GOD, A MEASURE OF THE
EVOLUTION IN SCIENCE
Professor Emilia Currás
GOD, A MEASURE OF THE EVOLUTION IN SCIENCE
Professor Emilia Currás
The current period is one of those in which there is a great scientific development. Nowadays it is not anymore enough to refer only to our human and vegetative nature... We spread further, towards the cosmos, towards a cosmic dimension, towards the immensity of the mysterious and the unknown. For that aim we make use of science. As a consequence science is diversified, expanded, and becomes plural. It is necessary to establish connections in order not to lose the unity of the system... God is still the measure of the evolution in science; He still sets the standard; He keeps being the reason and cause of that evolution.
History of Science; Science evolution; God-Science relations; Human
Beings dimensions; Religion; Theology; Theology-Science relations;
Human terrestrial dimension; Human cosmic dimension; God as measure
of Science evolution
Professor Emilia Currás
Woman of the Year 2004
Silver Medal Universidad Autónoma de Madrid
AHDI. Honorary Member 2003. IIS Fellow
Gold Medal. Foundation Prof. Kaula
SEI, Honorary Professor
O„Donnell 6, 28009 Madrid. Spain
In the historical periods of great scientific evolution, one looks back to the purely materialistic aspect of the universe, in which our planet Earth is situated, as well as ourselves as inhabitants. Physical, chemical and mathematical laws are searched, to explain the great phenomenon of life at a terrestrial-dimension level, which is marked by the scientific development itself.
However, a point has always been reached, from which the reasoning cannot continue. We remain at the threshold of the unexplainable at every historical moment. It is true that subsequent discoveries and inventions always move one step forward towards the knowledge of our world; of the subjective truth of things –
entities – surrounding us. But..., that limit is always found nevertheless… Then,
faced with the unexplainable, we look back to a Superior Being, highest maker, Origin, End and Reason of that world which is partly known, partly unknown; Measure of all things.
We are living in a period of accelerated evolution in the history of mankind. That is something that does not need any demonstration, and is constantly repeated. However, we may not be able to understand the great significance of this historical moment; in which the important principles of our historical conscience – as rational beings able to develop lines of thought – have vanished.
These lines of thought are in agreement with our vital needs, taking into account the double human aspect; on the one hand material, on the other hand spiritual –
Those fundamental principles have vanished; and they have come to be replaced by other principles which are shown to us with great appearance of veracity, since they can be demonstrated through experiments.
In a way, it seems as if the ground was missing under our feet. As if we were going to fall into the void... We need to hold onto something to feel safe. And, strangely, this something we hold onto is again the idea of God, the Supreme Being, the One; which comprises the whole and the parts; which adjusts the actions, reactions and relations among themselves – the parts and the whole –
and inside Him himself.
As the cause of the knowledge that has brought us to this situation of transmutation, science can neither solve nor answer the great questions considered by human beings. Science goes back again to the idea of God, which in a way involves regulating the evolution of science.
On reading the abundant existing bibliography about the relationship between science and religion, faith, theology, beliefs; a series of ideas have come to my mind. These may explain, at least to me, certain points through which to be able to understand the great union existing between science, theology and religion. No matter how separately they are studied and dealt with, following divergent paths; in some historical period they somehow converge, joining back together. The human being as such, cannot get divorced from the idea of God, even if it is considered in its most diverse manifestations and representations.
In this paper we will try to expose our opinions, with the intention that they may raise questions to think about; and with the desire that they will lead to thoughts of positive and clarifying tendency.
1. HISTORICAL EVOLUTION
I always think it may be useful to place the subject discussed within a historical context; within an evolution throughout time.
In order to develop my ideas, the two or three thousand years of the history of mankind hardly mean anything. However, from a purely human, materialistic point of view of scientific development, we have made a considerable progress. From that point of view, periods of great scientific activity and drastic changes in our fundamental principles may be established.
Nevertheless, as far as dates are concerned, it is hard to establish those periods with clarity. The great discoveries and inventions have taken place in well determined moment - year, day and hour -. But their consequences have been felt gradually throughout the years; and therefore the mentality changes they implicitly carried have taken place gradually as well. In some cases even, past and future periods have been overlapped.
