Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Stephen Hawking’s Creation Confusion

William Carroll
September 8, 2010

Scientists have begun to doubt whether there was a “Big Bang.” But in claiming that this disproves the existence of a Creator, they confuse temporal beginnings with origins.

“Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the Universe exists, why we exist. It is not necessary to invoke God . . . to set the Universe going.” Such is the affirmation of Stephen Hawking found in his newly released book, The Grand Design. It is not unusual to hear a distinguished scientist make the claim that the universe and everything about it is, at least in principle, exhaustively explicable in terms of contemporary science. In his famous book, A Brief History of Time (1988), Hawking did admit that perhaps a god was needed to choose the basic laws of physics and that, accordingly, if a grand unified theory of scientific explanation were at hand we would come to know “the mind of God.” Now Hawking thinks that, more broadly, we can do away with an appeal to a creator, at least as he understands what ‘to create’ means. Citing a version of contemporary string theory, known as “M-theory,” Hawking tells us that the “creation” of a great many universes out of nothing “does not require the intervention of some supernatural being or god.” Rather, these multiple universes “arise naturally from physical law.” Ultimate questions about the nature of existence which have intrigued philosophers for millennia are, so he claims, now the province of science, and “philosophy is dead.”

Friday, January 23, 2015

The Hidden World of Mystery

By Photios Kontoglou

Contemporary man has altogether forgotten the world that is within himself and has occupied himself only with the world that is outside himself, the material world. And he investigates by means of science “the outside of the cup and platter” (Matthew 23:25).

One of these worlds is material, the other is spiritual. One of them is for the transitory life; the other for the eternal. One of them is in space and time, while the other is beyond these.

Today’s man lives materialistically, busying himself with pseudo-spiritual things. Only matter interests him, the rather coarse, more tangible aspect of the universe. He cannot experience spiritual reality by means of his bodily senses and does not concern himself at all with it. He who hurls into space with machines made of aluminum, he who has his brain full of numbers, screws, springs, and other such things, cannot understand what is hidden behind the material world that he perceives by means of his physical senses.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

The Orthodox Doctrine of Personal Causality

By St. Nikolai Velimirovich

One of the fundamental points of doctrine in which our Orthodox Faith differs from all the philosophical systems as well as from some non-Orthodox denominations is the conception of causality, i.e., of causes. Those outside are prompt to call our faith mysticism, and our Church the Church of mystics. By the unorthodox theologians we have been often rebuked on that account, and by the atheists ridiculed. Our learned theologians neither denied nor confirmed our mysticism, for we never called ourselves mystics. So, we listened in wonderment and silence, expecting the outsiders to define clearly their meaning of our so-called mysticism. They defined it as a kind of oriental quietism, or a passive plunging into mere contemplation of the things divine. The atheists of our time, in Russia, Yugoslavia and everywhere do not call any religion by any other name but mysticism which for them means superstition. We listen to both sides, and we reject both definitions of our Orthodox mysticism, which is neither quietism nor superstition.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Elder Paisios on Science and the Spiritual Life

The following excerpt comes from the book Elder Paisios of Mount Athos, Spiritual Counsels I: With Pain and Love for Contemporary Man, pp. 228-229.

Evil starts when the mind concentrates only on science and is totally separated from God. This is why it is difficult for people who think this way to find inner peace and balance. By contrast, when the mind revolves around God, and is illumined and sanctified, science is used both for our spiritual edification and for the benefit of the world.

- Do you mean to say, Elder, that science does not help people?

Monday, January 5, 2015

Did God Create Water?

By John Sanidopoulos

A question that should seem obvious is in fact an often asked question among skeptics. Reading Genesis 1:1, they read that God created "the heavens and the earth", but there seems to be no mention of water, though water suddenly appears in the narrative.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

The "Ecclesiastical" Theory of Evolution

By Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos

The Church Fathers, when speaking of the Transfiguration of Christ and the partaking of divine glory, speak of the personal ascent on the mount of the vision of God. It is the constant cry of the Church: "Make Thine everlasting light shine forth also upon us sinners." And in a related prayer in the First Hour we feel the need to ask Christ: "O Christ, the true Light, which illumines and sanctifies every man who comes into the world! Let the light of Your countenance be shown upon us, that in it we may behold the light ineffable." Continual ascent and evolution are needed.