Who created God? (and other small questions)
Evolution did according to the textbooks, the media, and government-funded agencies. Evolution created our brains, and we created God in our mind. But what do the hard sciences actually say (the Big Bang theory, modern physics, origin-of-life research, the Darwinian theory of evolution, and mind sciences)? In each of these areas, the scientific evidence of the last 50 years paints a different picture. The evolutionary edifice of the 19th and mid-20th century is collapsing, and the cracks are showing, but the word is not getting out. In this seven-part series you will learn what up-to-date science reveals and the alternative answers it suggests to our Big Questions.
SaddleBrooke is wondrous
Socrates@SaddleBrooke is headquartered in SaddleBrooke, Arizona USA. It is a majestic place. We see craggy mountains carved out of raw earth. At 3500 hundred feet we are wrapped in a black sky ribboned with the Milky Way, dotted with radiant stars and planets majestically adorning it. We see and hear innumerable creatures; birds fill the sky with beauty and song; lush varicolored vegetation decorates the expansive Sonoran Desert. Where did it all come from? Was it always there, or was it put there? Does it have a purpose? Was it designed, or did it just happen? How long has it been here? Does it last forever? I know I won’t! In fact, how am I even able to ponder such magnificent things with this three pound piece of flesh called a brain sitting on top of my neck? All I know is that I am smitten with an incredible sense of awe and wonder.
Science and religion — friend or foe?
Religion addresses the Big Questions of wonderment, but science, too, is awash with awe and wonder. Science keeps me alive longer and empowers my days with every form of technology imaginable. Science not only invents new things and tells us how they work, but it also “thinks deeply about origins and destiny.” Unfortunately, the ethos of today pits science against religion in a war with each other. God is “not relevant” in public education, and in scientific disciplines in particular. It is assumed that smart people don’t believe in God. But, aren’t there plenty of smart people who believe in both? Has science really explained how it all happened so that there is no longer need for the “God Hypothesis”? Or is there really a Creator who had a purpose in mind and revealed it through the creation? In what direction does the evidence point? That’s the real truth-test.
Albert Einstein, perhaps the greatest scientist of the 20th century, said, “Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind” — and he was not a religious practitioner. But he knew that “the harmony of natural law reveals an intelligence of such superiority that, compared with it, all the systematic thinking and acting of human beings is an utterly insignificant reflection.” How can today’s science ignore such a conclusion from one of its greatest practitioners? In this series you will learn that it came about when an atheistic philosophy known as Materialism or Naturalism took over science. This philosophy is antithetical to how science originated, and today, science has become the victim of naturalistic philosophy. But we also know that religion can be just as dogmatic. So today, we are both lame and blind if we depend only on dogmatism from either side and do not depend on some level of harmonious relationship between scientific evidence and reasonable faith.
Socrates and his prize students, Plato and Aristotle, were perhaps the greatest philosophers of all time. They broke through philosophical messes by restoring the idea that our goal should be a search for wisdom, not just a search for answers. Philosophy means the “love of wisdom.” We are not required to have dogmatic answers, pretending that we know everything. That can be destructive. Socrates said, “The only true wisdom is in knowing that you know nothing.” He wanted us to go in search of wisdom, not proclaim that we already have it. This series will be such a search.
What has the last 50 years taught us?
In this series of seven videocast presentations, we will look at our Big Questions up close and up-to-date. We will explore the heavens, the earth, and the creatures that inhabit it — including us. We will go on a fascinating voyage by peering through the tools of science — the telescope, microscope, and other instrumentation — even discovering that nature talks to us in its own language of mathematics. We will be amazed that the technology of the last 50 years has advanced to a point where we actually have direct observation into these deep mysteries.
What is the purpose of Socrates@SaddleBrooke?
Socrates@SaddleBrooke is a new educational club originating in the beautiful community of SaddleBrooke, near Tucson, Arizona, but its reach and engaging discussions are worldwide by virtue of the internet. Its purpose is to go in search of wisdom like the Greek philosophers and evaluate evidence like the modern scientists in order to explore the Big Questions of life: “Where did I come from? Where am I going? Why am I here?” We will be encouraged throughout the study to question and discuss, following the path of inquiry and employing wisdom to draw out our own conclusions — wherever the path may lead.
RECOMMENDED READING FOR FURTHER STUDY
Socrates Cafe: A Fresh Taste of Philosophy, Christopher Phillips, W. W. Norton & Company, 2001
When Athens Met Jerusalem: An Introduction to Classical and Christian Thought, John Mark Reynolds, IVP Academic, 2009
A Concealed God, Religion, Science, and the Search for Truth, Stefan Einhorn, Templeton Foundation Press, 2002
The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism, Timothy Keller, Riverhead Books, 2008
The God Delusion, Richard Dawkins, Mariner Books, 2008
The Universe and Dr. Einstein, Lincoln Barnett, William Sloan Associates Publishers, 1957
How Should We Then Live? The Rise and Decline of Western Thought and Culture, Francis A. Schaeffer, Fleming H. Revell Company, 1976
Summer for the Gods: The Scopes Trial and America's Continuing Debate Over Science and Religion, Edward J. Larson, Harvard University Press, 1998