Not if you listen to a speech by the Pope, at least. There’s no such thing as an accident–particularly where the big bang theory’s concerned, so says Pope Benedict XVI. Instead, even that was escentially orchestrated by God.
God’s mind was behind complex scientific theories such as the Big Bang, and Christians should reject the idea that the universe came into being by accident, Pope Benedict said on Thursday.
“The universe is not the result of chance, as some would want to make us believe,” Benedict said on the day Christians mark the Epiphany, the day the Bible says the three kings reached the site where Jesus was born by following a star.
“Contemplating it (the universe) we are invited to read something profound into it: the wisdom of the creator, the inexhaustible creativity of God,” he said in a sermon to some 10,000 people in St Peter’s Basilica on the feast day.
While the pope has spoken before about evolution, he has rarely delved back in time to discuss specific concepts such as the Big Bang, which scientists believe led to the formation of the universe some 13.7 billion years ago.
Researchers at CERN, the nuclear research centre in Geneva, have been smashing protons together at near the speed of light to simulate conditions that they believe brought into existence the primordial universe from which stars, planets and life on earth — and perhaps elsewhere — eventually emerged.
Some atheists say science can prove that God does not exist, but Benedict said that some scientific theories were “mind limiting””because “they only arrive at a certain point … and do not manage to explain the ultimate sense of reality …”
He said scientific theories on the origin and development of the universe and humans, while not in conflict with faith, left many questions unanswered.
“In the beauty of the world, in its mystery, in its greatness and in its rationality … we can only let ourselves be guided towards God, creator of heaven and earth,” he said.
Folks, I’m not anti-religion. Yeah, even if said religion keeps insisting being blind, I must be saved–someday, I’ll write an entry on that that doesn’t cover half a dozen other topics so I have something to link to. But I have a hard time getting my head around the idea that if we don’t know the answer, or rather than accept the possibility the universe was actually created by accident and/or as a result of a random convergence of particles, we should instead just accept that God, who is equally if not more difficult to prove exists than the random chance Pope Benedict tells us to reject, had a direct hand in the creation of life, the universe and everything (*). And I also can’t get my head around the idea of someone who’s supposed to be trying to get rid of the image of the church being anti-scientific telling people to reject science.
A few hundred years ago, the very fact that it was written that God did this or that would have been enough to satisfy the majority. But then people started asking questions, and actually doing their own investigating. Hence, the Earth is not flat, nor was it created 6000 years ago, etc etc etc. Even though for the longest time the church maintained otherwise. And, like then, while people are continuing to ask questions of how in the hell we wound up in a screwed up place like this, the church continues to reject the idea that it was anything but divine intervension. And, surprise, it would very much prefer everyone else does, too.
Contrary to what the Pope would like to believe, the big bang theory is more than an extremely hillarious TV show. But it is, for all intents and purposes, still just a theory. No more or less a theory, at the end of the day, than this whole God thing–the only difference being the whole God theory’s been around longer. People have questioned and challenged both. People will probably continue to question and challenge both. But here’s the catch. You can do research to prove or disprove big bang. You can’t do that to prove or disprove God, or any variation of it. I’ve always been the research and either prove or disprove type. It’s one of those things that either pleases people or pisses them off. So when I see someone of this much influence–enough to attract the attention of several thousand spectators–escentially telling folks to reject something that can be proven with a lot more certainty than what he’s prieching, I tend to get a little confused. Especially when he goes on to say science isn’t in conflict with faith. He’s right, to a point–science isn’t in conflict with faith. Science is perfectly comfortable with letting faith do what it pleases. You want to do the whole divine intervension thing? Help yourself. Science really doesn’t care. The church? Not so much. And that’s what turns me off right there. I like to be able to think, to ask questions, to flat out tell someone, “I get that this is how you see things. Now show me why.” There’s no room for that in religion. And this proves it.
(*): You need to read this. No. Seriously. Go now.