FAITH AND REASON
The following preliminary notes intend to introduce the three basic concepts of this article, namely:- Religious Faith, Logical Reason, and the one important element that can connect the two that is Science.
RELIGIOUS FAITH in general is a free and individual acceptance and profession in one’s life, of a set of spiritual belief system, and whose acceptance and practical application are considered the quintessential human values.
Specifically, the Catholic Christian religious belief is epitomised by Charles J. Chaput, Archbishop of Philadelphia; (Feb. 2013): “Catholic Christian teaching develops over time, but it does not fundamentally change; and Catholic life, in the end, is ordered to realistic truth, not consensus or polling. Baptism is more than a Catholic tribal ritual. It matters – now and into eternity. And faith is not a religious clubhouse; it’s meant to be lived actively, consciously and radically. It has adult implications”.
LOGICAL REASON is an objective justification of factual ‘truth’ of why any entity or event exists. For the human understanding and acceptance of such an explanation, reason must be based in the veracity of an Authority or truce in physical Reality. Otherwise, any other type of so called religious faith and/or any of its practical manifestations could only be described as being at best an elaborate humanism, or (as per Dr. R. Dawkins’ oft-remark), ‘a deception and self-delusion’.
SCIENCE deals explicitly with ‘truth’ in order to verify what exists in the physical Reality, through models, observations, measurements and theories of the essence (i.e. the definition) of any entity or event. Philosophy considers for this very reason that both, truth and reality are convertible. The question remains: What is truth? Apart from philosophical axiom, that truth is ‘reality’ and vice versa, and yet, its general understanding may be as deceptive as anything can be, because of the concept that is open to diverse interpretations, as described below:-
TRUTH OF THINGS described by the spiritual writer Fr. Segneri as: ‘It is a virtue that enters into all well-ordered human affairs and assumes different names according to their diversity. In schools it is called science; in speech veracity; in conduct frankness; in conversation sincerity; in actionsrighteousness; in dealing with our fellowmen integrity, (like Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela, inter al.); furthermore, in giving advice being free from prejudice; in keeping apromise loyalty; and in the courts of law it assumes the sublime title of justice’.
Our scientific knowledge is based in the ‘physical Reality‘, which is being researched continuously and formulated by the various disciplines of sciences. Physical Cosmology is only one of those scientific disciplines selected for this Article, specifically because one of its principle subjects, the ‘beginning’ of the physical Universe assumed to provide the clearest analogy to the concept of the metaphysical ‘creation’.
The basic principles of the physical ‘beginning‘, together with other cosmological concepts, may be found primarily in the Standard Cosmological Model (SCM), that in general deals with the physical nature of the macro-cosmic Universe. Among its major and highly respected theories and problems, the Reader will find the ‘beginning‘ (but not the ‘origin’) of the physical Universe that stands out as the most prominent theory with its singularly momentous event of ‘Big Bang’, 13.75 billion years ago.
This theory sets the basis for all subsequent cosmological theories. Alas, a few of those theories, whose primary authors came to the West, were educated in the system of the former Soviet ‘dialectic materialism’. Not even Stephen Hawking, the eminent Astrophysicist, was immune to their persuasive influence; hence, he declared openly to the effect that: Since we have all the answers in the theory of the ‘beginning’ of the Universe, ‘What place, then, for a creator?’
‘And in the preface to his book Carl Sagan points to its real theme: ‘The absence of God’. The German Physicist E. P. Fischer acutely pointed out: the “bewitched maiden” with whom Hawking fell in love when his nervous illness was diagnosed thought on parting that she had to point out to her Stephen that “he is not God”. ( Hans Kung, “The Beginning of all Things”.)
Although the theory of ‘Big Bang’ event in the SCM alludes almost to the biblical “Let there be Light”, (with its physical ‘beginning’), we should not delude ourselves, because modern physical Cosmology is still paradoxically tainted, to the point of being openly hostile to the concept of metaphysical ‘creation‘.
As modern cosmologists becoming progressively aware of this conflict, they aim to extricate themselves from it, but in doing so, they are getting themselves into an even deeper trouble, due primarily to their alternative quasi-theories, published recently in sensationalised glossy magazines.
Their un-scientific theories are filled with ‘infinities’ to abridge intellectual gaps caused by unresolvable assumptions. These ‘infinities’, in general reflect back on the Authors’ education system in the ‘atheistic materialism’, where matter reigns supreme; i.e. it came into being out of nothing and by chance, it will exist for ever, hence, it is infinite. ( One scientist remarked: ‘They are not good enough even for Science Fiction’.) On the other hand, reputable Cosmologists declared openly their embarrassment over the numerous ‘infinities’ found even in the SCM.
The sensational theories alluded to, contain primarily hypothetical ideas about the purported origin of an infinite physical Universe out of ‘nothing‘ and purely by chance, (or as claimed by alternative varieties: The ‘origin’ has been caused from quantum energy, or caused through the infinite processes of Other Worlds or Multiverse). The Russian Nobel Prize winner for physics, L. Landau remarked: ‘Cosmologists often err, but they never doubt.’
Most of the new ideas are built on assumptions that are explained by further assumptions; and they depend on infinities. The primary reason for these unscientific claims given by the same scientists, were that ‘in causally-connected infinite universes, and over billions of years, anything can happen’. However, they are quiet about the First cause of all the above claims.
‘It appears as if these cosmologists would attempt to avoid in all earnestness the philosophical implications of their hypotheses about the problem of origin ….by creating a universe that functions as its own mother…. Their instinctive opposition or a deliberate avoidance when faced with a singularity are far too numerous for one to be able to neglect the question of the background motivation’. (Hans Kung).
An other source for our scientific knowledge is the Standard Model of Particle Physics, which let us glean inside the microcosm of the Universe, the sub-atomic particles, and the structure of ‘Primordial Singularity’ and energy fields. It confirms in general that matter is composed of atomic particles, and the atomic particles are composed of gamma rays. The laws that control all matter are the same because the basics of all matter are the same.
There remains a perennial question, quoted by Fr. Philip Miller, parish priest in the diocese of Westminster, UK., and holds a doctorate in Radio Astronomy:
‘Do the great scientific advances of our age threaten the foundations of our faith in a Creator? Physical sciences show eminently the order in our Universe that manifests itself through its unity, laws and forces of nature, and in fact, they are all pointing inadvertently towards a Creator’.
There is a popular trend of ‘new-materialism‘ spreading in the twenty-first century among eminent scientists, like Francis Crick, Stephen Hawking, Carl Sagan, Sir Martin Rees, David Attenborough, Richard Dawkins, Jaques Monod and Peter Atkins, et al., who openly deride religious beliefs, and claim the authority of their own scientific work for their attacks. The belief of these scientists is based firmly in the wisdom of sciences that will give us ultimately all the answers. This outlook of ‘scientism’ appears to pervade places of higher learning with the aim of a materialistic intellectual domination.
However, their claims are seriously misplaced. Their properly scientific work has no particular relevance, (let alone competence), to the truth or falsity of most philosophical (or religious) assertions. Whenever they do stray into the fields of philosophy (or religion), as they often do, they ignore both the long history and the vast diversity of philosophical viewpoints, (or theological concepts), assuming erroneously that those trendy materialist views are being unaltered and almost universally held. Paraphrased from Hans Kung, “The beginning of all Things’”.
The Aristotelian philosophical view is that it only takes logical reasoning of an adequate mind, which is endowed also with a will to accept an evident truth, that is:
Nothing that exists in the physical reality could have created itself, because:-
First, all reality must be either produced or unproduced, and if it is produced, it must be produced by others; because no one can give what it does not have.
Second, nothing can bring itself into existence from ‘nothing’, either spontaneously in a ‘Big Bang’ or in ‘Other Worlds’ or through gradual evolution on Earth, (like the origin of life, as promulgated by modern biology).
Third, life can come only from life.
Fourth, In order for something to bring itself into existence, be it an atom, a star or the entire Physical Universe, must already exist in order to create itself. But if it already existed, it is impossible to bring itself into existence again.
Fifth, if we accept the philosophical axiom that there is no ‘infinite regress’ in physical reality, then about a hypothetically infinite causal chain of something being produced by others,…then by others,…etc. etc., the pagan Philosopher, Aristotle concluded 2400 years ago: “Consequently, there must be an unmoved ’Prime Mover’, known also as the uncaused First Cause of everything;” whom the Abrahamic religions call the Creator.
These appear as absolutely true statements, in contradiction with the hypotheses of modern cosmologists.
Therefore, the intended objective of this Article is that the Reader will hopefully comprehend some stronger sense of compatibility of a religious faith with the reason of true Science, by having arguments, where it coinciding with that of the Church, that ultimately, there can be no essentially reasonable contradiction between Faith in a Creator and the acceptability of Science that investigates His creation. Indeed, not only is there no contradiction, but as we assumed originally, proper science could ‘reinforce’by its reality-based arguments the belief in a divine Creator.
On the other hand, we all know that due to human failing, even scientists can produce at times questionable findings, motivated by spurious personal interests; but at the same time, an adequate mind ought to be able to recognise illogical statements and contradictory scientific claims, such as those, e.g.:
Some cosmologists announce triumphantly that their hypothetical theories are ‘final’, because they have solved a particular problem; motivating their claims by saying that their theories are ‘elegant’ because they were proven by logic and/or have been mathematically proven correct. These claims, however, overlook the principal fact that not everything that sounds logical or proven mathematically correct would necessarily equate with ‘truth’ in the physical reality.
Concluding this Preface with an encouragement that is a true religion has nothing to fear fromscience; in fact on the contrary, it appears from the above reasoning, science seems unable to extricate itself from the conflict with religion, caused by its own unreasonable alternative theories, starting with the ‘beginning’ of the physical Universe.
In other words, the concept of metaphysical creation remains still the one and only free-standing, complete and reasonable theory that can explain the origin of the Physical Universe. Therefore, this ‘fact of origin’ appears an ideal means for our reinforcing an existing faith that is our firm belief in a metaphysical Creator.
