God and Science

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Posted by Stuart Gilman ( on October 12, 2002 at 15:28:38:

God and Science

by Stuart Gilman

{Stuart Gilman is a mathematics and physics graduate of McGill University. He is currently Director of őThe Institute of Individual and Family Therapy‚. Prior to his entry into psychological science, he was an
editor, playwright, poet and journalist. He is an elected member of American Association for the Advancement of Science and the New York Academy of Sciences. He lives in Saint Lambert, Quebec.}

New discoveries in all the sciences generate more questions than they answer. This greater ignorance has promoted many theologians of all faiths as well as a few scientists to find some degree of analogy between
Judeo-Christian texts and Science. Whereas science has generally been used to destroy religious ideology, there is now a resurgence of „Science and Religionš due to the baffling mysteries unlocked by the most modern scientific findings. One of the more common gradualist reductions occurs between Hebraic writings (and the Old Testament) and the general acceptance of the őBig Bang‚ theory of the Universe‚s creation.

Nathan Aviezer, an Israeli physicist, has recently written that ő... the era of contradiction between Torah {the first five books of the Bible} and science is over‚. He could have written this same thought more than
twenty years ago when the Big Bang Theory and its reconciliation with Creationist views was already well established among most scientists., but - in a purely mythical way. A deeper look at both the Bible and Modern Cosmology would have led to a clear understanding that similarities have been poetically formed out of misrepresentations of both modern science and the actual religious texts upon which science is viewed by many to have a growing harmony.

Nothing is further from the truth - Biblical writings and the Big Bang somehow proving each other - but the truth is far more mystical and mysterious than any religious person, of whatever persuasion, currently understands. The only exception would be the Baha‚i faith, whose prophet, Baha‚u‚llah (died 1892) was the first great religious thinker to embrace both science and reason, claiming that the gateway to God would be unlocked by Science. He also claimed it could take a few thousand years before we arrive in God‚s courtyard.

A reading of the Torah or the Bible is disappointing for any reasonable person. Whenever I conduct philosophical and religious study groups I quickly discover that everyone‚s religious ideas are crude excerpts of misquoted original texts. To read the unexpurgated versions of any of the Sacred texts of any of the world‚s religions leads a reasoned person to a disappointing disillusionment with all of them.

At the same time, it is absolutely true that Science has progressed to the mystical and literally miraculous. Something is őmiraculous‚ when its probability of existence is zero. Since the statistical probability of our own existence is zero, each human being is a őmiracle‚. The latest findings in astrophysics inform us that the universe is still expanding and that it is flat not curved; that the furthest galaxies are expanding at a faster rate than any inner galaxy and that there is a galactic fluid (plasma) that no-one understands. In neurology, the map or model of the human brain recently grew a trillion-fold when it was discovered that of our original trillion brain cells, several million have one hundred thousand synapses (connectors) and most have between five and ten thousand. The map of a single human brain has become more complex than the entire known universe. And once again, within the brain there is another form of őplasma‚ known as glia cells , which outnumber the cortical volume by a factor of thousands. The term neuroglia means "nerve glue,". These cells were originally thought to be structural supports for neurons. But other functions of the neuroglia are now generally accepted. What they are is unknown.

Now, when we stop mythologising and anthropomorphizing, we look into the atom and find that every atom is composed of at least three quarks and a proton. The nucleus of every atom in the universe is so complex that it mirrors the dynamics of the Universe. Within each atom the quarks move outward at an accelerated rate while the protons maintain nuclear stability by forcing them to retreat before exploding outward from the
atom itself. Here again, a mysterious plasma also exists, called gluons. Like glia and interstellar plasma, gluons are subatomic particles without which no matter can exist. Which takes us to the genome.

Having discovered that the true number of human genes is a mere thirty thousand, scientists have been actually set back perhaps a thousand years in their attempts to eradicate disease. The difference between humans and a fruit fly is insignificant as regards gene population. The real difference lies is in two factors: connectivity and function. Human beings are the most functionally complex of all living things, and now that our gene population has been determined to be incredibly small, the inter-connectivity of genes and other cellular materials present a challenge to geneticists and other biological scientists greater than has ever been known. The more knowledge, the more ignorance.

And once again, as in the models of the universe, the atom and the brain, bioscientists are looking to what is poorly labelled őjunk DNA‚ of which there is a far greater number than currently published text DNA. Junk DNA, gluons, glia and interstellar plasma present to us a common model at all levels of reality.

The result of all this new knowledge is that reality has become, from the human, scientific perspective more mysterious and unknown than ever before. Each new revelation (note my religious revisionism) creates a greater unknown. Religion as mysticism becomes the proper parallel - not Judaism or Christianity or any other mainstream religion, but the mystical portions of all these religions, most of which few people ever read.

Once again, the miraculous and mystical nature of all reality lies in the simple word, őimpossible‚. What we are learning in science is that we have not come close to a complete understanding of anything, and that
everything is simply impossible to conceptualize and has a mathematical possibility of zero. Hence, in the last few years, every time a galactic or atomic model has failed, new mathematics has come up with new unknowns to be experimentally discovered. And each time a hypothesized unknown is identified, we are lead to further unknowns since the newly discovered always creates new mysteries and new ignorance.

It takes a mystic to fathom modern science. It also takes a mystic to fathom God. The attempts by theological scholars or religious physicists to bind science and any religion is futile. The eventual known universe will fuse both religion and science in ways no-one can predict. Eventually there will be a Universal Religion, based on Science and Reason. But we will have to wait hundreds or thousands of years before that day arrives.


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