Monday, October 20, 2014

The Mysteries of the Universe

By His Eminence Metropolitan Hierotheos
of Nafpaktos and Agiou Vlasiou

The discovery of the Higgs boson gave an opportunity for newspapers and magazines to interview scientists and to popularize our knowledge of the world and the universe.

Such an interview was given by the eminent physicist and astronomer Dionysios Simopoulos, director of the Eugenides Planetarium in Athens, who has received many honorary distinctions. We will mention below certain points from this interview about our mysterious universe.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Patristic Cosmology and Scientific Cosmology

By Vladimir Lossky

The cosmology of the Greek Fathers is necessarily expressed in terms of the conception of the universe which prevailed in their own age; a fact which takes nothing whatever away from the properly theological basis of their commentaries upon the Biblical narrative of the creation. The theology of the Orthodox Church, constantly soteriological in its emphasis, has never entered into alliance with philosophy in any attempt at a doctrinal synthesis: despite all its richness, the religious thought of the East has never had a scholasticism. If it does contain certain elements of Christian gnosis, as in the writings of St. Gregory of Nyssa, St. Maximus, or in the Physical and Theological Chapters of St. Gregory Palamas, the speculation is always dominated by the central idea of union with God and never acquires the character of a system. Having no philosophical preferences, the Church always freely makes use of philosophy and the sciences for apologetic purposes, but she never has any cause to defend these relative and changing truths as she defends the unchangeable truth of her doctrines. This is why ancient or more modern cosmological theories cannot affect in any way the more fundamental truth which is revealed to the Church: 'the truth of Holy Scripture is far deeper than the limits of our understanding', as Philaret of Moscow says.1 In the face of the vision of the universe which the human race has gained since the period of the renaissance, in which the earth is represented as an atom lost in infinite space amid innumerable other worlds, there is no need for theology to change anything whatever in the narrative of Genesis; any more than it is its business to be concerned over the question of the salvation of the inhabitants of Mars. Revelation remains for theology essentially geocentric, for it is addressed to men and confers upon them the truth as it is relative to their salvation under the conditions which belong to the reality of life on earth. The Fathers saw in the parable of the Good Shepherd, coming down to seek one erring sheep from the mountains where he has left the remaining ninety-nine of his flock, an allusion to the smallness of the fallen world compared with the cosmos as a whole, and with the angelic aeons in particular.2

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Why It's So Hard For Scientists To Believe In God

Recorded September 13, 2010

Francis Collins Interviewed by David Hirschman

Question: Why is it so difficult for scientists to believe in a higher power?

Francis Collins: Science is about trying to get rigorous answers to questions about how nature works. And it’s a very important process that’s actually quite reliable if carried out correctly with generation of hypotheses and testing of those by accumulation of data and then drawing conclusions that are continually revisited to be sure they are right. So if you want to answer questions about how nature works, how biology works, for instance, science is the way to get there. Scientists believe in that they are very troubled by a suggestion that other kinds of approaches can be taken to derive truth about nature. And some I think have seen faith as therefore a threat to the scientific method and therefore it to be resisted.