The Reader may reasonably be surprised, when recalling the introductory assumption that this Article is aimed at producing a true scientific evidence based in the reality, (for which we chose the physical ‘beginning‘ of the Universe at the Big Bang), upon which event we could base the reinforcing of an existing faith.
However, as things turned out paradoxically the other way around, i.e. we find now that Creation, is the one and only, free-standing, complete and reasonable theory, (based on belief), for explaining the transcendental ‘origin‘ of the Universe, which is in opposition to physical cosmology’s multiple, incomplete and unreasonable theories, (that are also based on belief); which fact demonstrates at the same time science’s monumental limitation.
Hence, when looking for ‘reinforcing’ our belief in a Creator, in this particular case, we can still base that ‘reinforcing’ in science, but only by default, i.e. on the very fact that science is unable to explain adequately the ‘origin’ of the physical Universe.
St. Augustine asks: “Who does not see that knowledge precedes faith? Nobody believes unless he knows what to believe”. This article is a collection of perennial thoughts from the Aristotelian philosophy, based in the reality of science and physical cosmology.
In spite of the generally-held idea that modern scientists make every effort to ridicule religion and produce odd and purely hypothetical ideas (that never can prove scientifically the existence or non-existence of God), let the following observation put science and the reputable scientists into the right perspective: The reader will find through this article (as in other articles) that science does show a grand universal order in the physical Universe, which manifests in its unity through the Laws and Forces of nature.
Re-stating the general aim of this article that the readers would ascertain for themselves a clearer understanding as well as a stronger sense of compatibility of a true faith with reason that could reinforce our faith in a Creator in a similar way to the above demonstrated objective reality of ‘origin’ (i.e. the ‘First Cause’) of the physical Universe.
I gratefully acknowledge the following eminent authors, whose rare and invaluable publications about science and cosmology were the source and inspiration for this article:-
- Creation and Evolution: Summary of a Science Symposium at the Vatican.
- Chance and Purpose: Cardinal Schonborn of Vienna.
- Creation and the God of Abraham: Proceedings of a Scientific Conference at the Vatican.
- Human destiny: Lecomte du Nouy M.D. Scientist of Pasteur Institute and Sorbonne.
- The Order of Things: J.V.Schall., S.J.: Professor of Philosophy at Georgetown Univ.
- What is Life?: Josef Seifert. Professor of Philosophy, at Salzburg Univ., Texas and Dallas Univ.
- Extreme Cosmos: Brian Gaensler. Astronomer and a Laureate Fellow at the Univ. of Sydney.
An act of faith, trust or belief in someone or something is the free acceptance with metaphysical certitude of intrinsically compelling evidence based solely on the essence of things. Philosophy posits therefore, that any requirement for proving an act of faith, trust or belief with scientific evidence based in the physical reality would be a contradiction in terms.
However, this statement does not exclude that a scientifically established fact or knowledge could not reinforce an already existing faith, (the subject of this article); or that the act of any manner of faith, could not be verifiable with an available scientifically established fact or knowledge.
Reason is whatever helps the intellect in any manner to the understanding of truth about things in the physical reality. In other words, inasmuch as the intellect can think out, in logically connected steps, several truths that are not self-evident, it is called reason.
Logical Truth, which is truth ‘about’ things (and not the truth of things), is what a reasoning mind searches in everything. Truth and reality are convertible that is: every physical and metaphysical ‘being’ is true (because of the act of their existence), hence, every true thing is a real ‘being’, and vice versa.
Reality must either be produced or unproduced. If produced, must be caused by others, and it becomes an effect.
If unproduced, it must exist of its own necessity, which is the First Cause in a chain of causation. A causal chain cannot be infinite because ‘there is no infinite regress in nature’; or as it was paraphrased: ‘One could die of thirst before reaching the tap’.
Cause contributes to the becoming or existence of a reality. Every cause is a reason, but not every reason is a cause. Even if reality lacks understandable causes, cannot lack a reason for its existence; (Raison d’etre).
Philosophy posits also that every being in reality is understandable only through its physical attributes that give themidentity. In other words: “There is no entity without identity”.
Evidence is the product of a reasoning mind. It is a spontaneous and objective apprehension of an idea or a physical fact, the ultimate basis of certitude. The foundation for evidence may be pure reasoning (e.g. mathematics), science or both. Mathematics and logic do not equate with truth, they can only lead to truth.
Furthermore, evidence is an understandable concept of an entity or event, which must never be based on subjective (‘a priori’ judgement), but an objective finding.
Self-evidence is an ultimate source of compelling certitude; it is obvious to an adequate mind, therefore, it need no further proof or reason for its understanding.
Certitude is the result of a judgement of knowledge of truth about things. The name certitude, strictly used, is reserved for the mind’s assent to known truth, completely without fear of being wrong.
The conditions of becoming a Christian: “Becoming a Christian is a conversion, a growing adherence to Christ infaith and sacraments over an extended period of time.” (Catholic Catechism).
Pope Francis adds with a prophetic call to the Church in his ‘new phase of evangelisation’: “…The Eucharist, although it is the fullness of sacramental life, is not a prize for the perfect but a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak.”
He claims also: “…Whenever our interior life becomes caught up in its own interests and concerns, there is no longer room for others – no place for the poor…This is why I want a Church which is poor and for the poor…They have much to teach us. Not only do they share in the sensus fidei, but also in their difficulties they know the suffering Christ. We need to let ourselves be evangelised by them…”
A. The Nature of the Universe.
B. The Anthropic View of the Universe.
C. The Providence.
D. Applications of the Laws of Chance.
E. The Free Will.
F. Does a Creator Exist?
G. The Objective Glory of God.
A. The Nature of the Universe
This article will consider the origin and finality of the physical Universe through two of its very own principal properties: Contingency and Causality, through which consideration some perennial truth will hopefully arise. Although these metaphysical properties may not sound new, nor they may appeal to some readers, nevertheless, no better reasoning has been produced on these subjects since Aristotle, for the past 2,400 years.
It is said, that without the philosophical understanding of the concept of creation, (which means simply a metaphysical act in the realisation of the physical Universe), one would also have some difficulty believing, in a realistic way, in a Creator. Furthermore, as it will be explained through the words of eminent philosophers and scientists in the following, a conscious refusal of accepting the philosophical concept of creation, (as un-believers often do), would contradictboth: the physical reality and philosophical logic, as detailed in the following:-
1. Contingency and Physical Reality
- The beginning and end of all beings
- Mutual dependence in existence
- The law of proportionality
- The concept of entropy
2. Contingency and Philosophical Logic
- Self-subsistence of matter
3. Causality and Causal Series
1. Contingency and Physical Reality
This section attempts to clarify, through the concept of Contingency, the contradiction between non-belief in a metaphysical creation and Physical Reality.
a. The beginning and end of all beings. Every being in the physical Universe, (this includes all inanimate and animate beings), that had a beginning, must eventually have an end, (through their physical and chemical degradation and biological disintegration).
Since all human beings are born and die, they are contingent. The opposite of contingency is necessity. Contingent beings although can exist, but they do not have to exist, therefore, they are in a metaphysical sense non-necessary beings. A physical being, which can change has no necessity in being because it depends on its physical causes. Hence, it is hovering constantly between the state of existence and non-existence.
Consequently, if all physical beings are contingent, there must be an absolute, i.e. self-subsistent, and eternal being, which is so perfect that existence is of its very essence, why it is called a necessary being, upon which all contingent beings base their existence; and Jews, Christians and Muslims call Him the Creator of the visible and invisible Universe.
b. Mutual Dependence in Existence. Contingency means also a physical dependency in being. All living beings in the physical Universe depend on physical support by other living beings for coming into their existence; therefore every such living being is called a contingent being. Our existence signifies our complete reality of being, of which we are made conscious through sensation of it is to be.
On the other hand, it also becomes clear to us through reason that we, who exist, find our origin in something other than our own being. This mutual dependence reveals to us a certain metaphysical order of all animatebeings in the physical reality, through the consistent continuity of life, from its mysterious origin, ( 4.75 billion years ago on Planet Earth), through future eons of time, which hopefully yet to come.
The logical conclusion from this mutual dependence is that if “Life can only come from life”, that is, a living being depends on another living being for its coming into existence, and that one depends yet on another being, and so on, this chain of mutual dependence in retrospect, cannot continue endlessly, which philosophy call infinite regress; therefore we must reach either a physical or a transcendental being, who is self-sufficient and does not depend on contingent beings.
Since the hall-mark of self-sufficiency in existence is ‘perfection of being’, only a Creator possesses this perfection, depending on no one for His existence. He must be therefore the one and only being, unsupported by others, who supports all other beings by His own absolute nature.
c. The Law of Proportionality. One of the natural characteristics of the physical Universe is the so called Law of Proportionality. This law posits that the principal properties of constituent parts of a physical system must apply equally to its entire system.
Hence, if the constituent parts of the physical Universe are contingent, then the whole of the Universe must be equally contingent. It is also true that since the Universe is contingent, it must also be finite; meaning that since it had a beginning (at the Big Bang 13.75 giga years ago), it also will have to have an end.
d. The Concept of Entropy. The physical Universe has an other contingent property, which is its physical “energy-levelling” process, called Entropy. This entropic property reinforces greatly the temporal nature of the physical Universe in making its existence accelerate irreversibly, through the qualitative degradation of its total energy, towards the end-stage, (similarly to an unwinding clock).
Paradoxically, this degrading process of physical beings appears analogous to the ‘dying’ process of all living beings; that is, these two processes begin similarly with their respective beginnings of existence; one at the Big Bang, the other at every new ‘birth’ of life.
Among the numerous Laws and Forces of Nature, that control all physical entities and events in the Universe, scientists highlight the queen of the laws, the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics, which contains two master-concepts: The Energy in general and the Energy law of Entropy.
The following will introduce Entropy itself; while in Section ‘C‘, under ‘Providence’ the ‘negative-entropy’ will be described. The statistical-law of Entropy states that in the natural distribution of energies of a closed system, (such as the physical Universe), all high-value energies tend, through their irreversible process of degradation, towards alowest value of energies.
