by Denyse O'Leary
Schroeder, following a traditional Jewish view, notes that the Hebrew word for creation is tsimtsum (= contraction):
... the Creator removes part of the infinite unity, enabling a more complex creature capable of greater imperfection. The first was the creation of the universe, the second, the creation of animals souls (nefesh) controlled by instinct and inclination (Gen 1:21), and the third neshama (the human soul which has free will) (Gen 1:27) (page 16)
So Schroeder understands the origin of the universe and life as God withdrawing a bit, to give matter and creatures room to exist as finite or limited beings.
As a physicist, he is well aware of the recent fad in cosmology for claiming that a universe can well up from a quantum fluctuation in a vacuum or that there are infinite numbers of universes, and ours just happens to work and make sense. So he takes some time to state his objections, addressing first the notion that quantum fluctuations can produce a universe like ours:
First of all, quantum fluctuations are phenomena that relate to the laws of nature within our universe. The beginning of our universe marks the beginning of time, space, and matter. There is every indication that the big bang also marks the beginning of the laws of nature. If this is true, then prior to the existence of the universe there was no nature and therefore there were no laws of quantum mechanics by which to engender the needed quantum fluctuation. (p. 24 )
He is similarly unsparing about claims for an infinite number of universes, among which ours just happens to be fine-tuned enough to allow us to exist:
The only "secular" way of surmounting the problem of the beginning is to theorize that there exists an infinitely large, eternal macro-universe within which are embedded an infinite number of finite universes. An analogy would be an infinitely turbulent sea having an infinite number of bubbles ever forming and expanding. Each bubble would be a universe, having its own duration, its own laws of nature. Some bubbles bud and give rise to other bubbles. One of the bubbles would be our universe.
To say that there is no observable proof for such a macro-universe is an understatement. The laws of nature exclude the possibility of seeing outside our universe even if there is an outside. It is a theory that can never be tested by observation." (p. 25 )
While it might be tempting to say that Schroeder "would obviously think this way because he is a devout Jew," he reveals that, as an MIT alumnus, he was originally on the "adversary's" team. That is, he had wanted the multiverse to be real, but he found that he couldn't make it make sense. (p. 25). Instead,
... with each step forward in the unfolding mystery of the cosmos, a subtle yet pervading ingenuity, a contingency kept shining through, a contingency that joins all aspects of existence into a coherent unity. While this coherence does not prove the existence of a Designer, it does call out for interpretation.
Schroeder then proceeds to tackle Genesis 1 and 2, from a Jewish perspective.
Next: Part Three: Let there be light ... and then time stands still
Toronto-based Canadian journalist Denyse O'Leary (www.designorchance.com) is the author of the multiple award-winning By Design or by Chance? (Augsburg Fortress 2004), an overview of the intelligent design controversy. She was named CBA Canada's Recommended Author of the Year in 2005 and is co-author, with Montreal neuroscientist Mario Beauregard, of the forthcoming The Spiritual Brain: A neuroscientist's case for the existence of the soul (Harper 2007).
No Pingbacks for this post yet...
|<< <||> >>|
Evolution has become a favorite topic of the news media recently, but for some reason, they never seem to get the story straight. The staff at Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture started this Blog to set the record straight and make sure you knew "the rest of the story".
A blogger from New England offers his intelligent reasoning.
We are a group of individuals, coming from diverse backgrounds and not speaking for any organization, who have found common ground around teleological concepts, including intelligent design. We think these concepts have real potential to generate insights about our reality that are being drowned out by political advocacy from both sides. We hope this blog will provide a small voice that helps rectify this situation.
Website dedicated to comparing scenes from the "Inherit the Wind" movie with factual information from actual Scopes Trial. View 37 clips from the movie and decide for yourself if this movie is more fact or fiction.
Don Cicchetti blogs on: Culture, Music, Faith, Intelligent Design, Guitar, Audio
Australian biologist Stephen E. Jones maintains one of the best origins "quote" databases around. He is meticulous about accuracy and working from original sources.
Most guys going through midlife crisis buy a convertible. Austrialian Stephen E. Jones went back to college to get a biology degree and is now a proponent of ID and common ancestry.
Complete zipped downloadable pdf copy of David Stove's devastating, and yet hard-to-find, critique of neo-Darwinism entitled "Darwinian Fairytales"
Intelligent Design The Future is a multiple contributor weblog whose participants include the nation's leading design scientists and theorists: biochemist Michael Behe, mathematician William Dembski, astronomer Guillermo Gonzalez, philosophers of science Stephen Meyer, and Jay Richards, philosopher of biology Paul Nelson, molecular biologist Jonathan Wells, and science writer Jonathan Witt. Posts will focus primarily on the intellectual issues at stake in the debate over intelligent design, rather than its implications for education or public policy.
A Philosopher's Journey: Political and cultural reflections of John Mark N. Reynolds. Dr. Reynolds is Director of the Torrey Honors Institute at