Friday, March 17, 2006

On First Causes

The "Quick Vote" Poll question on CNN today asks, "Do you believe science can explain how the universe began?" The question is being asked because scientists released findings today about the so-called background radiation that is believed to be the remnants of the Big Bang. Scientists collected data from a satellite observatory launched in 2001 and designed specifically to detect that radiation. Apparently, the results allow scientists to describe the conditions of the universe
one one-trillionth of a second after the Big Bang. That's as close to the Big Bang itself as scientists have gotten. But the question, "what caused the Big Bang?" (or "how did the Big Bang happen?") remains unanswered.

This is the question of First Cause (or Original Cause). It is the question of the existence of God/a god/a creator/a creative force. Do someone/something set everything into motion, or did the universe come into being randomly, or is there some great unknown law of physics that requires that universe exist? If someone "caused" the Big Bang did that someone continue to have a hand in the development of the universe (and in particular in the development of life here on earth) or is everything that has happened since the Big Bang just the pre-determined events that the laws of physics require?

I think ultimately this where the our knowledge and understanding of the universe reaches its limits. My feeling is that the laws of science can't answer the question of first cause. That here we must cross the line of science and rationality into the realm of faith, spirituality and metaphysics.

I do believe there is a "creator" who set things in motion and influenced the course of events that shaped the universe thereafter. I do not believe this creater continues to influence our little corner of creation.

And that is what I believe, and I have nothing more to say on this matter. For now anyway.


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