Entropy is then a measure of: [The Quality of Available Energy for Work in a System] divided by the [Total Energy of the same System]. By this formula we can also identify the inverse-value of Entropy, i.e.: The lower is the quality of available Energy in a system, the higher is its Entropy.
Conversely, within this universal entropic disintegration, all radiating energies will slowly degrade to the lowest form of energy, which is vibration, (whose wavelengths said to reach one km. approx.) Thus, physical nature will ultimately reach energy–equilibrium, where all change and motion will have stopped gradually, and as space temperature approaching Absolute Zero K. Deg., it will signify the so called “Heat Death”, the end-state of the Universe.
A note of caution by Scientists: The slow and gradual, entropic disintegration of the material world, as described above, is only an idealised process, as some scientists openly speculate about a possible alternative scenario, where the advent of the end-state would unexpectedly accelerate due to some cataclysmic event in nature, bypassing the above slow entropic process all together. Accordingly, a major force could have already started acting in the lead role of a causal series towards such an end-state.
The question is, asks Paul Davies, which of the major forces will be the ‘trigger’ for a final cause of events? In addition to this idea, cosmologists stipulate that in the event of a ‘normal’ process towards the end-stage of the Universe, the final fight will be plaid out between the force of Gravity and Entropy.
2. Contingency and Philosophical Logic
Self-subsistence of Matter. This section describes through the concept of the same Contingency, the contradiction between non-belief in creation and Philosophical Logic. Adversarial theories state categorically that a (contingent) physical matter created itself by pure ‘chance’ from ‘nothing’.
Another, similar theory published in scientific journals is that matter has infinite properties (in similarly infinite space and time), and as such, the Universe is a self-subsistent physical reality; therefore, it exists for ever, without any beginning and without an end; these infinite properties apply equally to all physical beings in it.
However, firstly, a material Universe could not have ‘created itself’ to become a physical reality, otherwise, as the saying goes: it had to be there already, i.e.: exist, before it created itself. Logic dictates that it had to be created either by another contingent being, and then, by yet another contingent being, in a never ending process;…etc. etc….(ad infinitum), or it is created by an infinite perfect being, that must be a metaphysical Creator.
Secondly, a contingent Universe, which on one hand, had already been scientifically proven to have had a physical‘beginning’ at the moment of Big Bang, the very same Universe, on the other hand, could not possess simultaneously a different identity, which is now possessing infinite properties of being without a beginning and an end, because it is a philosophical contradiction in terms.
3. Causality and Causal Series
The contingent nature of the physical Universe will be analysed more deeply, through the concept of ‘causality’ in the following:-
a. Although the cause-and-effect concept is the rock bottom of science, and used in our reasoning constantly, yet, its meaning is often not made quite clear.
b. Causality itself, (like energy), is observable only through its effects.
c. According to Aristotle, cause is a metaphysical answer to the perennial question of “Why?” In other words, causality is a directionally oriented and verifiable intelligibility of an event or necessary regularities in succession of several interrelated events. “We find in nature various levels of intelligibilities, depending on the levels of their activities.
These activities and/or events may be physical, chemical, biological and also transcendental. A transcendental activity may be a thought in the human mind that can further elicit its will to act in the physical reality; upon these levels we could identify the various intelligibilities of the corresponding causations.”
We can also formulate from such causative levels that if there were no such end-directed (or end-seeking) events in nature, there would be no intelligible regularities either in the structured causal events. The result would be chaos; and science would be impossible. These ideas lead us closer to our philosophical understanding of causation. The following will analyse the theoretical dimensions of a causal series:-
d. St. Thomas Aquinas produced a detailed list of answers against the ‘Adversaries’ of his philosophical treaties on the concept of Causality and the Causal Series, in his monumental work, the ‘Summa contra Gentiles’.
The following ideas are his general interpretations of the Aristotelian philosophy, which sets out originally the bases of causality together with their definitions. The importance of understanding this concept lies in the fact that while causality appears to be the principal argument used by classical philosophy for several reasons, and it is a similar corner-stone of modern physical sciences;
And yet, (apart from others), scientists are the major adversaries to this same concept just because causality is viewed by them as it being a reasoned and an inevitable way to a Creator.
Aquinas posits three items that are considered essential for a better understanding of the basic concept of causality. These are:-
First; in a causal series, which are the most common events in the physical reality, the origin of any movement or change is called the First Cause, without which there is no cause to speak of, because of the fact that ‘no materialcause can give what it hasn’t got’. (Although there may be a potential cause present, but that also must have come from an earlier cause.) This is the reason of why the concept of ‘perpetual motion’ is a paradox in the physical reality.
The end of any movement or change is called the Final Cause, which is the effect of a causal series. As with the First Cause, without a Final Cause (or effect) there is no cause to speak of, because either the series is interrupted or (theoretically at least), it would proceed into infinity, which would contradict the the axiom of: ‘There is no infinite regress in nature’.
Second; there is an apparent similarity in strength of every member in a causal series, on which basis they all may be viewed as one quasi-instrument of the First Cause.
In addition to the above items, there is a certain ‘hierarchy’ of intelligibilities that can be detected among the members in every causal series. These intelligibilities can transform from a high level to a lower level, as described in the following, the highest metaphysical attribute is found in the First Cause, which attribute transforms gradually as the series of actions approach their lowest physical attribute towards the Final Cause, the effect.
Third; Aquinas elaborates on the apparently simultaneous and almost instantaneous acts of the various members in a causal series by an example of a man moving a large stone. In this analysis he adopts reverse-reasoning by showing that the First Cause will come into view only at the end of the analysis.
Hence, the ‘apparent’ First Cause begins with the physical movement of the arm; this, however, is not the end, because it was preceded by an earlier cause, which was the muscle movement; furthermore, this preceded by neural actions; then these preceded by molecular and atomic actions of the neurons; those were then preceded by the influence of the will to act.
All these were, however, preceded by reasoning out the idea of moving the stone; then finally, this was preceded (i.e. first), by a pure metaphysical act of the mind perceiving from the reality the idea of a stone. From this analysis he deduced that the true First Cause was not the movement of the arm, but the perception of the existence of a stone.
Based on the above simple analysis, with infinite knowledge, patience and time, one could also analyse even the metaphysical origin (not the physical beginning) of the physical Universe. In the end-result, such an analysis would find that as the ‘movement of an arm’ was shown to lead to its first ‘mover’ that did not move by any other cause, so also a similar analysis could lead an earnest researcher through the splendour of the microscopic and the macroscopic world, (and without the necessity of an infinite regress back in time), to the one and the true First Cause, our metaphysical Creator, whom the ‘pagan’ Aristotle called 2,400 years ago the “Unmoved Mover“.
e. A practical example may add some further clarity to the idea of causal series in the physical reality:-:
In 1933 the illumination of the Chicago World’s Fair was switched on automatically by an ingenious arrangement. The light-rays from Arcturus, the principal star in the Constellation Bootes, that had begun its journey 36.7 years previously, were concentrated onto photo-electric cells in several astronomical Observatories, then transformed intoelectrical energy, which was then transmitted to Chicago.
Every action in general, points to a philosophical axiom that “The aim of an action is success”; in other words, such phenomena are observable universally as purpose-like events throughout the microcosm and macrocosm, where the laws and forces of nature govern them in unison, without any contradiction with one another, and unalterably, throughout their existence of 13.75 billion years in the Universe.
Repeating the philosophical axiom that in every interrelated causal series, the ‘first cause’ produces its effect; this effect then further becomes another cause for producing the subsequent effect or effects; etc.etc…, until such a causal series will reach its ‘final cause‘, whose effect will be called the end-result, as it was in the above example, thelighting of the World’s Fair.
In the above example for a causal series, the ‘light-rays’, seemed easy enough to recognise to be the First Cause. In general, however, the following is the procedure for finding a First Cause: One has to trace back every single cause and its effect, step by step, and in their proper order, through reverse-reasoning, starting from the Final Cause, (that is the action of switching on the lights of the World’s Fair), all the way back to the ‘phenomenon’ of the First Cause; which, as it was already pointed out above, were the light-rays.
f. The causal series in this example appear to be all physical (i.e.: observable, hence, scientifically verifiable.) However, after closer investigation, this example (as in most of similar events), comprises also transcendental components in its causal series; those are the abstract, mental functions of forming the first idea, and the design itself by the engineer and his assistants; which should also be included with the analysis, until through this more complex manoeuvrings, we would finally arrive at the true First Cause.
g. The property of First Cause, no matter what kind, is that it must be one, singular and free-standing, that isuncaused by anything or anybody else. (By the way, the ‘real’ First Cause in the above example could well have been the feasibility of a ‘transcendental concept’ born in the mind of the design engineer, while lying on his back on a late balmy night and gazing at the far away Star Arcturus).
h. Extrapolating from this relatively simple example to a truly complex event, such as the metaphysical creation of the physical Universe, would be an impossibly complex task. The reason being, first, there were, and are still, countless numbers of observable and un-observable causal series happening throughout the 13.75 billion years, (present age of the Universe), and within the spatial distance of 13.75 billion light years away from us.
Secondly, besides those physical events, an even bigger problem is the lack of human understanding of the interventions by the Providence, (as will be described later), as well as our total, intellectual blindness about the act ofcreation itself.
Although there are countless philosophical and even physical evidence pointing to certain feasible aspects of creation, still there are huge gaps in the causal series, within the transcendental realm, which only faith (and the will to accept it) can abridge. However, when excluding faith, and using purely philosophical reasoning, it is logical to assume this much, as already discussed above, that since the Universe (as a contingent being), had a certain ‘beginning’, therefore it will have an end.
It is equally reasonable to state that while we understand that the first cause for the ‘beginning‘ of the physical Universe was the so called Big-Bang, however, its metaphysical origin, that is its true, uncaused – First Cause, as well as its Final Cause (the end-stage) are scientifically still unknown.
