Wednesday, September 08, 2010

More on Stephen Hawking's Shark-Jump

From a letter-writer to the National Post:
Isaac NewtonImage via Wikipedia
Stephen Hawking claims that the discovery of a planet orbiting another ‘sun’ makes Earth’s conditions for life less remarkable, and has helped to deconstruct Isaac Newton’s view that the universe must have been created by God. Newton, were he alive today, would most probably disagree. The faith difference between the two eminent scientists is not due to the amount of knowledge available to each, but to the attitude taken by each to the knowledge available. Isaac Newton’s genius discovered the law of universal gravitation and the laws of motion, the binomial theorem in math, calculus, the light spectrum and the reflecting telescope. Yet Isaac Newton claimed that his discoveries could only barely begin to appreciate God’s creation. He said he felt “…like a boy playing on the sea shore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.” (cited in Westfall 1980, p.863)  It is unlikely that Newton would think that situation significantly altered by the macroscopic or microscopic discoveries made since his time.
-- Edward Field, Langley, B.C.
Well said, Edward. Belief in God is based far more on the predisposition of one's mind, heart, and will, than on any objective analysis of facts.

Perhaps we could even say that salvation is based on a form of supernatural selection -- where Nature God selects those whose hearts are inclined to him, those who have an inkling he exists and a longing to know him, while those whose hearts are disinclined towards him, or towards knowledge of the true God (and therefore unsuited to remain in his presence and fellowship for eternity -- they would be miserable) are destroyed.
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"... nothing intellectually compelling or challenging.. bald assertions coupled to superstition... woefully pathetic"