7th June 2014 – God’s Undertaker

Now that exams are over, I figured I should probably start researching for this so I have started reading one of the books on my list, ‘God’s Undertaker’. Here are my notes thus far…

  • It’s important to make the distinction between science and naturalism (& materialism)
  • Naturalism is the idea that everything can be explained by natural laws so a supernatural can’t exist because it can’t be explained using these laws. From this came materialism which states that it is only matter that exists, nothing else. Science however is a means of explaining the processes of life etc.
  • Prof. John Lennox also touched on Richard Dawkins’ view of religion as ‘blind faith’ meaning that religion is not based on any evidence whatsoever which is itself contradictory because he has no evidence on which to base this assumption so Dawkins’ himself has ‘blind faith’ about the nature of religion. (I found this particularly interesting although possibly not 100% relevant)
  • Materialism has a similar ‘blind faith’
  • It doesn’t matter about the presuppositions of the scientist who conducted the research, whether that be theistic or atheistic, the result will still be the same
  • Science does a lot of explaining how but doesn’t always answer why. Lennox used a few analogies to represent the beginning of the universe…
  1. Aunt Matilda’s cake, scientists can tell you everything about the structure of the cake etc. but only Aunt Matilda can tell you why she made it
  2. Mr Ford’s car, an uneducated person may believe that Mr Ford is in the engine, powering it but when they are taught about the mechanics of the car, learns this is not true. This does not stop Mr Ford from existing as the designer who put the engine together.
  • When looking at mathematics to explain the rational intelligibility of the universe it can be argued that it can be as a result of the Mind of God who designed both the universe and human minds so when theories are created by human minds, it’s no wonder they find application in the universe because they were created by the same Mind of God.
  • Peter Atkins states that the universe came into existence through the ‘Cosmic bootstrap’ in which the universe created itself by the dust generated by space-time (like someone pulling themselves up by their bootstraps)
  • This could be seen as nonsense as it is stating that it is somehow possible for the cause of the universe to bring about an effect without actually being caused itself.
  • The laws of mathematics and scientific theories don’t do anything to cause anything but they do explain the processes – the universe can’t bring itself into being simply because we now know the science behind the process.
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