One may ask in conclusion, what would be more logical to believe in: An infinite Creator of a contingent Universe, which had a metaphysical origin and will have an end, or a paradoxically infinite and yet, material Universe, (the first contradiction), which is simultaneously being a contingent Universe, (the second contradiction), because, as it has already been proved by science itself, that the Universe had a beginning, (13.75 billion years ago), hence, it also will have an end.
B. The Anthropic View of the Universe
According to Aristotle, the pagan Philosopher who lived 2,400 years ago, “The movement of the stars was inspired by the Unmoved Mover”. “The metaphysical creation of the Universe secures the dignity of man, who was intended as a microcosm to reflect the image of macrocosm, uniting finally within himself the physical with the spiritual world”. (Glenn.)
This section will attempt to clarify the impossible, that is, the majestic mystery of the transcendental creation through our anthropic view of the immensity and splendour of the physical Universe. God created the Universe from “nothing”. This well-established doctrine is part of the three Abrahamic religions, and accepts (with variations in Islam), that creation of the Universe preceded its non-existence.
The Christian belief is that the act of creation was not a single and instantaneous event into a physical reality, but it is a transcendental act of a continuous process through to the end of time. Hence the ‘six-days’ creation in the Bible is understood to continue for many giga-years of eons yet, during which time, according to the divine plan, the development of human beings will continue to a near perfect state.
When trying to understand the mystery of the transcendental act of a continuous creation, we have to replace all of our anthropic images and concepts with pure faith, but likewise with realistic reason. The Christian belief is in a Creator, who is the uncaused First-Cause of everything.
“His act of creation from nothing happens through His ‘Word’, which becomes a sovereign constituting command for the coming into existence, and in continuing evolution of all animate beings. The Creator does not ‘make’ beings in physical reality; He is, who creates reality for the existence of all beings, Therefore, the human concept of creation is nothing other than the spontaneous effusion of divine grace, which is existing forever in the infinite and omnipotentCreator’s eternity”. (Pope Benedict XVI.)
Note: There is a general consensus among scientists about the concepts of space and time; they all appear to agree that both space and time as real, physical entities, what is more, they refer to them always as being physically infinite. However, the Aristotelian view is the following:
There is neither space nor time existing in the physical reality. Therefore, any reference to the reality of space, is none other than our measure of magnitude of bodily extensions in the reality; and the reality of time, is none other than our measure of duration of bodily changes in the reality. The definitions of these concepts have not yet been settled.
We don’t measure physical things in space and events in time metaphorically, nor do we use abstract instruments to comply with our limited, human measures; this same reason is why we are capable of understanding the concept of creation only through our limited, physical and human terms.
Hence, we compare only analogically such metaphysical ideas as creation and origin with their physical equivalent concepts (if any) used in our every-day reality. It is therefore only through this highly restricted view of the world that we can still marvel the immensity and splendour of the created Universe, through which we try to know its Creator.
In opposition to the earlier detailed philosophical reasoning for a contingent Universe, alternative theories produced by several, new-age cosmologists about the beginning (or no-beginning) of the physical Universe. These authors trying to make us believe their ‘blind-chance’ ideas, the initial, physical B.B. ‘explosion’ of physical beginning that happened from a mythical ‘nothing’.
Others believe in infinite and/or eternal existence of physical matter in space and time. These hypothetical ideas are published in pseudo-scientific articles, as: Quantum Mechanics, Everything for Nothing, Multiverse, the Cyclic Universe, The String Theory, The Quantum Gravity, etc.; they were followed up by numerous books with materialist views, and some published purely to promulgate atheism.
These questionable cosmological hypotheses are beyond observability, verification and some are even beyond belief. It is a choice of you believe them or not. And yet, paradoxically, the general aim of their theories appears to render the concept of metaphysical creation the unbelievable and redundant alternative.
Their principal idea is centered around the self-creation of the physical Universe and energy/matter in it; this mysterious beginning came from the quantum fluctuation of the zero-point energy of vacuum, (within infinite real space and infinite real time, which therefore must have existed prior to the physical beginning).
However, the mathematical equations of the physical beginning, that is its first cause, and the definitions (that would be essential for the understanding of newly-created terms), have not yet been published. Some other cosmologists claim also that you can create particle-anti-particles in a false-vacuum of space; then again, there is silence about how it could happen and why hasn’t it be done yet.
Scientists claim that science deals only with observable and verifiable physical facts; therefore, an event, such as a metaphysical creation, that happened only once in the history of the Universe, and 13.75 giga years ago, (which is therefore unobservable and scientifically unverifiable), does not belong to the domain of science. Hence, any speculation about the veracity (or even the feasibility) of a metaphysical creation would appear quite futile. And yet, contrary to the above facts, many atheist scientists became suddenly qualified experts in matters of religion and even theology, in order to spread their spurious ideas, under the pretext of ‘science‘.
C. The Providence
“Where can I go from thy Spirit? And where can I flee from thy face? If I ascend into heaven, thou art there; if I lie down with the dead, thou art there. If I take the wings of the dawn, if I dwell in the uttermost part of the sea, even there will thy hand guide me, and thy right hand hold me. If I say: At least darkness shall cover me, and night like light shall surround me, darkness itself shall not be dark to thee, and night shall shine as the day; to thee darkness is as light”. (Psalm 138.7).
This section will describe the concept of “continuing-creation” that is believed to provide for all necessities of living beings, through a mysterious biological act, against the vicissitudes of our physical environment and against the general, physical degradation as described under Entropy. We believe God created the Universe in his sovereign freedom from eternity. Thus, He transcends His creation, and yet, He is dwelling immanently within us through His providential, continuing-creation. It is said that He is closer to us than our heart.
This providential act is viewed like an on-going engineering maintenance, with one essential difference – that is, the way this mysterious act of continuing-creation maintains the entire physical world in existence. In other words, if theProvidence was to let go of His contingent creation, it all would fall back instantaneously into that from which it came, into nothingness.
The Creator gave us dignity of freedom by allowing us to make choices of means freely for the attainment of our happiness, the “good”; while at the same time, this freedom makes us personally responsible for all our deliberate actions. Paradoxically, along with this personal freedom, we still have the utmost dependence on the divine Providence in everything and in every second of our life. The biology of life on Earth confirms that there is an important ‘exemption‘ from the physical, entropic degradation, which exception is considered an existential necessity for all living beings.
Although it is only a partial exemption, and yet, without it there could be no life on Earth. This exemption is referred to as ‘Negative Entropy’, and it is a quasi-property of life.
Although the ‘irreversible’ entropic tendency towards universal degradation is a fundamental law of the physical world , it is mysteriously ‘reversed’ in every living being. As a result, we find in all lower life-form, an innate, natural tendency towards the attainment of a higher order of life-form, a greater complexity along with higher forms of energy and organisation, which biology calls ‘development’, and which is in direct opposition to the irreversible entropic-physical degradation of all inanimate and animate beings in the Universe.
The following describes how life in general tends to counteract this physical degradation by the universal entropic process. Entropy in physics refers to the ultimate irreversibility of a qualitative state of energy equilibrium in the Universe at all times.
Living beings are ‘endowed’ with a capability to counteract the effects of this irreversible entropic law through their mysterious, perennial drive for self-sustaining biological existence and development. Thus,, living beings propel themselves forward incessantly, to convert from their lower quality energy state to a higher quality energy state.
When we think into this process more deeply, the Darwinian evolutionary process of the species comes into mind, where apart from the basic struggle for survival, life itself intimate a metaphysical tendency that propels itself forward, from a lower quality of energy state to a higher quality state throughout this evolutionary process, which is still continuing to develop until the end of time; provided that we don’t blow ourselves up before getting to an ultimate quasi-perfect human state, the original divine plan of our Creator.
Philosophically speaking, since a lower quality of energy state cannot give itself in the physical reality what it hasn’t got, i.e.: a higher quality energy state, (unless it is perpetual motion), therefore, this paradoxical tendency to acquire a higher quality of energy state must come from a higher, metaphysical source, (i.e.: beyond the physical realm) than what a living being could itself provide.
Although all higher quality, renewable energy that keeps all living beings in existence must come ultimately from the sun, the intrinsic source for the innate property of being able to ‘counter-act’ the law of entropy still remains a mystery.
The implication of this ‘counter-acting‘ property is that all plants, animals and human beings use naturally renewable, non-renewable and sustainable energies. Much of the useful energies are being made available principally through scientific knowledge and inventive skill. Hence, our technology is paradoxically, subjugating the Forces of Nature by the very same Forces of Nature. Unfortunately, this necessary technological advancement is now threatening (i.e. taxing) the non-renewable resources, and polluting air, land and water.
Oddly enough, this exploitation appears inevitable for human life in general in order to maintain or ideally, reduce the value of Entropy just to stay alive, as well as for some to enjoy the luxuries of life. Note that, in spite of the apparent partial exemption from the entropic disintegration, in the end, the same entropic process still governs the overall life-span of all living beings in the background. As the saying goes: ‘The greatest invention in Nature is Death.’
There is among the numerous and harmful human activities one particular fact that must be highlighted, that is the apparent root-problem of our environment, that is the world population: The following is an extract from: “ An Introduction to Astronomy”, By Frank Shu, Professor of Astronomy at Caltech. USA.:
“When we consider the purely biological process of natural selection, there seems a problem arising for us, that is: The flowering plants, insects and vermin are all the equals, (and perhaps eventually the superiors) of humans, because throughout the ages they have succeeded through quick reproduction in large numbers. This evolutionary ‘success‘, requires their inevitable early death of countless billions. We have succeeded by our brain power, and our numbers – alone among all the species – continue against entropic degradation, to grow on an unsaturated exponential curve.
“Let us hope that we are wise enough to exercise our power and circumvent the unpleasant prelude to the operation of the law of natural selection or worse. Hence, the full story of human life cannot yet be told.”