If we start from the discovery of metals..., afterwards we get to the great boom of astronomy, mathematics, philosophy, and metaphysics. In the Middle Ages alchemy, metallurgy and naval art are developed. Modern science arises in the XVI and XVII centuries. Technology, such as it is understood nowadays, starts developing during the XVIII century. The XIX century brought us one of the great industrial revolutions. And the XX century has put us in direct contact with: the cosmos towards the outside; and our intellective nature towards the inside.
It is noticed that all these periods follow one another with a decreasing distance in time. The processes to reveal the world we live in are more and more accelerated. It may also be noticed how human beings progressively part with the idea of God, as inherent to themselves. However, each time this ideological void takes place; each time a transmutation takes place in the scientific field, we look back to the idea of God; and from there we try to find the solution to the problems arisen. The most recent cases are to be found among the scientists of the middle of the XX century: Einstein, Max Planck, James Jeans, Arthur Eddington, Schrödinger, Ken Wiber, Spinoza, Werner Heisinberg and Ortega y Gasset. Subsequently, from the Second Vatican Council to date, theologians and scientists emerge again, among which we can mention Karl Popper, Stephen Hawking, Edward Witten, Chenu, José G. Caffarena, A. Pérez Laborda, J.M- Mardones, Riuz de la Peña, Gonzalez Cardedal, Ratzinger; and the once Archbishop of Toledo, Marcelo Gonzalez Martin. (Fig. 1)
2. THE TWO DIMENSIONS OF THE HUMAN BEING
The key to the conflict between science and religion, and science and theology, may lie on the fact that the human being is considered from two different dimensions.
Likewise, this may also be the key to the great convergence between these branches of human knowledge.
In other papers, I have referred to human beings as the centre of their world on earth. They are agents, actors, unique and unrepeatable beings; responsible for their actions on planet Earth. They are linked to the Earth; made of the same natural elements and held to the same physical and chemical laws. Its dimensions are measured from themselves. They are the space-time standard, in which only three dimensions are understood; as well as a concept of unidirectional time, progressively running to the future.
Human beings, Men, have modified and transformed their environment with the power of their intelligence, which is in continuous evolution towards an increase of its capacity to think. They have freely built an environment which grants them better living conditions and which constitute their mesocosmos, within their noosphere. Here they are born, they lives and die. This is their world. This is their human-terrestrial dimension.
On the other hand, even though human beings are on Earth, they are not isolated from the rest of the universe. The Earth belongs to the solar system and this to the Milky Way... and so on; up to a limit which escapes our imagination. Human beings are now only a minuscule particle within a vast universe. They are subject to all kinds of ebbs and flows; in a precise order that has no hint of unexpectation, where neither space dimensions can be measured, nor can time dimensions be prefixed. We may not yet be aware – or perhaps we may be
starting to become aware – of the new notions of a ten-dimensional space, as
Edward Witten predicts; and the shifting time directions, with simultaneous advances and retreats, such as Stephen Hawking wishes to demonstrate.
Under these conditions, human beings are not free; they are not masters of their destinies. They keep up to the rhythm of the universe. With the power of their intelligence, they begin to realize this is the way it is. They become aware of their cosmic-human dimension.
Here is where a point of disagreement, between their beliefs and their reality, may lie. The human being must be considered from its two dimensions:
THE TWO DIMENSIONS OF THE HUMAN
OF THE SAME NATURE
THE SAME ELEMENTS
SUBJECT TO THE SAME PHYSICAL CHEMICAL LAWS
PLANET EARTH COMPRISES
UNIDIRECTIONAL PROGRESSIVE COMPONENT
HUMAN TERRESTRIAL DIMENSION
OF THE VAST UNIVERSE
SUBJECT TO FLOWS AND FLUXES
LAWS AND RULES IN MUTUAL
CONJUCTION FIXED AND EXACT
MAY NOT COMPRISE
OTHER DIMENSIONS OF TIME
DIRECTIONS OF SPACE
HUMAN COSMIC DIMENSION
These two dimensions are intermingled in the same individual, entity or person. They can only be separated conceptually; here lays the difficulty to understand them. (Fig 1)
3. RELIGION AND THEOLOGY
We have referred to human beings only from a physical-materialistic point of view, so far. We have made no allusion to their status of individuals with mental and cognitive capacity, other than when we have mentioned their intelligence… We have done this deliberately, in order to move on now to the study of their spiritual status. Men have a spiritual-animic component to their nature.
