This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Reconciling Religious And Scientific Perspectives Of Creation

7732 words - 31 pages

Reconciling Religious and Scientific Perspectives of Creation

“In the beginning was the big bang,”[i] writes John Polkinghorne, a physicist turned theologian. As the reader follows through the remainder of his cosmic creation story, the reader is intrigued at how mystical and religious the story sounds. “The space boiled, in the rapid expansion of the inflation era, blowing the universe apart with incredible rapidity in the much less than 10-30 seconds that it lasted. . . . The world suddenly became transparent and a universal sea of radiation was left to continue cooling on its own . . .”[ii] Then, the story unfolds to tell of the creation of hydrogen and helium and the creation of stars. The death of stars follow, which in turn gives rise to conditions that are favorable for the formation of life.[iii]

Though seemingly mystical, the story of the cosmic creation is also the epitome of logic. As we rewind the story of creation, we see a definite causal link between one event and another. Why do we have life? Because we have carbon. Why do we have carbon? Because of the chemical reaction in stars. Why do we have the chemical reactions in stars? Because . . . and this chain will continue, explaining one phenomenon as an effect of another. The story is in fact the triumph of human reason. However, if we rewind the story long enough, we find ourselves reaching a dead end – “In the beginning was the big bang.” A beginning is where there is no before. However, how can something be when there is no prior?

The question of the origin is further complicated when we see how finely tuned the universe is. For the emergence of life, the universe had to have initial conditions at the point of origin that could not have been otherwise – mere chance could not have created us. Must we invoke William Paley’s watchmaker argument again?[iv] Are we to agree with Robert Jastrow when he says, “For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance, he is about to conquer the highest peak: as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.”[v] Though Jastrow treats the issue as settled and declares that scientists have finally been “defeated,” it is too early to reach any judgements on the implications the new cosmology has for both science and religion. Our image of the origin of the universe is not yet complete and further investigations must be conducted before the towel is thrown in. Science has still much to offer to help us understand how the universe came to be. Therefore, let us now attempt to solve the cosmic mystery of creation by referring to the great scientific minds as our guide. Let us now rewind the story of the big bang and look into the origins of the universe.

The idea that the universe had an origin was a result of the discovery of the...

Find Another Essay On Reconciling Religious and Scientific Perspectives of Creation

Comparing James and Jung's Perspectives on Religious Experience

1332 words - 5 pages 1. Are the perspectives on religious experience presented in William James’ Varieties and in Jung compatible? Briefly explain and compare them. For William James, his perspective on religious experience was skeptical. He divided religion between institutional religion and personal religion. For institutional religion he made reference to the religious group or organization that plays a critical part in the culture of a society. Personal

The Different Views of the Origin of Life that Exist in Religious and Scientific Communities Around the World

1962 words - 8 pages accident – or was it a coordinated creation? There are many views on this matter, many by different religious sects and scientific communities. I didn’t know where to start at first, but thought it wise to start off with a scientific review, assess its evidence, and then look at other creation beliefs of other religions. The school’s astrology club seemed a suitable place to begin my search for the most logical creation story

The characteristics of Buddhism and how they contribute to the creation of a dynamic, living religious tradition

852 words - 3 pages Buddhism is the religion followed by approximately 300 million people worldwide. To many, Buddhism is very much intense and goes beyond 'religion', more of a 'philosophical system' or 'way of life'. Making up, or setting the foundations of this 'philosophical system' are characteristics such as Buddhist beliefs and ethics. These features then have a strong hold on the lives of Buddhist followers and allow religious theory to become a living

Models and perspectives of care /biopsychosocial

3369 words - 13 pages psychology for much of the 20th century, largely because of the creation and successful application of conditioning theories as scientific models of behavior.Cognitive psychology studies cognition, the mental processes underlying behavior. It uses information processing as a framework for understanding the mind. Perception, learning, problem solving, memory, attention, language and emotion are all well researched areas. Cognitive psychology is associated

Social Psychology and the perspectives of family

2245 words - 9 pages religious structures have been happening since the Reformation period when people like Copernicus and Galileo were challenging peoples ideals through scientific enlightenment. One of the prominent changes that has occurred in the 20th century is the rise and attainability of Divorces, the rise in Divorce rates was extremely disagreeable to many Organized Religious groups.There are many reasons for the changes in Divorce rates in recent years