In opposition to the concept of Providence: We can often hear the familiar, doubting views that have been expressed elquently in a letter to Cardinal Schonborn: “…One reads often that the Christian faith elevated man up to the crown of creation, and exalted him above all other living beings. In fact, the Universe was created for man and for his sake.
“The progress of science, however, knocked him off his pedestal once again by the so called three great offenses to his human dignity:-
- Copernicus, from Krakow, posited that the Sun, and not the Earth is at the center of the planetary system.
- Darwin, from London, posited that man descended from chimpanzees, whose genome sequence is more than 98% identical with that of human beings.
- Sigmund Freud, from Vienna, exposing with his psycho-analysis our basically decadent human mind.”
a. On the negative side of Providence: These are the letter writer’s complaints: “…I had thought all along that creation is a well-ordered event, and all disorder is only a deviation from it. But since my deep involvement with biological science, Very soon, I necessarily had quite the opposite impression. It appears as if the entire world was the chance-outcome of a well-planned creativity…
‘Cardinal! Look at the world yourself, and while searching for the mythical divine plan, hear the cries of fellow-human beings of the Soviet gulags, the Nazi concentration camps, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the African religious massacres, the hospitals, insane asylums, the state prisons, etc….’ (These remarks were of course aimed against the ideals of: ‘We were made in His image and likeness, and Even the hair of your head is numbered’; etc.)
b. On the positive side of Providence: This was the Cardinal’s reply: ‘…We experience that the physical world is well and truly imperfect, which is complemented with equally imperfect living beings in it. In the Creator’s plan there was no death, prior to the fall of man. The creation had two choices only: Either creates man with free will, or not to create man at all. We acknowledge that the dethronement of man from its high position in nature and in society was well justified, because of man’s aggressive pride and arrogance in every sphere of life. God’s words of: He saw that his creation was ‘good’, because it exists; (i.e.: It is good to exist).
‘This means that although the world exist, it is not necessarily perfect, because it is limited by its contingent, developing nature, which applies equally to all living beings. Our instinct of survival proves that physical life is good indeed. We experience physical and abstract beauty in and around us, as well as in nature, and in our scientific and cultural achievements.
‘The creation has only the divine plan of a ‘beginning’ conceived in eternity; it was by launching the divine Word for the created physical world in its path, to develop with providence through a continuous creation. In such a contingent world survival is synonymous with continually coming into being, which is causing all living beings often undesirable changes.
‘We human beings, usually tend to follow our fallen nature, and through our free choice of means for the achievement of our personal ‘good,’ commit sometimes acts of physical and moral evil. With abundance of ‘good’ in nature, and with fruits of the human free will, evil will always exist in the world, so long as creation will have reached its final goal of perfection.’
D. Applications of the Laws of Chance
Preliminary words of caution by Professor Guye: This section will demonstrate the near impossibility for a “chance-origin” of life and that of the Universe. “The laws of chance have rendered, and will continue to provide great service to science. However, many of us know that while we rely often on a so called scientifically verifiable truth, it should only be taken in a limited sense. Scientists themselves point out the reasons for uncertainties.
Every scientific phenomenon depends on its scale of observation and interpretation of the findings. Any observation may be influenced by some unknown or unexpected factors, and evidence may vary due to different interpretations. A scientist may also deviate from his original goal under research, which fact implies that the more deeply man analyses, the farther away he can get from the principal problem he meant to solve”. Often a research result could also be influenced by personal interests.
“Where do these uncertainties lead us? It appears that through verified experimental data, the statistical laws of chance, or the calculation of probabilities can achieve often remarkable precision in simple physical problems. Statistics, however, deal only with large numbers, and chance cannot be applied to small entities, such as molecular structures”. (Guye.)
There will be two problems considered through the application of the laws of chance, namely: The origin of life, as based on the logic of mathematics, and through implication, the origin of the Universe. In order to make any sense of the following, it is desirable first to clarify several principal terms:
a. Definition of Chance: The Laws of Chance are based on the Uncertainty Principle, which is deemed to be one of the properties of nature; interestingly, it is also the foundation concept of Quantum Mechanics. The law posits: “The more certain is the momentum of a sub-atomic particle, the less precise is its position at any instant, and vice versa.” (Heisenberg. 1927.)
The Laws of Chance are a mathematical expression of the calculus of probabilities. The probability of an event is the ratio of the number of cases favourable to the event to the total number of possibilities, where all the possible cases being considered as equal may happen, (i.e.: probable). If the probability of an event is infinitely slight, it is equivalent to the practical impossibility of its ever happening within certain time limits.
Paradoxically, mathematicians have never succeeded in precisely defining probability. In part, the reason appears to be the problem of defining “randomness”. That is, if you could succeed in giving an exact definition, then the sequence would no longer be random.
Philosophically speaking, chance is defined as that which is unpredictable in a physical effect. The general definition of life itself is also unpredictability. Hence, many human choices are understandably quasi chance effects. Furthermore, chance effects exist equally in both, nature and life because of the existing natural and transcendental order, respectively; i.e.: “To have chance, not everything can have chance.”
The other reason for existence of chance effect is because two events are doing what they are supposed to be doing. Thus, the human mind might ask: ‘What is the cause of all these chance effects? Also, since chance is never a cause, but only a circumstance that belongs to an unpredictable effect, one might wonder using reason whether events of chance could also have a higher ontological order.
b. The Essence of Life is defined as an absolute, irreducible simplicity to the laws of physics, chemistry and biology. That is, life transcends all sciences. In other words, this irreducible essence of life, through its transcendental nature, denies any physical causation or further explanation through events in the material world. Consequently, there is a gap between inanimate and animate beings, which neither philosophy nor science have been able to abridge.
c. The Origin of Life. The Catholic picture of the world, as expressed by Pope Benedict the XVI, is the following : “The world in its details is the product of a long series of causative evolutionary process, but that at the most profound level it comes from the divine Word. Thus, the world carries rationality within itself. Without rationality there is no direction or purpose.
When considering the physical Universe and no visible rationality found in it, one could ask in turn: What is then the purpose of having a reasoning mind in a chaotic nature, when there would be no direction or purpose? The human mind, through its reasoning capacity, (that is, a transcendental faculty in the physical Universe), is capable of highlighting certain rationalities in the material world that eyes cannot see.
“Life as such, is said to have developed initially where and when environmental conditions were favourable. But as shown earlier, life is a first principle, beyond which it cannot proceed in philosophy or physical reality with reasoning logic; therefore, any environmental conditions should have been suitable for its development.
“This argument then attributes at once a principle of higher value to life than any physical conditions. Life therefore, as being the first cause of all living beings, is one of those invisible entities that transcend physical reality. All this reasoning underscores the Hand of a Creator, who could produce life even in chaotic conditions or outside of the Solar System”.
d. The Minimum Time Requirement begins with the physical beginning of the Universe.
Notes: i. This physical origin is not concerned here with any type of its cause, be it transcendental creation or blind-chance, because that is outside of the cosmologists’ domain. The Big Bang (BB.) theory is the basis only for the physical beginning of the Universe in this article, because that is the only scientifically proven theory in existence today. The theory of BB. was based on reverse-reasoning from the presently observed expansion of the universal space.
ii. The natural and lengthy process of the life-cycle of stars, as described in the following, is at variance with the adversarial theory of “Cosmic Pluralism”, which advocates for an over-abundance of life, the so called “Extra-Terrestrials,” assumed to exist already throughout the Universe.
This theory, although is not necessarily against any religious tenet, it is based only on lengthy and purely speculative, mathematical calculations, but so far (after 50 years), has not yet been verified scientifically or by any observation in the reality. Then if there are so numerous extra-terrestrials around, (of any chemical base and intelligence), as Enrico Fermi, Nobel Laureate, Nuclear Physicist, remarked: “where are they”?
iii. The theory of the ‘Minimum Time’: The following will outline the minimum time requirement for the development of biological life, as governed by the laws and forces of nature. (By the way: this Time factor is the basic stumbling block in the eyes of modern cosmologists, by saying that there was no sufficient time for the development of life in the 13.75 billion years of the Universe.) The heavy elements essential for life had begun to form in the first Red-Giant stars as early as within the first billion years, after the physical origin of the Universe, the Big Bang.
Thereafter: In the 2nd billion year the Population II stars were born. In the 7th billion year galaxies began to cluster and the Population I stars begun to born. In the 10th billion year (i.e.: approx. 5 billion years ago), the first “Main-Sequence” stars (like our Sun), were born. These are mainly the stars we see through our telescopes today.
A total of 10 billion year was the minimum time required for a complete stellar life-cycle, which began in the stellar nursery, the inter-galactic molecular dust and gas clouds, through their life-long process of producing the various chemical elements; (all of these took place in the Main Sequence stage of stars). Please, see the H-R Diagram. Finally, only a very few of them (leaving the Main Sequence), transform into Hot stars. After about 1 billion years, they also turn into Red-Giant and then Red Super-Giant stars, and very few of them finally explode as ‘Supernovae’.
This last mighty explosion phase completes the production and dispersal of heavy metals, essential for complex biological life, throughout the Universe. These elements are then picked up by inter-galactic dust and gas clouds, where a new stellar cycle begins all over again. This is how the Sun acquired the heavy metals for development of life within our Solar System.
It is worth pointing out that organic molecule means carbon-based molecule even if no organism is involved, and it is the building block of the biological life on Earth. However, this sixth element of the Periodic Table, and the fourth most abundant cosmic element, has not been around from the beginning of the Universe. The Big Bang generated only Hydrogen, Helium and traces of Lithium. All other elements. including Carbon, were forged later on, mostly by nuclear fusion reaction inside the Red-Super-Giant stars, and dissipated them into space through their final stage of mighty ‘Supernova’ explosions.
Despite the adversaries’ claim that the “minimum” time required in the Universe was not available, it has been proved scientifically through the above outlined processes, as well as by the subsequent physical details that the minimum length of time was achieved in deed. (Besides, otherwise we would not be here). It is important to repeat that this “minimum” time analysis excluded any “origin” theories, especially the self-creation of physical reality by blind-chance.
e. Physical details of stellar developments: The Sun’s orbit around the Galaxy is in an almost perfect circle; located in the so called “habitable zone”, which is at about 23,000 light years from the galactic center and about a 30,000 ly. wide band. This zone contains a max. of 5% of the solar population of Galaxy (15 billion approx.).
