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Is there space for God in the scientific explanation of the creation of Earth?

Is there space for God in the scientific explanation of the creation of Earth? e.g scientific discovery equivalents to burning bushes, parting seas?
Neil Stoddart from Stockton on Tees (age 45-54)


10 Responses

  1. After a lifetime of working in science, I have thought about this question myself. Is the idea of God purely the domain of theology or should science be looking for an answer? Certainly in my opinion I would think that the idea of an avenging Jehovah, a God of fire and brimstone as in the Old Testament, would be difficult for scientists to accept. The ‘Big Bang’ theory suggests that all that exists in the Universe emerged from one tiny particle of imponderable substance. According to science there was a unique event that brought the matter of the early Universe into existence and now we observe its expansion and evolution. The point is, was this the act of an intelligent force? The truth is, it is presently beyond our comprehension. Quantum theory seems to suggest that all we observe, including our life forms, came about purely by chance and probability. Yet Isaac Newton saw the Universe as a giant clock with order and purpose. The modern physics that emerged in the early 20th century did not see order and purpose in the Universe. The big question is still there – is there an ordered creative force in the Universe?

  2. There are certainly some strange questions. The nature of the Singularity that is outside space time and is the boundary between what is perceivable and what is not. And then the necessity of those fundamental physical constants that are very precise and their precision has resulted in the stars and they have evolved resulting in carbon atoms and these carbon atoms can then be so organised that they can become aware of their place in that universe. None of this proves the existence of God but it does leave me in awe. And I may not be the only one!

  3. ‘Is there space for God in the scientific explanation of the creation of Earth?’

    The short answer (or at least MY short answer) is no.

    I think an understanding of Science necessarily undermines religious faith, because Science provides a far more satisfactory framework for understanding the universe and our place within it than Theology has been able to supply.

  4. The scientific theories about the creation of Earth don’t rely on God giving processes a judicious prod with His finger to steer them in just the right way, and to me it seems that ascribing such subtle influence would rather demean the majesty conventionally ascribed to the Judeo-Christian God.

    The usual God/Creation/Science issue is usually based on a literal interpretation of Genesis, whereas creating spaces for things to be in the first three days, and filling them in the second three days; and the nice match of days 1 and 4 (light+dark, and astral bodies), 2 and 5 (sky+sea and birds+fish), and 3 and 6 (dry land+plants and terrestrial animals+man) feels much more like poetry.

    Poetry aside, stretching Genesis to match scientific understanding is at best sleight of hand – the ‘days’ as ‘ages’, dinosaurs as birds, and so on – these create a ‘God of the gaps’, where increasing scientific discoveries squeeze an increasingly demeaned God out.

    If you want to adhere to both the scientific creation and God, you need a different angle: I prefer that He set it all up from the beginning, making the finely balanced fundamental constants mentioned above are part of that, with some vague speculation that the multiple universes theory of those constants is perhaps a manifestation of the universes He considered and rejected.

    Or perhaps He’s still just thinking about us, and the substrate of the Universe is the mind of God. 🙂

  5. Dear Neil,

    Richard Dawkins has an excellent book call “The God Delusion” in which he argues very convincingly that God does not exist, or at least that God is extremely unlikely to exist. Dawkins is an atheist and the book is obviously written from that point of view, but I would still recommend it to people of faith in the interests of debate and mutual understanding.

    From a personal point of view, I was at a dinner party once and we were talking about the weirdness of quantum mechanics and some of the stranger aspects of cosmology. One of the guests became quite overawed by the discussion and the complexity of it all and said that if you can propose theories that are so complex and so unlike our everyday experience then what is wrong with the proposal that God exists. My reply was that an omnipotent being is by definition the most complicated thing that could ever exist and the complexity of the theories we had just been talking about pale into insignificance when compared to how complicated God must be.

    My tiny little human brain is unable to contemplate the existence of God, so I reject his existence, like Dawkins, as extremely and mind-bogglingly unlikely and I embrace science with morality and ethics. My life is no less rich (in fact it is more so) as a result.

    Best wishes


  6. Scientific theories do not come about because there is space for them, you do not claim something to be true because it has not yet been ruled out. They come about because there is need for them and/or evidence for them. Our current understand of the origin of the Earth is quite sound and has no need for a supernatural creator to be involved, nor is there any evidence that one was.

  7. In short no, (my opinion). But the essence of faith is a willingness to believe without proof, so no matter how well you put an argument against the “hand of god” (sorry England soccer fans) in the creation of the Earth, or anything else for that matter 🙂 those with faith in a god will stick to their guns whilst the sceintists will try to argue against his/hers/its existance, so stalemate is the eventual outycome to your question I’m afraid – it all depends on where you sit on the matter of gods existance or not.

  8. Science is the study of natural laws. In studying an event such as the big bang, science can discern much of how it proceeded, but is powerless to discern whether or not these laws are themselves a product of spontaneous generation or divine design.

    If you are unsure of which, science cannot help you decide. However another discipline such as history might shed some light.

  9. Hi,
    Yes. I think that there are too many known scientific truths ( which we accept as proven ) about our existance to discount the possibility of an Almighty Designer. These relatiionships ( to the Sun and to our moon for example), essential to our explanation of the existance of evolutionary theory call for what might be described as a ‘coincidence of coincidences’ otherwise, A more detailed and thorough justification can be posted here to support my view if you wish,

  10. God spoke saying “let there be light”, and light came to be and was separated from darkness. Human nature will NEVER be able to explain the power of God. The atheists waste so much of their lives trying to prove that God does not exist and it just so happens that everyday events shout to their faces that He is in control of everything that occurs.

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