o, this isn’t some New Age pseudo-scientific mumbo jumbo. No I haven’t been converted into a believer in The Law of Attraction after watching that hit film, The Secret. And no, I don’t buy into everything New Age guru, Deepak Chopra says, although he does have many cool and pretty valid ideas.
I’m talking about something very different here – how science and religion connect together at their deepest level.
Neil Tyson says it better in this video.
What Happened Before the Beginning?
Here’s something that pretty much sums up what was said in the video.
Read it all, every word of it.
“What happened before the beginning?”
Astrophysicists have no idea. Or, rather, our most creative ideas have little or no grounding in experimental science. Yet certain type of religious person tends to assert, with a tinge of smugness, that something must have started it all: a force greater than all others, a source from which everything issues. A prime-mover. In the mind of such a person, that something is, of course, God.
But what if the universe was always there, in a state or condition we have yet to identify–a multiverse, for instance? Or what if the universe, like its particles, just popped into existence from nothing?
Such replies usually satisfy nobody. Nonetheless, they remind us that ignorance is the natural state of mind for a research scientist on the ever-shifting frontier. People who believe they are ignorant of nothing have neither looked for, nor stumbled upon, the boundary between what is known and unknown in the cosmos. And therein lies a fascinating dichotomy. “The universe always was” goes unrecognized as a legitimate answer to “What was around before the beginning?” But for many religious people, the answer “God always was” is the obvious and pleasing answer to “What was around before God?”
No matter who you are, engaging in the quest to discover where and how things began tends to induce emotional fervor–as if knowing the beginning bestows upon you some form of fellowship with, or perhaps governance over, all that comes later. So what is true for life itself is no less true for the universe: knowing where you came from is no less important than knowing where you are going. ~ Neil Tyson
Right on Neil.
And that ladies and gentlemen, is where science and religion connect – at their deepest questions.
So, whether you’re an atheist, pantheist, theist, mystic or just plain agnostic, next time somebody starts going on a rant about how it all began, keep in mind that to a certain extent, the two of you are merely engaging in a game of semantics.
At the deepest level, “The universe always was” Vs “God always was” aren’t such different answers after all.
Unless of course, you take the discussion to a higher level and begin discussing the qualities and properties of those two entities.
Either way, it’s something I personally find pretty damn fascinating and I love Neil’s approach to the issue.