For what I am trying to state in this paper, I will disregard the Great Chain of the Being, and consider that soul and spirit are both at the same level; and I will not establish any distinction between them, since the point is to emphasise the fact that men have two components in themselves: material and animic.
Assuming that the universe, whenever it began, arose from an explosion; or from the association of minuscule particles or undulations which have gradually evolved; it must have been created by someone. Nothing comes out from the void. No matter how progressive and open-minded we may be towards new ideologies, we cannot admit absurdity. We may admit a series of explanations of some facts, unknown up to now, which we would even describe as odd. But the ideas that seem absurd, due to their contradiction itself, do not fit our ideological conceptions. Something which exists, and evidence of which is in continuous experience, must therefore have been created by someone. This someone is called God by the great majority of human beings, among whom I include myself.
So the universe, the cosmos, has been created by God. And from this arises the relationship between God and human beings, the created creatures.
We can now explain the reason why men have always had the idea of their relationship with God, which has been expressed in different ways throughout history. This is how religion and theology are born.
Theology, as the study, treatise, of God, refers to the cosmic-human dimension of human beings. They need to understand the world-cosmos they live
in. They want to know its laws, its rules. It is a world in which there is no place for chance or coincidence. God is law, He is principle. He is in Himself the omnicosmos itself, where the macrocosmos, the microcosmos and the
mesocosmos are comprised; where human beings are.
The very spiritual nature of men, in conjunction with their material nature, is a measure and exponent of their double dimension. Their spirituality, their animic status, belongs to their cosmic dimension, which does not die with their physical death, but endures beyond our earthly senses. We could thus explain the belief of the soul being immortal.... The reasoning is obviously not that simple; but it may be the starting point for deeper studying.
Moreover, as a relation between men and God, religion considers human beings in their human-terrestrial dimension. As spiritual beings, this dimension needs an echo, a manifestation of their joys; a comfort for their misfortunes. It becomes necessary to search for some hope in their future. They need to create a moral religion in order to survive and coexist with the rest of the beings that inhabit the planet Earth.
The idea of us being creatures of God is purely human-terrestrial. It is said that God has crated men after His own image and likeness; and we thus explain justice, love, goodness, mercy... Men are reflections of God. However, what happens –
and it is not my desire to make an opposing remark –, is that it is actually men who
have made – represented – God after their own image and likeness. This way He
becomes more attainable, more understandable, friendlier, and more familiar.
Following this reasoning we could analyse every one of the axioms, beliefs and postulates of all the different religions. Among them, Catholicism is the most adaptable to this conception of religion. Explanation to all that nowadays seems unexplainable, and mysterious, would be found.
And what would then remain unexplained would have to be attributed to the state of evolution of human knowledge, which still ignores so many things... and will gradually be revealed due to human tireless thirst for knowledge. Theoretically, a time would come when we would know everything about ourselves, about the universe, about God. Then the dilemma of the continuity of our existence would rise. We are so far away from that moment that it is better to avoid any future lucubration.
4. SCIENCE, RELIGION, THEOLOGY
On the basis of the previous postulates, we get to the conclusion that there neither is conflict between science and religion, nor between science and theology.
Once each one of the truths stated by science is observed and studied taking into account both dimensions of human beings, logical explanations will be found, and we will be able to combine and adapt the idea of God with the reality of the universe we live in, including the minuscule Earth.
We also find explanations to understand how the world we live in is conceived and arranged. It is a world made our way, following some guidelines that are determined by the degree of culture and civilisation of the human species in each historical moment. It is a world in evolution. It necessarily changes, adapting itself to the progress of science, as well as its consequence: technology. Therefore, the relationship with God, with the idea of God, also needs to change. Religion cannot be static, or strict, nor be anchored in what is written. Revelation, as an inspiration of God in Man, can be acceptable; but with some distrust. I do not think we would dare denying it. However, some ideas that may be far from the idea of God itself may be introduced under that appearance.
Nevertheless, religion should care for the natural moral and ensure that the customs make life in community peaceful and harmonious. Human beings must control the mesocosmos, rather than be dominated by it. (Fig. 2)
Applying this same reasoning, theology does not come into conflict with science either. We must always bear in mind this dimensional difference between the human being and the cosmos. (Fig 3)