Thursday, December 02, 2004

Cracking the Cosmic Code....

"The mystery that now confronts us is this: How did human beings acquire their extraordinary ability to crack the cosmic code, to solve nature’s cryptic crossword, to do science so effectively? I have mentioned that science emerged from a predominately Christian culture. According to the Christian tradition God is a rational being who made the universe as a free act of special creation, and has ordered it in a way that reflects his/her own rationality. Human beings are said to be 'made in God’s image,' and might therefore be considered (on one interpretation of 'image') to share, albeit in grossly diminished form, some aspect of God’s own rationality. If one subscribes to this point of view it is then no surprise that we can do science, because in so doing we are exercising a formof rationality that finds a common basis in the Architect of the very natural world that we are exploring.

Early scientists such as Newton believed this. They thought that in doing science they were uncovering part of God’s rational plan for the cosmos. The laws of nature were regarded as 'thoughts in the mind of God,' so that by using our God-given rationality in the form of the scientific method, we are able to glimpse the mind of God. Thus they inherited a view of the world—one which actually stretches back at least to Plato—that places mind at the basis of physical reality. Given the (unexplained) existence of rational mind, the existence of a rationally ordered universe containing rational conscious beings is then no surprise."
(Paul Davies, "The Intelligibility of Nature," Quantum Cosmology and the Laws of Nature, ed. Robert John Russell, Nancey Murphy, and C.J. Isham
(Vatican City State: Vatican Observatory Publications, 1996) :155)

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