By Keith Ward
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Combining slicing edge-science with thought-provoking discourses approximately morality, faith and the that means of lifestyles, Keith Ward offers a desirable tackle the technological know-how as opposed to faith debate, supplying 'a 3rd means' that's sure to spark debate for years yet to come.
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Additional info for Pascal's Fire: Scientific Faith and Religious Understanding
It is important to realise that Newton never accepted that the laws of nature are absolute, universal and unbreakable in this way. It is true that we can devise equations that describe the motions of physical bodies relative to one another. We can say, to take a simple example, that bodies attract one another with a force proportional to the product of their masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them. But in what sense does such a law exist, even before any physical objects exist?
John Polkinghorne’s Reason and Reality (SPCK, London, 1991) and other works provide shorter, readily readable expositions. One example of fine tuning is that in the early universe, probably about fourteen billion years ago, the forces driving cosmic expansion and the force of gravity needed to be precisely balanced (balanced to one part in 10 to the power 60, an absolutely enormous number) if the universe was not either to expand too quickly to allow stars to form, or to collapse under its own gravitational pressure.
So in the end the processes of nature are to be subjected where possible to the flourishing of conscious beings, and it is a human responsibility to subject natural processes to the requirements of the well-being of sentient creatures, through learning, struggle, training and discipline. Nature is not sacred, but the religious believer will treat it with respect and care, because it is chosen and created by God. 062 20/04/2006 12:31 PM Page 44 Pascal’s Fire on its way without further reference to its creator.