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Transcript
The Search for God
Can Science Help
John Houghton
Irvine, California
18th February 2003
The search for God; can science help
• The Big Bang; - the Universe created
with humans in mind?
• Where is God; an analogy from science?
• Caring for the Earth - both a scientific
and a spiritual challenge.
Hubble
Space
Telescope
Solar
system
Pluto’s orbit has a diameter
of about 12,000 million kilometres
Two views of
our galaxy
Our sun is
30,000 light
years from the
galaxy’s centre.
2 billion light years
Background
galaxies
Galaxies
near the
edge of
Universe
- 5 billion
light years
away
THE
BIG BANG
10-33cm
Quarks
10-43s
Stars &
Galaxies
Hydrogen and
Helium
1 second
1million y
12By
Conversion
of mass to
energy
The sun is
our nearest
example.
Two nuclei of Deuterium fuse to form a
Helium nucleus. Mass is lost and energy
released, according to E = mc2
500 light years
Evidence for
the Big Bang
• Redshift of galaxies
• Microwave background radiation
• Abundance of helium
Doppler Effect
Waves from an approaching object are compressed.
Waves from a receding object are stretched.
The first
ground-based
measurement
of microwave
background
intensity at
about 7cm
wavelength
(4 GHz)
Wilson and Penzias
Pigeon
droppings
or Big
Bang
relics?
Abundance of Helium in
Universe
1 atom of Helium to
3 atoms of Hydrogen as
predicted by Big Bang Theory
Is there meaning in
the Universe;
has it been designed?
Designed with
humans in mind?
• Human brain is, so far as we
know, most complex object
in universe
‘the most
incomprehensible thing
about the Universe
is that it is
comprehensible’
Designed with
humans in mind?
• Universe needs to be as
large as it is and as old as it
is for human life to be
possible.
How special is the Universe?
- it is not any old Universe
• Incredibly fine tuning
needed at the Big Bang
How special is the Universe?
Make
yourself a
universe!
Dials must
balance to 1
part in 1060
1 part in
1000000000000
0000000000000
0000000000000
0000000000000
0000000000000
Roger Penrose
How special is the Universe?
• Roger Penrose in
The Emperor’s New Mind
argues that initial order
specified to ~ 1 part in
10 to the power of (10123)
Possible
universes
To produce a universe resembling ours, the
Creator aims for a tiny volume of the ‘phase
space’ of possible universes (after Penrose).
Can science explain
everything?
Conflicting
or
Complementary?
Which is it?
• Science OR God
• Science AND God
Where is God?
- an Analogy from Science
Albert
Einstein
Einstein’s Special
Theory of Relativity
• Essentially described by
4-D Space-Time
construction
Flatland
The cover of
Abbott’s
book
A sphere from Spaceland
over Flatland
God in action when we pray
Complementary stories
• God story -
Creator and Sustainer
• Science story - orderly
• Faith story -
& precise
events seen in terms
of our relationship with God
Caring for the Earth
- both a scientific and
a spiritual challenge
Gardeners of the Earth
. . . provides
– food, water and resources for
human life and industry
– a place of beauty and diversity
– for human creativity
– for future generations
Adam/Eve cartoon
“This place is vast;
we couldn’t pollute it
if we tried!”
Some Global Problems
• Population Growth
• Resource Use &
Degradation
• Poverty
• Global Warming &
Climate Change
Global Warming & Climate Change
• The earth is warming
• Sea level will rise
• More floods and more droughts
• Poor nations worst affected
• Many environmental refugees
Global Warming presents a
challenge to:
• scientists
• industry and technologists
• governments
• everybody
Environmental Action
“Mostly we know what to do,
but we lack the will to do it”
Sir Crispin Tickell
in the Doomsday Letters
Caring for the Earth presents a
Challenge and an Opportunity
to Christian Churches
What Can I Do?
• Support the
–
–
–
–
–
reen Code
cut down waste
save energy and natural resources
travel sensibly
prevent pollution
look after your local environment
• Check how green you are
The Two Books:
God’s Word & God’s Works
In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God and
the Word was God…
All things were made by Him.
And the Word became
flesh and dwelt among us
John 1 v 1-2 & 14
Celtic cross