I’ve been reflecting more on science lately in my meditations. I hope no one takes offense to it. I also don’t intend for any of these reflections to be offered as proof of God or theology.
I was thinking about creation the last few days. Sometimes, we are led to believe that we have to choose between a perfectly logical, mostly developed science of creation or a mythical story which directly conflicts with science and attempts to replace it with myth. It is true that there are many Christians in this country who believe that the myth and the science directly conflict and they choose the myth. I don’t mean to demean their faith but to me, it is an unneeded leap of faith which isn’t any more consistent with scripture than the alternative. However, I’ve also been thinking that to believe that science has or could have all of the answers might be almost as fool-hearted.
Science has a good grasp on creation as evolution. Is it perfect? No, but it doesn’t have to be. It seems to be more probable than not that there was a Big Bang, a cooling planet, evolution of life, etc. But what does science have to say about the creation of matter?
It would be a poor argument to say that because science doesn’t have a complete explanation then, A-HA it must be God (God of the gaps fallacy). However, I do think that science will never be able to offer legitimate explanations of how materiality came into existence.
Did the material exist since the beginning? What is even meant by the term the beginning? If matter always existed, is that logical? I don’t think these answers can ever be discovered by science or even theoretically by reason. Can philosophy ever offer a logical explanation to these questions?
I will admit that it is simpler to believe that materiality spontaneously appeared than it is to presume that first God spontaneously appeared and then created materiality. One step is more simple than 2 steps. The problem is that non-existence creating existence is something logically impossible, however many fewer steps it may take.
What does seem improbable (or impossible) is that something material created materiality. Materiality probably came from energy: E/C2= M (energy divided by the speed of light squared equals mass). So matter may have come from the slowing of immaterial energy. But still, from where did this immaterial energy originate? What immaterial or material thing could have existed to move an immaterial energy?
Whatever our answer to that question is, it will be non-logical. Some may avoid making a seemingly illogical statement by saying nothing, but that silence isn't an answer. There will always be that great unknown.
Most faiths say that God is immaterial. What other immaterial thing could have existed before material existence? We can call that immaterial thing whatever we would like, but there has to be at some point the Aristotelian unmoved mover.
If whatever it was first moved to inspire, form, create, catalyze, the first energy which slowed into matter, it is undeniable that it was SOMEthing because nothingness can't act.
Now, is it more logical? (1) that from absolute nothingness sprung an immaterial action which began matter; or (2) from the beginning there was an immaterial principal (we say beginning because without matter, there is no time), which caused an immaterial action, which science has proven could form into material existence? The difference between 1 and 2 is the difference between a theist and a non-theist. Is one really much more absurd than the other? And what is this energy which slowed into matter? For Christians that energy is Goodness, Love, Beauty, and Truth. This energy overflowed from the outpouring exitus relationship of the Trinity.
Maybe my view of the creation is illogical, but can any of us really say that anyone who makes an affirmative statement about the creation of matter is logical? I know some would be Socratic and say nothing on the topic but that seems like an unconfident cop out.
It is inconsistent to be silent on the issue of the origin of material existence while standing with such certainty against the possibility of a principal first mover Creator. It is impossible for science to come to a conclusion about the origin of materiality since it is something which has never been repeated and probably will never happen again.
Thus, I see the material world as the slowed down energy of Love, Beauty, Goodness, and Truth which formed into microcosms of the Trinity. Maybe it is a bit more non-logical than the next guy’s view, but I’ll risk it. _________
Deacon Jakob Thibault, Lbjc is a student at the Southern New England School of Law.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/1734