We should maintain that if an interpretation of any word in any religion leads to disharmony and does not positively further the welfare of the many, then such an interpretation is to be regarded as wrong; that is, against the will of God, or as the working of Satan or Mara.
Buddhadasa Bikkhu, a Thai Buddhist Monk
Wednesday, August 1, 2012
The ABC Science of Faith
Then, there's article entitled, "M-Theory and the Higgs boson," which is the hardest to understand by far for those of us who aren't trained physicists. The author, Dr. Henryk Frystack, briefly summarizes the significance of the recent discovery of the "Higg's boson," a sub-microscopic form of energy, that has the potential to significantly improve our understanding of fundamental realities. The more we understand the more mysterious the universe becomes, and for those of us who are convinced that a Creator lies within it all, it becomes still more miraculous and sacred—not less.
Perhaps the most important posting of all, however, from a theological perspective is the opinion piece written by Heinrich Rohre, "The misconduct of science?" Rohre reminds his readers that science has its own culture, which can be corrupted, abused, and even hamper best scientific practices. He writes of this very human enterprise, "Scientists must follow a path that is not scientifically predefined, and that requires decisions at every step. Whether they are right or wrong becomes clear in retrospect, which is why errors are unavoidable (though they should not be left uncorrected for long)." He also states that, "Science means constantly walking a tightrope between blind faith and curiosity; between expertise and creativity; between bias and openness; between experience and epiphany; between ambition and passion; and between arrogance and conviction — in short, between an old today and a new tomorrow." That is to say, there is a good deal to science that is not scientific, and the boundaries between science and a religious-like faith are not always very clear.
Science doesn't merely discover new facts about reality. It also helps to create reality. The reality scientists discover is God-given. The realities they create aren't. They are very human. It is crucial for people of faith to remain open to, in dialogue with, and sometimes critical of the realities science creates. At the same time, it is important to stay current with the ones they discover.