Thursday, November 23, 2023

Vatican Astronomer explains Cosmology

A Vatican astronomer writes a paper on God and the Big-Bang: Past and Modern Debates Between Science and Theology. Nice to see a modern attempt to reconcile Theology and Cosmology.
The Christian concept of creation is, instead, completely different from that of the God-demiurge of scientists. First, God creates from a state where before there was really nothing (creatio ex nihilo), i.e., neither initial energy nor physical laws. Indeed, he creates both energy and physical laws from nothing and keeps them in existence. God creates the world and all its creatures into being.
I had to look up demiurge:
In the Platonic, Neopythagorean, Middle Platonic, and Neoplatonic schools of philosophy, the demiurge (/ˈdɛmi.ɜːrdʒ/) (sometimes spelled as demiurg) is an artisan-like figure responsible for fashioning and maintaining the physical universe. The Gnostics adopted the term demiurge.
I question whether God had to create energy. When masses become gravitationally bound, they lose potential energy, and maybe no mass was bound at the Big Bang. It is possible that the net energy of the universe is zero, because all the energy we see from starlight is balanced by the negative energy of gravitational wells.
Today we see that the ΛCDM standard cosmological model works quite well with observational data; however, as we have explained, it is necessary to use ad hoc “elements,” such as dark matter and dark energy, to explain some otherwise unexplained phenomena. In this sense one could think, with all the reservations and cautions of the case, that there could be an analogy between the theory of the epicycles of Ptolemy’s geocentric system, invented to explain the motion of the planets, and the hypotheses of dark matter and dark energy, introduced to adapt the cosmological model to otherwise unexplained phenomena. In other words, it must be said that, despite all the progress that has been made in science, and in particular in current cosmology, the myth of a “very precise” science, without any shadow, must certainly be debunked. The truth, however, is that even the scientific models that we possess today and which we use to describe nature have limitations, and therefore do not possess to any degree the character of infallibility that a new dogmatic “scientism” would like to attribute to them. Since ancient times there has always existed a tight connection between cosmology and religion.

In ancient cultures, starting from the harmony and order existing in the visible universe – which at that time was simply the starry sky – people have always tried to hypothesize the existence of an “architect” God which is the cause of this harmony. Let us remember, one out of many, the so-called “cosmological proofs of the existence of God,” where from the “contingency” of the world philosophical arguments deduced the necessity of the existence of a first cause, God, Who is also the guarantors of Universe harmony. However, the modern conflicts – for example, the “Galileo case” and the subsequent fracture between science and theology – lead us to think that, following Lemaître, the right approach, in the science-theology debate, is the separation between the theological and scientific planes or magisteria. But this does not prevent a mind, enlightened by the Grace of God as Pius XII was mentioning in his 1951 speech, from seeing in the harmony and order of the universe a beauty that reflects the imprint of the Creator and the Love with which God created and wove the universe. However, this is not proof of the existence of God, but rather an a posteriori observation, valid only for those who are either already believers or accepting God’s Grace to believe.

You may think that this is ridiculous, but it is not any more ridiculous than many-worlds theory, determinism, and a lot of other things that modern scientists accept.

1 comment:

  1. As western history has proven, there is nothing wrong with being a religious Christian doing science, provided, when you are doing science, you are wearing your professional hat and doing science and not wearing your yamaka or mitre and looking for ways to justify your inner faith. In addition, if it takes your spiritual faith to understand the 'truth', it isn't a communicable scientific truth, as scientfic truth needs to be open-source, not proprietary in nature.

    Science is not a priesthood. It can not be kept guarded in the house of the hierophant, as it is not mystical or secret, dribbled out like water to only the parched faithful.