  In 1983, in his late fifties, Dr. Sandage announced that he had become a Christian.


It was my science that drove me to the conclusion that the world is much more complicated than can be explained by science. It is only through the supernatural that I can understand the mystery of existence.


I find it quite improbable that such order came out of chaos. There has to be some organizing principle. God to me is a mystery, but is the explanation for the miracle of existence, why there is something instead of nothing.


The world is too complicated in all parts and interconnections to be due to chance alone. I am convinced that the existence of life with all its order in each of its organisms is simply too well put together. Each part of a living thing depends on all its other parts to function. How does each part know? How is each part specified at conception? The more one learns of biochemistry the more unbelievable it becomes unless there is some type of organizing principle — an architect.



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