Features of the Psychoanalytic and Humanistic Perspectives

2211 words - 9 pages Features of the Psychoanalytic and Humanistic Perspectives Outline the key features of the psychoanalytic and humanistic perspectives, and briefly compare and contrast their views on conscious experience, a person as an integrated whole, and the role of therapists in arriving at changes. Answer In explaining and predicting animal behaviour, different schools of psychology are of different perspectives; e.g

The Concept of Change ... and Changing Perspectives

1423 words - 6 pages Changing perspectives…Change is a process, a transition or an alteration that affects different aspects of our life. As a result the forces of change can seriously affect the attitudes, beliefs and behaviors of individuals. The affects of change can have a positive or negative outcome. These affects can be viewed in all three of the texts that we have studied for the Area of Study. Change is a part of life and whether or not we like that

Realist and Liberalist Perspectives of Globalization

824 words - 3 pages Why and how did globalization occur? Different perspectives have different explanations as to why and how globalization evolved. Realists argue that international trade is most effective when there is hegemony in the world market, whereas liberalists believe that it is a matter of how countries use the idea of reciprocity in their decision about trade. I agree with the realist perspective because hegemony allows the global economy to

The dispositional and humanistic perspectives of personality

2062 words - 8 pages Description: This essay was for a 2nd year psychology class called 'personality'. The essay asked the writer to examine several philosophical issues from both a dispositional and humanistic perspective.AbstractFor many years, the argument over which perspective on personality is the more valid has been debated. Two of the more apposed parties have been the dispositional and humanistic perspectives. The dispositional perspective has long argued

Holistic perspectives of assessment and Care Management

2776 words - 11 pages psychosocial perspectives were assessed and the rationale behind this. On concluding a reflection on the strength, weaknesses and consistency or discrepancies of the model chosen will be discussed.Pearson and Vaughan, (1986) see a nursing model as a picture or representation of what nursing actually is, although Aggleton and Chalmers (2000) claim that the aim of a nursing model is for those who use them to understand more fully what they are doing and why

Perspectives of Austrian and Canadian Federalism

2979 words - 12 pages sides have similar levels of power and leverage. Before this paper delves into the constitutional mandates of the orders of government in Austria in Canada, it is important to take a brief look at the constitutional origins of both countries, as it will help to understand the path taken towards the current state of power centralization. Since its creation in 1920 the federation of Austria has leaned towards a centralist direction. After World

Similar Essays

Scientific View Of Creation And The Big Bang

1941 words - 8 pages Scientific View of Creation and the Big Bang A common question among people is why are things the way they are? How was our world created? There are many different theories, from a variety of views. In this paper I will discuss the scientific view of the creation theory. The theory that I will be discussing is the Big Bang Theory, this is currently the theory of creation accepted by most scientists as the explanation of the beginning of

The Complementarity Of Scientific And Religious Modes Of Understanding Reality

3174 words - 13 pages the value of differing approaches for understanding the "what" and "why" of life on earth. Many professional scientists, too, have explicitly acknowledged the separate but complementary roles of science and religion in human experience. William Purves, in the opening chapter of a well-known biology text, writes, Evidence gathered by scientific procedures does not diminish the value of religious accounts of creation. […Religious beliefs] serve

Scientific Belief And Religious Faith Essay

1849 words - 7 pages Scientific Belief or Religious Faith One can argue that there are many conflicts between science and religion, but the question at hand is whether or not it is true. Is it possible that it may very well be a conflict between the two? What if science and religion are in cahoots with each other? After all, aren’t scientists trying to find the answer to how everything has come to be; while educating society their theory in regards to evolution of

Reconciling Darwin's Theory Of Natural Selection And Intelligent Design

1008 words - 4 pages Natural selection is an important component of evolution. Natural selection occurs when some members of a population are better fit for survival and reproduction than the others in that population (Phelan 284-85, 2011). The environment in which organisms live plays a part in natural selection as well. Depending on the conditions of the environment, the organisms may pass down selected traits to their offspring. These selected traits will allow