Catholics/Perfection, science, and theology
Dear Mr. Bode, Since the universe and its creatures are imperfect too, could not the reason for this be God makes mistakes and could not create a perfect universe even if he tried. There are limits even for God? Natural Law? When we look at evolution and extinction we see constant change. The Burgess Shale captures the evidence of many strange creatures that became extinct and (I am not sure of this. It has been a long time since I read the material on the Burgess Shale.) only one creature that was the ancestor of the spinal column. It survived most likely by chance. See: "Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History" by Stephen Jay Gould. As for science and its conflicts with theology See: (Yes, it is dated. So it is limited to only the information that was available then in the past) "A History of the Warfare of Science and Christian Theology" by Andrew D. White. 1896. I do not like seeing pictures of Albert Einstein representing a personal, supernatural, God and an afterlife. Einstein made it clear in his writings that he did not support such things and that the Bible was childish. He did not change his mind as he grew older. Einstein wrote the forward to "Man and his gods" by Homer W. Smith,1952. See "What I believe" by Albert Einstein. You and I both know that higher criticism of the Bible that was not supportive of earlier studies was not welcomed. It is the same for critical archaeology, folklore, critical ancient history and even science. Scholars and the public are in no hurry to look through Galileo's telescope. Traditions do not welcome new conflicting information. Humans enjoy being comfortable with their beliefs. It is hard to imagine what Catholicism, if it survives future studies without women priests will be like 500 years from now. Curiosity is not welcomed if it shakes the cage. I am way too curious to be a Christian. So are many others. But I have yet to meet someone as curious as myself except for my mentor Martin Gardner and I am now 72. I find popular skepticism to be very ignorant and humorous. Somehow, like Martin, I have a very strange and minimal faith in something that just doesn't fit. Why should it? Happy holiday.
Hello again, Charles.
What MAGIS points out is that the constants/laws of nature (natural laws) are the results of the infinite and all-knowing Creator. While the Creator could have made a different/perfect universe, He chose freely to make what He did.
Einstein is a scientist, not a theologian. The fact is that in response to a Catholic astrophysicist, who showed that Einstein's not being able to show that the universe is our is not eternal, Einstein visited the Mount Palomar Observatory where Hubbell showed him his scientific observations of the universe that the galaxies are moving further apart. Einstein then agreed that the universe had a beginning!
That admission (universe came into existence at a point in time) is a secure foundation on which to recognize the existence of and extra-universe cause(God).
In my previous responses, I attempted to show the reasonableness of Christianity. You may wish to reread those posts.
A story is told of the great thinker Augustine. While walking along the southern Mediterranean shore, he observed a small lad with a shell to scoop water from the sea and pour it into a small hole that he had dug in the sand. Augustine approached to explain that the content of the great sea could not be contained in such a small hole. The lad replied that it would be easier for him to do such a thing than for the great philosopher to understand the mystery of the Godhead.
Prayer is the usual door to faith.
Best wishes, Charles.