Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Science Disproves God?

We saw his star at its rising and have come to do him homage.”

So it was THROUGH observing things, studying the stars, through tracking the motion of the heavenly bodies that LED these men to Christ

And yet, today, almost the opposite is happening. The number one reason for people leaving Christ is, according to survey after survey, science

So science and astronomy led the MAGI to Christ, but now science is leading a vast number of people AWAY from Christ

It is first of all important to acknowledge a problematic attempt to bridge the faith and science question, and that PROBLEMATIC RESPONSE is called Intelligent Design Theory. Intelligent design theory says that within the realms of the observable, scientifically measurable, it is possible to PROVE the existence of God.

The Church has rejected this.

But the Church goes about 98% of the way, but we stop short of saying you can PROVE God’s existence with science. You can’t say “Look at this test tube experiment or mathematical equation and you’ll see that God is real”

What the Church says, though, is that when we look around at the world, when we study the heavens, the stars, mathematics, when we look around at ourselves and we look at mathematics, physics, biology, etc. there ought to be a response in rational people – “WOW!!!”

And there also ought to be a question we ask when we engage in the things of science and look around ourselves – that question: “Where did all this come from?”
Some of course turn to things like “well, there was a big bang” – but that is not sufficient because if there was a big bang something had to do or cause the banging. You know who came up with the Big Bang Theory – a Catholic priest. And he stayed a Catholic priest after coming up with the theory. “The Big Bang Theory” was no threat to the Catholic Faith of the Catholic priest who discovered it!!!

70% of scientists are atheists today. One of the most famous is Steven Hawking. He said that there are likely lots of big bangs happening. But that is really bad science. Because saying something is likely happening is not science. And he’s still left with explaining who is doing all the banging.

How does the Church try to talk about Faith and Science? St. Thomas Aquinas in the 13th century put forward 5 proofs for the existence of God that are still turned to and discussed quite often.

Without getting into each of them specifically, each of the 5 takes a very similar approach. He says that if we look around and have any observational curiosity at all, then pretty quickly questions arise.

If you and I and the things of the world are in motion, who got things them moving? If you and I and the things of the world have causes, then who caused the causes? If there is order and beauty, there must be an orderer and something that is the standard of beauty.

Now, it is important to note that St. Thomas Aquinas is NOT saying these are proofs in the scientific sense – but they are proofs that lie beyond the measurable. And you and I readily acknowledge that not all things are proved WITHIN the realm of chemistry or math. If I say I love my mom, no one says “Prove it with mathematics”. If I say I love my Dad, no one says “Prove it with chemistry”… so we can know things and talk about and discuss the reality of things that lie beyond that which is scientifically knowable.

1,000 years before St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Augustine approaches these same things poetically. He wrote the following poem about the fact that reality itself begs the question of where this all came from

“Question the beauty of the earth,
the beauty of the sea,
the beauty of the wide air around you,
the beauty of the sky;
question the order of the stars,
the sun whose brightness lights the days,
the moon whose splendor softens the gloom of night;
question the living creatures that move in the waters,
that roam upon the earth,
that fly through the air;
the spirit that lies hidden,
the matter that is manifest;
the visible things that are ruled,
the invisible things that rule them; question all these.
They will answer you: "Behold and see, we are beautiful."
Their beauty is their confession to God.
Who made these beautiful changing things,
if not one who is beautiful and changeth not?

The magi were men who stared at the sky night after night, studied the heavens, tracked the progress of the stars and planets and the sun – and that led them to Christ.

May we look around more at the world around us, at the human beings sitting next to us this morning, at the fact that we ourselves are breathing and thinking and praying and loving, and may we follow the reality of these things to their logical conclusion – may observing the heavens and the stars and all of creation put us on a journey as well – a journey that, like these astronomers we remember today – leads us to a child who is Christ the Lord