20 October, 2016

Atheists Seem to Have Almost a Childlike Faith in the Omnipotence of Atoms

Atheists Seem to Have Almost a Childlike Faith in the Omnipotence of Atoms |Blogs | NCRegister.com


  1. When Newton developed his laws of gravity he could not account for the stability of the planetary orbits as his mathematics was sophisticated enough. He posited angels guiding the planets and adjusting their orbits. A century later mathematical understanding had progressed to the level where planetary orbits could be properly modeled and angels were no longer needed.

    Scientists, of which the majority are believers in one of the many Gods people follow, have learned not to ascribe supernatural explanations for phenomena that can be explained using natural laws. It makes progress that way and the unknown has been steadily decreasing.

    Do scientists, both believing and not, have blind faith in atoms? No. But over the past few centuries have seen the utility and progress of not invoking the divine when the going got tough.

  2. Michael: You are positing the 'God of the gaps' theory that was indeed widespread throughout our history. But that has not been the official teaching of the Church for many centuries for as your correctly point out, it confuses the natural with the supernatural. I've always appreciated the maxim that science tells us how the world works whereas faith tells us why it works. Note too that when I use the term 'why', I am not using it in a direct causal way but as an answer to the question 'Why is there something rather than nothing?' So science tells me that atoms and other subatomic particles behave in certain ways which explains why matter and energy act the way that they do while my faith answers the question why there are matter/energy in the first place.

    In summation, I cannot disagree at all with your conclusion that removing God from the scientific equation has indeed resulted in great progress and utility and that we have all benefited from that. But I also believe that great progress and utility have come from the proper application of faith in helping to understand how best to make use of these scientific and technological marvels produced over the past few centuries.

    Fr. Tim

    1. Less a God of the gaps and more a God of the Frontier. As an example hos the mind works in not completely understood by science but in the last decade such progress has been made that more and more of the mysteries are disappearing. There is still much to discover but no neuroscience is saying that there is a divine aspect that explains it. Scientific research has every potential of explaining it. Is this a "polytheistic idolatry of the crudest, most primitive sort, putting to shame the colorful worship of the ancient Babylonians, Philistines, Aztecs, and other groups."? No, it's the science that send probes to Pluto and measures interactions between nucleons.

      As to the application of our technology that requires the whole of society to get involved so that educated informed citizens can understand the challenges of global warming, vaccines for diseases and now driverless cars.


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