The distance between Sun-like stars is about 5 to 10 light years. The distance between galaxies in the Local Group is between 25 000 ly. (Canis Major) to 2.5 million ly. (Andromeda). The temperature of Sun-like stars is 15 million degrees C, at which point nuclear fusion reaction begins. Heavier stars generate 50 million degrees.
The conversion period of hydrogen into helium in stars is known as the ‘main sequence’ that lasts most of the star’s life, for some 10 billion years. Heavier stars burn their fuel during this main sequence 100 times faster. Once all hydrogen converted into helium, the fusion reaction shuts off, the star begins to cool and under its own gravity becoming denser and even hotter. The core temp. reaches 100 mill. deg. when helium nuclei form carbon. The star now moves into its ‘horizontal branch’ stage, i.e. the stable state. (See the Diagram).
For all Sun-like stars this is almost the end-stage through their transformation into spectacular, glowing Planetary Nebulae. Extremely few of the heavier stars, however, continue their journey by heating up their carbon core further to600 mill. deg., when carbon nuclei begin to fuse to form oxygen, neon, magnesium and sodium. When in still heavier stars the temperature reaches 1.5 billion deg., oxygen nuclei fuse to form silicon, sulfur and phosphorus.
At around 3 billion deg., silicon fuses to form iron, which resists further fusion, (being the most stable element in the Universe.) The large iron core (1.4 times of our total solar mass), of the star now collapses in less than one second (referred to as the ‘iron catastrophe’), and reaches 5 billion deg. In the following moments, most of the core converts into pure neutron, shrinks to about 25 km. Dia.
The outer layers fall into the ‘neutron’ star, then rebound, (to a size of 5 times the Sun), causing a violent and spectacular ‘Supernova’ explosion lasting a couple of weeks. which outshines its entire galaxy. This event rips off the outer layers, including with them the heavy elements and blasts them into space at enormous speed. The measured luminosity of a supernova is 4 billion times greater than that of the Sun.
Meanwhile, other developing young stars, (such as our young Sun did 4.5 billion years ago), in these stellar nurseries accrete the heavy elements from space and begin their arduous long journey through the unimaginably deep expanses of the Universe all over again. This is the stupendous end-result of supernovae, that provided once the heavy elements (the essential ingredients) for the development of life in our Solar system.
Supernovae happen on the average in our galaxy cluster about 5 times in a Century; This is, in addition to the long life-cycle of stars, the reason for the availability of minimum time requirement for the development of life on Earth turned out to be so unimaginably long. This fact indicates also that life is precious, and almost unique.
f. The Standard Cosmological Model confirms besides the above development of heavy elements, the six (6) fundamental time-scales, all of which underline the feasibility of a “quintessentially non-random” (Dr. R. Dawkin’s words) development of life through microscopic interactions on Earth. This Model, however, excludes the general problem of ‘origin’ of life of any kind, as well as the blind-chance development of life purely from physical matter in the Universe.
Note: The ‘Main Sequence Stars’ refers to the stellar birth place, as shown on the Hertzsprung-Russel Diagram, in the Article of “Finding the Age of the Universe”, on this Website.
It is said that even if one only living being would exist in the entire Universe, still the same length of time and the same number of galaxies, with their major stars and Supernovae would be required for the development of heavy elements for the advent of that single life.
g. The Chance Development of Life.
i. It is said that the advent of life (which is applicable also to the origin of the Universe), can be explained with human reasoning, as the result of one of three possibilities: a metaphysical (instantaneous or continuous)creation, or evolved from an infinite material entity or it came into existence by blind-chance. Let us make the initial assumption that the probability of life (that is a higher quality of entity), could appear from an inferior, physical (and contingent) matter, is close to zero.
This reasoning can be shown with a rather simple example: ‘The lowest form of organism capable of independent existence comprising about 100 different genes. For each of those 100 specific genes to form simultaneously (during the available 10 billion years on Earth), the probability is: (10-30 )100 = 10-3,000 . For them to be formed at the same time, and in close proximity, the probability is much lower’. (M. Hart.)
On the other hand, ‘If chance-origin of life alone considered, the probability can be calculated relatively easily through certain large molecules, such as proteins for instance’. This was the introductory statement by Professor Charles-Eugene Guye, whose calculations are outlined below:-
He used in his calculations 2,000 constituent Atoms. The simplified Atomic Weight was 10, and the Molecular Weight20,000. The highest degree of symmetry of 0.9 was again assumed, for the sake of higher probability. Under these simplified conditions the following was the probability: 2.02 x 10321 or 2.02 x 1/ (1+321 zeros). From here: The probability for a single molecule to form from physical matter by the spontaneous action of chance remains practically nil. The Time required for one such molecule to form in the size of an Earth-like globe is 10243 billion years, or 1 followed by 243 Zeros.
Given that life has existed on Planet Earth only for the past 3.85 billion years, it has had insufficient time for any chance-development of life. Furthermore, the Volume of a certain physically material substance, required for such a probability to take place, is so enormous that Light would have to take 1082 years (1 followed by 82 Zeros) to traverse the Diameter of the above physical space. (Compare this with the speed of Light of One billion km./h. or about 10 trillion km./year.)
These calculations until now have considered only one Molecule, which is of no practical use. We need hundreds of millions, and by that the improbability increases considerably. Therefore, the probability of the appearance of a living cell cannot even be calculated mathematically. Paraphrased from Guye.
Finally, the above calculations demonstrated that there is neither large enough physical space nor sufficient time for one single Molecule to develop by chance in the entire Universe, let alone on Earth.
ii. There is nothing more profound in life than the power of the human intellect, which is by its nature, cannot help but seek out constantly the truth in everything. Truth is reality, and vice versa, both of which can never contradict one another. Hence, in our quest for understanding the origin of life, we have considered one of the two alternatives, i.e.: The near impossibility of blind-chance development. That is, we have come to understand this truth through science. On the other hand, we can see the truth in transcendental creation, through the light of reason, backed by the evidence of science, and that creation is left of the two choices as the only logical alternative.
iii. Finally, with regard to the origin of the Universe, we only have to recall the Law of Proportionality, which says that the properties of the constituent parts of a physical system must apply to the property of the total system. Hence, if the constituent parts are contingent and did not evolve by chance, then the whole of the Universe must also be contingent and could not have evolved by chance.
‘On Earth, a long sequence of improbable events transpired in just the right way and in just the right time to bring forth our existence; as if we had won a million-dollar lottery a million times in a row. Contrary to the prevailing belief, maybe we are special…. It seems prudent to conclude that we are alone in a vast cosmic ocean’. (Robert Naeye).
E. The Free Will
Aristotelian philosophy asserts that the concept of responsible thought, intention or action warrants free will. Therefore, free will is incompatible with causal determination. A person’s action will be distinguished from a chance occurrence by his self-determining, intentional initiation of an action. A free action will be one that is caused deliberately by a person’s reason for acting, and motivated by e.g.: emotions, values and goals.
An action will be free even if the mental state that causes it is itself determined in every detail by the person’s prior history and environment. In turn, an action will not be free, if the person is coerced, compelled or constrained to act against his will. Every free human act is also being watched over by the conscious awareness of the mind; as if this act of conscience would be imposed on mankind by the Creator for our final test of human dignity.
Once, the question was asked about which faculty was superior, the intellect or will. The answer was that the Intellect in the long run, appeared more noble than the will. Intellect can elicit sometimes will itself to act in a certain way. The ultimate, hence necessary goal of every human being is to attain personal happiness, whether he goes towards it or runs away from it. It is said, therefore, that even a criminal act may be considered (erroneously) as an ultimate happiness worth attaining.
It follows from that, if a human will to act is truly free, (according to its definition), and according to his freedom of “choice” of means, then, paradoxically, he does not appear free, unless he chooses the “right” means; which is achieved only by a responsible mentality and conduct, guided by the light of reason.
Hence, although free will may be the final and important cause in a mental process, it is still subjected to the guiding light of the intellect that chooses the right means. Another question that free will raises is whether what one refers to as choice and will may be in essence determined purely by our biochemical pre-disposition. There are two answers to this, first one is in the Definition; the second is in Item c. below.
c. The following Items are taken from the Aristotelian Philosophy and paraphrased from the acknowledged publications:-
i. Mind being conscious of our self-awareness, i.e.: ‘aware of being aware’, is irreducible to anything more basic concept. Although mind uses the brain for its basis in the physical reality, it transcends all physical laws, including biological functions. This same definition applies through analogy to all abstract properties of a conscious mind, such as reasoning and free will.
There is one hypothetical problem: If free will, as one of the abstract properties of the mind, is in its entirety a product of the material brain, (as claimed by adversaries), and as a consequence, it is subjected to the three Fundamental Forces and the numerous Laws of Nature, could mind be subjected to any causal direction by physical nature and/or to any material ‘purpose’?
How could under these conditions such a ‘materially’ guided will give direction to the same ‘material’ beings in its shared environment, where physical priorities of action (in the natural order of events) by the Forces and Laws have already been pre-determined? We stumble into another problem by asking: But where does the will come from anyway? The answer could be made purely on philosophical grounds that: Only something that transcends physical nature and the realm of science would be able to solve the problem; otherwise, free will is the property of the reasoning mind.
ii. There are many, who extrapolate erroneously from the deterministic, physical world to the transcendental realm of free will in action; to say that every action has a cause is one thing (which is correct), and to say that every action is determined by its cause an entirely different thing; (which is also correct, but refused by science).
