Pope Benedict XVI on the Universe

The Hubble Ultra Deep Field, is an image of a ...

The Hubble Ultra Deep Field / Wikipedia

“The universe is not the result of chance, as some would want to make us believe,” Benedict said on the day of the Epiphany, where the Bible says the three kings arrived at the birthplace of Jesus, Reuters reports.

“Contemplating it (the universe), we are invited to read something profound into it: the wisdom of the creator, the inexhaustible creativity of God,” he added in a sermon at St. Peter’s Basilica.

Reuters reports:

“Many scientists believe the Big Bang created the universe 13.7 billion years ago. Although the pope has previously spoken about evolution, he has rarely discussed scientific concepts such as this one.”

God, the Fine-tuned Universe/Multi-verse

Middle-age should be a thoughtful time.  You be the judge:

(Speaking of Santa Claus) as unbelievable as those tales are from the north pole, the tales from Jerusalem leave it in the dust. Snakes that can talk, the Universe built from nothing in 7 days flat, procreation without copulation, walking on water, building a single ship to accommodate 3 million animals (1,589,361 species times two), turning water into wine, feeding 5000 people with a couple small fish a few loaves of bread, rising from the dead, etc… It certainly flies in the face of reason based on everything I’ve seen in this world, but it is firmly believed by at least a billion big humans on the planet tonight.

Just because it is the person’s will and desire to make it true, sadly does not make it truth.

I don’t doubt there is much more to this world than what we can see, hear, smell, feel, etc…. Quantum physics has gone much further and deeper than regular old atoms/matter… There are most likely many more dimensions than the four that we experience. I don’t even doubt the power of prayer or other group-think exercises.. I wholeheartedly support many of the values espoused by many of the religions of the world. I just am not buying the unbelievable stories sans proof and with so much proof against.

As to the four last things…

death — empirically it’s looming for all of us, no way around it.. is it final? not too sure — if consciousness survives to go another round, it probably has a more scientific multi-dimensional explanation.

judgment / heaven / hell — empirically haven’t seen any evidence of these, but it sure sounds like a good concept for a king to control a kingdom in the here and now. If I were the man behind the curtain, I’d be telling my subjects all about the this stuff to make sure they didn’t cause too many problems for me.”

This enlightened summation of the Bible, doesn’t actually deal with the Bible.  Nowhere here is there evidence of serious inquiry. The understanding and reflection of holy men and scholars are rather ceremonially dismissed with ridicule and from a distance of disdain. The Holy Scripture, an anthology and compilation of priestly, prophetic, scholarly and apostolic construction guided by the Holy Spirit, suffers a verbal sortie of “trash talk.” I look for a sense of respect for the sacred and fail to find it.

What I see in the derision is a sophomoric  cliff notes overview filled with disdain and a lack of true familiarity with the revealed Word of God. The foray is little more than a stylish dance of words and ego perhaps for the amusement of others. What is gained? What is lost? Knowledge? Grace? Having brushed aside the pesky gnat of Holy Revelation, the author reaches for the stars or to be more exact, to other dimensions. Though playful, the piece uncovers a well of cynicism usually reserved for the old and broken.

Does the grandeur of the Universe or a multi-verse diminish or dismiss a Creator?  Doesn’t the smallest living cell give us a sense of a plan? Doesn’t  a plan of necessity infer a planner, somewhat like finding a copy of Hamlet would point to a Shakespeare. Darwin conveniently starts with a creature with cells, so he doesn’t theorize about how they came to be- just how and/or why they might have changed.

Do untold dimensions rule out a Heaven or Hell, or increase the likelihood in the realm of the possibilities raised by new dimensions governed by rules unlike those of our own universe and time?

If the Universe, Time and the Laws that mapped out the direction of our destiny came into being with the Big Bang, what of these other dimensions, other Times and possibilities? “Eternity”, according to Dinesh D’Souza, “has become a coherent concept.” New universes, new dimensions, ergo new equations? While new stuffs and equations don’t equal life or worlds, we can dream dreams and wonder.

Stephen Hawking reveals that even he doesn’t know who or what put the fire into the stuff and equations. (“Even if there is only one possible unified theory, it is just a set of rules and equations. What is it that breathes fire into the equations and makes a universe for them to describe?” Stephen Hawking)

By reaching for fantastic and even far-fetched ideas, the question of a Creator/God doesn’t go away. D’Souza does note that while there is evidence for the Big Bang there is not an iota of evidence for the multi-verse. However, in the multi-dimensional scenario, our existence is no longer improbable. In our Universe fine tuning is necessary for us to exist. Fine tuning is of course indicative of a plan. However in a multi-verse,we are no longer privileged and unique but possible and expected to have popped up along the way. By the same token, however, with the new multi-dimensionalism, the multi-verse, emerges new laws, new realms and new possibilities. The existence of Heaven and Hell now becomes as probable as any other combination of world characteristics. The pièce de résistance… there is nothing in the multi-dimensional theory that precludes a Creator. One can still see in the grandeur of the scheme of things, the One who schemes, just as a thought reveals a thinker.

Matter which is the stuff of atheistic materialism now serves to raise questions to which we thought we had the answers. Quantum theory pokes all kinds of holes in our understanding of matter. Atheists are big on matter but are they prepared to deal with Dark Energy and for that matter, Dark Matter. Ordinary matter and energy make up only 5% of the matter and energy in the universe. If 95% of all energy and matter is made up of dark energy and dark matter doesn’t that make all arguments about matter, as atheist insists on it operation, irrelevant. How can you make any claims for it, if you can only account for 5% of it, or so asks D’Souza.

We haven’t even touched on mind, consciousness which acts as an observer of the creation about us. What are the rules governing mind which is not matter/material. Mind and consciousness do exist but they are immaterial. If you doubt that, tell me how much a mind weighs? What are its dimensions, its length and width?

In the end, Quantum Theory is not an escape from God. It, rather, gives us pause to marvel at how God has chaos under control. Which brings us back to the Bible, the very beginning, Genesis: “the earth was a formless wasteland, and darkness covered the abyss, while a mighty wind swept over the waters.” Genesis 1:2 “The waters” in biblical-speak refers to primordial chaos and “a mighty wind,” a poor translation of the Hebrew phrase “ruach Elohim” (literally the “wind/breath of God. ) While Science investigates Nature, God is not probed like a microbe or star dust. He is seen with the eye of Faith, keeping in mind that “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, nor the heart of man imagined, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him.”1 Corinthians 2:9