Monday, August 20, 2012

Is the Universe a closed system?

Mondays are my day off. It's hard to relax after the surge of adrenalin involved on any given Sunday. (Dr Arch Hart, a ministry shrink, reckons its the worst possible day to schedule off.)

But with our two eldest boys at school now, Sarah and I make the most of it. Although the places change (so too the service and quality of food), some things are the same: caffeine, good company, a corner near the sun, mediterranean breakfast, the buzz of people..... and some combination of The Monthly, The Spectator, The Week, Women's Weekly, Quadrant, Quarterly Essay and 'Super-food Ideas'. I'll let you guess who chooses what. Jesse invariably sleeps through. Or sits up and smiles at the world.

Today I found a good piece in Quadrant which asks the question 'Is the universe a closed system?' I've never heard of the author, Dr Peter Barclay. But he does a brief survey of some big hitters who think about such things.... Hawking, Dawkins, CS Lewis, GK Chesterton, Kant, Baillie (no relation), St Paul, Sir Edward Clarke, Davies and David Bentley Hart.

It's excellent. And so accessible even I could understand it. On the question of whether God exists outside the universe, he closes with a nice quote from some British Astrophysicist, Sir Arthur Eddington:
In the case of our human friends we take their existence for granted, not caring whether it is proven or not. Our relationship is such that we could read real philosophical arguments designed to prove the non-existence of each other and perhaps even be convinced by them—and then laugh together over so odd a conclusion. I think that it is something of the same kind of security we should seek in our relationship with God. The most flawless proof of the existence of God is no substitute for it; and when we have that relationship the most convincing disproof is turned harmlessly aside. If I may say it with reverence, the soul and God laugh together over so odd a conclusion.
I like. You can read more here.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks David, an interesting perspective! Coffee breakfast sounds great too. Ros B