A milder form of determinism may play a partial role in any free act, however, this determinism does not infringe on the human freedom of action; since freedom requires only that the effect of a cause, i.e.: the outcome of the human choice of means remain unpredictable. Interestingly, the basic definition of life is also the unpredictability, which is diametrically opposed to determinism.
iii. ‘One may have in his choice of means an unwanted influence by biologically- based predisposition or psychologically-based inclination; If one is unable to exercise his will against those impediments, under those circumstances one is still considered as acting morally’.
iv. There is no morality in the deterministic physical nature; and yet, human beings, who constitute an integer part of this physical nature, possess an intrinsic sense of duty and responsibility towards self and others. The cornerstone of morality is the freedom of action to make deliberate choices of means.
As the quintessential criterion for judging our moral acts is our (properly-informed) conscience, (based ultimately on the freedom to act), so is this freedom of action an essential criterion in a well-ordered human society, by which our actions are assigned, so as to reward the good and punish the delinquent. It is an axiom as well as definition: One cannot be held responsible for his action, unless he has a free will to act.
v. By believing in a Creator, we acknowledge that act implies essentially and simultaneously the possession of free will too to disbelieve. In other words: “If we could not reject Him freely, we have the choice of not accept Him either; and this is the supreme condition in which it is worth having anything.” (R.Scruton.) Pascal pointed out that: “Since man having free will: there is greater merit in choosing to believe in God we cannot see, than not having the free choice of refusing God we can see. Hence, God, in His wisdom (and mercy), gave us a supreme gift, the free choice of accepting Him, or rejecting him”.
vi. A free human act is distinguished from a chance event by his self-determined, intentional action. One of the criteria of a free act lies in the verification of self-determination. Admittedly, we live in an often confusing society, where our freedom of choosing between good and bad is a delicate balance, so much so that we tend even to bargain with our conscience. This brings to mind St. Augustine’s (most ‘sincere’) prayer: ‘Lord, make me chaste, but not yet.’
Pope Benedict XVI has commented on ‘free will’ during a conversation with his favorite reporter, Seewald, with the following words: “Sometimes we even feel like saying to God, if You had only made man a little less great, then he would be less dangerous. If You hadn’t given him his freedom then he would not be able to fall so far. And yet, we don’t quite dare to say it in the end, because at the same time we are grateful that God did put greatness into men.
And if he takes upon himself the risk inherent in man’s freedom and all the falls from greatness it involves, then we feel horrified by the thought of what that might mean, and we have to try to summon up all the positive forces at our command, but we also have to share in God’s fundamental attitude of putting trust in man.’ (Quoted by Peter Craven in ‘The Australian’ – “The Papal Game Changer” 28/2/13.)
F. Does a Creator Exist?
There are numerous (philosophical as well as scientific) arguments against any kind of creation, primarily for the purpose of denying the existence of a Creator. On the other hand, the common sense proof, for the benefit of those,who already possess the grace of belief in a Creator, can be summed up in two different ways: One isCosmological and the other is Philosophical.
Modern Cosmologists posit, as their first and favourite hypothesis, that the physical world is an ‘infinite’ and material entity that is being in existence for ever, without an origin and an end. However, as detailed earlier, this idea contradicts the Law of Entropy and the properties of contingent physical matter.
The alternative hypothesis is the chance-origin of the Universe, that is it came into existence from nothing and as before, it will exist for ever without an end. This assumption, detailed earlier as well as in other articles on this website, that it also contradicts the properties of contingent physical matter. The third group of hypotheses propose the ‘Cyclic universe’, the ‘Multiverse’, etc., they are all similar to the above ‘infinite’ hypothesis.
Please note that in spite of refuting all these hypothetical ideas purely on cosmological and/or philosophical bases, they could still be reasonable on religious ground, only if their authors would acknowledge the concept of a metaphysical creation, as their First Cause.
All these above considerations recall the earlier arguments that since: I didn’t make myself, the plants and animals didn’t make themselves, nor the stars and galaxies made themselves, therefore we all were made by other living (contingent) beings. When include all the inanimate beings, which were also proven to be equally contingent, (on account of their beginning at the Big Bang, and through the Law of Entropy), we can state categorically that the contingent Universe must also have its origin outside itself. The only alternatives are that the Universe either made by itself or created by others. (Answers to these alternatives have been dealt with earlier).
The classical Philosophy emphasises repeatedly the truly awesome idea, that since we are all contingent (non-necessary) beings, there is only one Necessary Being, who is the Absolute and Transcendent being in the reality, upon whom all our existence depend. A genuine non-believer would earnestly ask: ‘But who created the creator’? There is no answer to such a hypothetical question that could be satisfactory and final, because it would end in an infinite regress, which does not exist in physical reality.
The dogmatic refusal of the above ideas applies primarily to the learned type of disbelievers, because even if any of them deep down would be wanting to believe in something, (and especially since they don’t have a scientifically logical alternative to creation), yet, the idea that there is only one and absolute First Cause, an eternal Being, who is the Creator, while everything in the physical reality are only contingent (non-necessary) beings, is quite unacceptable to them, as being beneath their ‘dignity’ and pride.
This enigma may be beyond any deep, searching minds and even human imagination. This dilemma, however, does not diminish all together the problem for some Christian believers; they can only resolve this mystery by the grace offaith, that may be reinforced with truth based in the physical reality. The ultimate key to the whole mystery lies for a believer in the final purpose of creation, that is the belief in an immortal soul , longing to achieve eternal unity with, as Aquinas put it, the ‘Summum Bonum’, the ‘Greatest Good’, we call our Creator.
The existence of a Creator is rooted (historically) in the physical reality. Through reading the Bible, one can find countless, historically verified episodes associated with Jesus, the Apostles and Disciples, that describe exhortations as well as specific facts of caring for the poor, compassion for the sick and brotherly love for one another, regardless of nationality or religion.
The human characteristic of expressing ideas mainly through words is accepted only on condition of truthfulness of a person. We find, however, from historical accounts of the acts of Jesus that His actions in the ‘reality’ became the guaranteed ‘gold-standard’ of his veracity. The acceptance then of his veracity must of necessity be absolute, because it cannot be relative to anything, nor have degrees, and must have no ambiguity or contradiction with any truth, precisely because it is based in reality of His divine Authority; According to the Aristotelian axiom: Since reality is the quintessence of truth, truth must be convertible with reality, which axiom applies to any truthful person.
Apart from our belief in Christ’s divinity, we can also reason with certainty of logic that if the words of Jesus weretruthful representation of His acts during His public life, then His words uttered during the Last Supper must have also represented truthfully His divine promises, upon which we can base logically His divine nature.
Furthermore, (again, apart from any religious belief), we can be confident that according to detailed authentic, historical references, which comprise firstly, commands, and secondly, promises at the Last Supper, the divinity of the historical Jesus can be confirmed through the same philosophical logic, as outlined below:-
a. First, No one in possession of an adequate mind would give the following commands to his followers, in similar circumstances: “A new command I give you, that you love one another; that as I have loved you, you also love one another. The second most important command is this: Love your neighbour as much as yourselves. There is no other commandment more important than these two”.
b. Second, No one in possession of an adequate mind would make the following promises to his followers, in similar circumstances: “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give you; not as the world give do I give to you. Don’t let your heart be troubled or be afraid….I go away, but I will see you again….I say to you, that you shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice, and you shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow be turned into joy”(Reference to His resurrection.)
With reference to the above quotations, the reader is asked to consider the following: Why would Jesus in His last words pretend to be divine and try to mislead in a cruel or illogical way those, who loved Him the most in all His public life? Alternatively, if He was neither ‘deluded’, (Mr. R. Dawkins’ word), nor wanting to mislead His followers, then Jesus must have been both sincere and truthful.
This assumption is based on the Bible, which proves that the nature and consistency of final commands and promises made by Jesus at the Last Supper are in conformity with all other similar documentations found in the Sacred Scriptures, where there are over 200 new and repeated historical quotations made in His public life. In addition, none of these commands and promises were about health, gathering material possessions or the attainment of vain-glory for personal gain, but they were exhortations to help the poor, the sick, abandon personal wealth and to love our enemies, by ‘turning the other cheek’.
Note that even if the above philosophical reasoning (by reference to the various historical facts in the public life of Jesus) would seem logical to some readers, nevertheless, for others without a living faith, (or the lack of will to accept those facts), could mean nothing.
(This note implies that the above reasoning intended to demonstrate a purely religious truth only through philosophical logic.)
G. The Objective Glory of God
“The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament proclaims the works of his hands.” (Psalm 18.2).
a. Definition. The harmonious order, which binds all the physical parts of creation into one universal entity, is the physical manifestation (and reflection) of its Creator. As each part of the Universe is contingent and finite, so is its totality. Therefore the capacity of such imperfect creatures to reflect their infinitely perfect Creator must inevitably result in his imperfect manifestation.
Since God’s creatures reflect His glory, (though imperfectly), they share equally in the divine glory. It follows from this: Whenever creatures bear witness to the grandeur of physical manifestation of creation, this very act defines the essence of the objective glory of God.
b. Summarising the axiom: Whatever exists beside the Creator, need not exist. But even if the physical Universe need not exist, it does in fact exist, and the first cause of its existence must be other than chance or nothing. These are those transcendental ideas we have arrived at in this article as being certain about on their own evidence that is based in the physical reality.
There are numerous, cosmologically verified facts and phenomena, that amply manifest the omnipotence of the Creator, through His magnificent creation, the physical reality. Some ideas have already been alluded to it in the section about Creation, and a few other items are described below:-
c. Science established that this incredibly vast physical world came into being at a so-called mathematical point like “Big-Bang”, 13.75 billion years ago, and at 13.75 billion light years away in space. The estimated center of the observable Universe is at some 48 billion light years away from the original center, because of the spatial expansion of the Universe; which according to observations, still keeps on expanding.
