A Comprehensible Universe: The Interplay of Science and by George V. Coyne

By George V. Coyne

Why is our international understandable? this query turns out so trivial that few humans have dared to invite it. during this e-book we discover the deep roots of the secret of rationality. The inquiry into the rationality of the area started over two-and-a-half-thousand years in the past, whilst a couple of brave humans attempted to appreciate the area with the aid of cause by myself, rejecting the comforting textile of fantasy and legend.

After many philosophical and theological adventures the Greek proposal of rationality laid the principles of a progressive frame of mind: the medical process, which reworked the world.

But the most recent culmination of the world's rationality - relativity conception, quantum mechanics, the unification of physics, quantum gravity - the query arises: what are the boundaries of the clinical process? The vital guiding principle of rationality is so you might by no means cease asking questions until eventually every little thing has been spoke back ...

"The understandable Universe is a considerate ebook by way of authors who've specialist services in physics and astronomy and in addition in theology. they're highly good trained in regards to the historical past of the relation among technological know-how and theology, and so they continue all through their dialogue a admire for empirical facts and a commitment to rationality. even supposing i don't trust all in their conclusions on issues of significant complexity i'm inspired by means of the equity in their argumentation."

Abner Shimony, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy and Physics, Boston University

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Extra resources for A Comprehensible Universe: The Interplay of Science and Theology

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There were two choices: either to be content with a common sense outlook, or to attempt rational reflection and analysis. For people educated in Greek culture, the first possibility was simply resignation rather than a choice. The second possibility meant using the resources of Greek philosophy. The very fact that the first possibility was rejected is not a surprise. What is highly surprising is that the application of Greek wisdom to Christian doctrine had such powerful results. In fact, the entire Patristic period consisted of a continuous creative process of transforming Greek philosophy into Christian theology.

However, his objections were of the “scientific” rather than theological character. 10 It was St. Augustine who introduced a theological aspect into the antipode problem. He had no difficulty with walking upside down. He believed, however, that “the inferior part of the earth, which is opposite to where we live” had no inhabitants. ”11 Some Fathers (St. Augustine included) had a more serious problem with another cosmological question. The biblical account of creation speaks about “the waters which were under the firmament” and “the waters which were above the firmament” (Gen 1, v 7) and such waters were completely unknown 45 Chapter 7 to Greek cosmology.

Heaven forbid that we should believe in such a way as not to accept or seek reasons, since we could not even believe if we did not possess rational souls. 7 The point is not only that the “light of reason” has to pave the way for faith, but also that faith, in our present state, has to prepare our minds to receive full cognition after our death. And it will be a kind of rational cognition. To understand this doctrine better we should not forget Augustine’s teaching on illumination: in his view, every intellectual cognition consists of God’s special illumination.

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