Cosmologists are of the opinion that after many billions of years all stars will disappear from our sight, and apart from darkness, there will be nothing left to see. (As if this phenomenon would already signify the initial stages of the slow entropic degradation in progress). One billion years after the BB. the first galaxies formed, followed by the first Red–Giant stars, that began to leave behind heavy-metals, essential for development of life, that became reality some 9.3billion years later in the Solar System, (3.80 billion years ago).
d. We have arrived at the paradox of time, recalling the section of “The Origin of Life”, where the ‘minimum’ time requirement for a naturally organised development of life has been scientifically verified. Here, however, it is worth repeating the fact that while the minimum near 10 billion years was necessary and proved ‘available’ for the development of life in the Universe, this is now presenting a major problem for several physical scientists and cosmologists. In their opinion, this minimum time required, was not available in reality.
Consequently, they developed an alternative theories, such as the “Multiverse”, where everything is possible because the theory was based on quantum fluctuations. This theory suggests that because of the assumed, infinite number of universes, (parallel worlds), the chemical elements required for life were allowed to develop over a much longer time-span, whereby the development problem of life is solved.
This theory, however, is un-observable and unverifiable, and like similar theories, it is full of infinities and quantum uncertainties, hence, the development problem of life is nowhere near being solved. The true origin of the development problem of life started when these adversarial scientists questioned certain cosmological facts that were observed and verified by other physical scientists earlier.
These facts were the so called “Large Numbers”, which were suggesting intuitively a “Fine-Tuning” of the Universe, for the gradual development of life during the available 10 billion years. Although, as stated originally by the producers of these ‘large numbers’ that they don’t scientifically prove anything yet, hence, further investigation by scientists and cosmologists would be desirable.
e. Since then, most of the modern theories about the beginning of the Universe (and that of life in it), make similarly concerted efforts as their primary purpose, to prove ‘scientifically’ that the concept of transcendental creation is not required, because the materialist concept is quite sufficient for the understanding of a purely physical explanation. The two conflicting concepts about the sufficiency or insufficiency of the length of time available for the development of life in the Universe aim at two entirely different purposes, hence, they should not be confused with one another.
f. We repeat here that there is nothing besides the enigma of life and the reasoning mind that could ‘declare theglory of God’ more eloquently than the magnificent vastness and complexity of the created microcosm and macrocosm of the Universe, of which the observability within our region of the Universe comes up with further startling details of scientifically verified cosmological facts:-
As already mentioned earlier, our Solar System is not at the center of the Observable Universe; as neither is the Observable Universe in the center of the whole Universe, where a giant ‘black hole’ is located. Our Solar System is located in the ‘habitable’ zone of the Milky Way Galaxy. Our Galaxy has a Diameter of 100 000 light years and 30 000light years thick, approx. There are some 100 billion galaxies, super-galaxies and clusters of galaxies, and cca. 31023stars in the Observable Universe. Whatever stars we see in our telescopes, they are within our Galaxy. The speed of Light is 300 000 km/sec.
Our Sun orbits around the Galactic center, and almost in synchrony with the Galaxy, between @ 200 and 230 km/sec; meantime, in its 4.50 billion years the Sun has already passed its orbit 22 times, in clockwise direction, while the planets of the solar system orbit in an anti-clockwise direction. The speed variation is due to the density of galactic molecular dust and gas. Earth orbits around the Sun @107 000 km/h., (basis for our measure of time: 365.25Days/a).
The Diameter of Earth is 12 766 km. The Diameter of the Sun is 1.40 million km., big enough to fit more than 109times the Earth across its width. The life expectancy of our Solar System is about 4.50 billion years; (i.e.: 10 billion years of age, approx.) The Astronomical Unit is based on the distance of Earth, 150 million km. from the Sun; (it is about 400 times the distance between Earth and the Moon). The mass of the Sun is 745 times that of all Planets, including Jupiter. Our Sun is a glowing ball of gas of 90% Hydrogen, 9% Helium, 1% other elements, powered by nuclear fusion reaction.
Four hydrogen atoms, at the rate of 700 million tons/sec. fuse in the solar furnace (like in all other stars), to becomeone helium atom, at the rate of 650 million tons/sec. The resulting helium nucleus has a slightly less (0.7%) mass of the original four hydrogen atoms. It is the conversion of that “missing” mass to energy, which being a total energy output of approx. 3×1026 watts/sec. This energy powers the Sun, lights our sky and provides us with abundant renewable energy for the sustenance of life. The Sun rotates around its axis every 27.5 Days approx.; hence its sun-spots can be viewed for two weeks on average. If the Sun would stop shining at this moment, we would notice it only after 8.25 minutes.
The principal star in Constellation Orion is Betelgeuse, (alpha Ori.), has 20 times the mass of the Sun, and dissipates its nuclear energy 1,000 times more than that of the Sun. Alpha Ori. is 430 light-years away from the Sun, with a Dia. of 1.60 billion km., (around 1,000 times the Dia. of the Sun), and in about 10 million years it will turn into a Supernova. Seeing its distance from us, it may well have already passed that stage long ago.
There is a giant of stars, the WOHG64, in the Constellation Dorado, 160 000 light years away. It has a Dia. of 2billion km. Its Radius, from the center of the Sun, could comfortably overlap Jupiter. In comparison, if this star were the size of a basketball, the Sun would be smaller than a dust mite, and the Earth like a bacterium. However, the largest star in our Galaxy is the A1, which is 116 times heavier than the Sun, 230 trillion x trillion tonnes or 23027(230 followed by 27 Zeros).
The giant of a galaxy, the IC1101 weighs more than 100 Milky Ways combined. Our sister galaxy, the Andromeda, the only galaxy visible with the unaided eye, is 2.5 million light years away from the Sun. It is approaching our Galaxy @ 430,000 km/h., and expected to collide within about 2 billion years, (with not much visual effects).
g. Whenever scientists and cosmologists solve one problem they create in its place an other, more complex one. There are at present major problems, such as Dark energy, Dark Matter, Density of the Universe, and reconciling the discrepancies between Relativity theory and Quantum Mechanics.
Elimination of “infinities” from Quantum Mechanics, Einstein’s Relativity Theory, The Standard Particle and the Cosmological Models, and the evolving Theory of Everything, etc. The seriousness of the problem is indicated by the fact that some physical scientists are generously funded for a continued research into these problems.
h. The Large Numbers. (Compiled from the internet publications.) It is not only striking that Large Number-Coincidences, such as e.g. 1040, found by cosmologists, are so unusually large, but also because this same and even higher numbers are encountered in several, unrelated contexts; e.g. paradoxically the age of the Universe in some natural atomic or sub-atomic units is also very close to 1040, although it changes with time. (P.W.Davies).
A recent scientific and mathematical value analysis of “super-constants” and large numbers was carried out on the basis of an updated and highly accurate one single ‘Large Number‘ of D0 = 4.16653385(15) x 1042 . (Published for the first time by P. Dirac.) Hence, all large numbers (described below), are compound and include the Number D0.
These are the 5 Groups of Super-Constants:– The “Fundamental”- quantum Length; The “F”- quantum of Action; The “F”- quantum of Time; The Fine-structure Constant, and The number “pi”. (Note that the Number pi, the Archimedes Constant, being an irrational and transcendental number, appears not only in formulae with reference to circles and curves, but also in many unrelated scientific, cosmological and engineering calculations. These are only some of their uses: Statistics and Probability; Kepler’s 3rd Law; Culomb Law; Euler Formula; Magnetic Field in space; Heisenberg Uncertainty Prc’l; Einstein’s General Relativity and the Cosmological Constant).
The Large Number Constants: There are Six Cases and their quantities have the mysterious large numbers of cca.1040 based on D0 . These are: “Ratio” of photon-baryon density = D1/2 . “R” of Typical Star lifetime to Planck Time =D1/2 . “R” of characteristic Nuclear lifetime to Planck Time = D1/2 . “R” of Meta-galaxy action to elementary action =D3 . “R” of a square of a gravitational charge of the Universe to “hc” = D3. Quantity of the charged Particles in the Universe= D2.
Dirac’s Three Big Numbers are: Ratio of electrical and gravitational Forces in the Hydrogen Atom= 1039. The Age of the Meta-galaxy in nuclear time-units = 1039 . Ratio of Meta-galaxy mass to proton mass = 1039. Fundamental Constants: There are Four of the more important groups, which may have no reference to anything else, until on considers just how a small change in any of these constants would make a huge difference either to the Universe or to living beings in it. (One may recall the enigmatic, Amazonian butterfly-based consequential changes in our local environment). These are the Constants:-
i. Physical Constants: 304 No. off.
ii. Universal Constants: 12 No. off; and they are part of a. above.
iii. Mathematical Constants: 16 No. off.
iv. Astronomical Constants: 8 No. off.
v. Cosmological Coincidences: 63 No. off, of which the Website lists 8 events as having bases in the magical Number of 1040.
(Further details for these data are available on the internet.)
There is nothing that could summarise more eloquently the inscrutable stubbornness of disbelievers than Confucius’famous words: “When the finger points at the moon, the idiot looks at the finger”. Edward Feser remarks to this proverb that the disbelievers, as it were, positively fixated on the finger, whereby they can only see the created material world, which points beyond itself to its Creator.
This section would not be complete without a clear answer as to why God needs more glory than He has already received through His creation of the Universe. Surprisingly, this is true. His immense and absolute attributes ought to give Him all his glory. On the other hand, it may similarly be surprising that God does not need our glory or glory of any kind; instead, we need only to acknowledge our contingent nature before Him, (through our actions), as we really are. This acknowledgement of the ‘truth’ (which is ‘reality’), is as we believe, the only way to serve (and ‘glorify’) Him.
Thus, our enhanced perception of the glory of God adds truly nothing to His omnipotence; it rather enriches our own spiritual life by understanding within the grandeur of the sublime power and purpose of creation itself. Whenever we say: “Everything to the greater glory of God”, expresses our desire for a greater ability to perceive and respond to God’s will in everything, for our attainment of “the greatest good”.
This idea is encapsulated in our Eucharistic prayer: “Father, all powerful and ever-loving God, we do well and everywhere to give you thanks. You have no need of our praise; yet, our desire to thank you is itself your gift for us. Our prayer of thanksgiving adds nothing to your greatness, but makes us grow in your grace, through Jesus Christ, our Lord.”