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Can Physics Prove the Existence of God?
Magis Center of Reason and Faith ^ | July 23, 2010 | Spitzer, Robert

Posted on 07/20/2010 6:09:03 PM PDT by firerosemom

The last few years have seen several books championing agnosticism or atheism making their way into the popular press. These books leave most informed readers quite baffled, because they ignore the vast majority (if not the entirety) of the considerable evidence for theism provided by physics and philosophy during the last few decades. This evidence is capable of grounding reasonable and responsible belief in a super-intelligent, transcendent, creative power that stands at the origins of our universe or any hypothetically postulated multiverse. The main purpose of this book is to give a brief synopsis of this evidence to readers who are interested in exploring the strongest rational foundation for faith that has come to light in human history.

(Excerpt) Read more at magisreasonfaith.org ...


TOPICS: Religion & Science; Skeptics/Seekers
KEYWORDS: cosmology; creation; faith; notaphysicstopic; notasciencetopic; physics; science; theism
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I teach physics at a Catholic secondary school, and I am interested in Fr. Spitzer's stated goal of examining fundamental physics constants (the strength of gravity, strong and weak nuclear forces, electromagnetic force, etc) to show that the chance of them being other than they are is so extremely remote as to argue for an intelligent designer. I am intrigued - what do you think?
1 posted on 07/20/2010 6:09:05 PM PDT by firerosemom
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To: firerosemom
Can not answer the question but I do have a counter-question: Can physics dispprove the existence of God?
2 posted on 07/20/2010 6:10:22 PM PDT by cranked
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To: cranked

i believe it can, but the ‘powers that be’ will alway make sure it wont, if ya get my drift...


3 posted on 07/20/2010 6:12:50 PM PDT by raygunfan
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To: firerosemom
No.

John 1:18.

4 posted on 07/20/2010 6:13:19 PM PDT by pnh102 (Regarding liberalism, always attribute to malice what you think can be explained by stupidity. - Me)
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To: cranked

Good question - how might it do that? Would there be a series of indicators that, if lined up, would show that there is no originator of everything? Is that what you mean?


5 posted on 07/20/2010 6:13:50 PM PDT by firerosemom ("Don't make Me come down there..." --- God)
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To: firerosemom
n Physics Prove the Existence of God?

Only if GOD wants it to.

6 posted on 07/20/2010 6:15:01 PM PDT by doc1019 (Martyrdom is a great thing, until it is your turn.)
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To: raygunfan

But wouldn’t a reasoned, rational proof or dis-proof of God’s existence be able to be spread far and wide, esp. on the internet? I’d doubt that it could be squelched so easily.


7 posted on 07/20/2010 6:16:14 PM PDT by firerosemom ("Don't make Me come down there..." --- God)
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To: firerosemom

i believe there are plenty of rational points already out there that show the existance of God, all of the net and in the non-cyber world....and look where we are.....


8 posted on 07/20/2010 6:18:11 PM PDT by raygunfan
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To: pnh102

True - no one has ever seen God as He is, but what about those who have never been exposed to formalized religion of any sort - would they be able to know that a Creator exists independent of someone evangelizing them?


9 posted on 07/20/2010 6:18:40 PM PDT by firerosemom ("Don't make Me come down there..." --- God)
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To: firerosemom

Yes, of course it can because God created the physics of our universe!


10 posted on 07/20/2010 6:26:38 PM PDT by JSDude1
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To: firerosemom

The existence of God proves the illusion or maybe allusion of Physics..


11 posted on 07/20/2010 6:27:09 PM PDT by hosepipe (This propaganda has been edited to include some fully orbed hyperbole....)
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To: cranked

It is considered impossible, logically, to prove a null hypothesis so I would have to say no. It cannot be proved that here are no living dinosaurs, for example.


12 posted on 07/20/2010 6:27:20 PM PDT by muir_redwoods (Obama. Chauncey Gardiner without the homburg.)
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To: firerosemom; June K.
True - no one has ever seen God as He is

I beg to differ. Everyone has seen God as He is ... right in front of us, within us ... all of us, every moment of every day. All around us, all the time.

Just that we tend to focus only on our immediate surroundings and existence, but that doesn't mean that 'God as He is' isn't everywhere at once and completely within His creation

13 posted on 07/20/2010 6:32:39 PM PDT by Mr_Moonlight
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To: firerosemom
True - no one has ever seen God as He is, but what about those who have never been exposed to formalized religion of any sort - would they be able to know that a Creator exists independent of someone evangelizing them?

Prior to the Ascension of Jesus into heaven, He told the disciples that He would no longer be with them in the flesh. The disciples were worried about how they would carry on. Jesus told them that they would have to have faith in Him.

Jesus also told the disciples to spread His Word to everyone, every tribe, every nation. Jesus made no mention of previous religious experience as being a requirement for His grace and salvation.

Faith in Jesus is literally the bedrock of Christianity. We must trust that Jesus is our Savior.

And I trust in Him. Jesus is even more real to me than anything that is tangible to me. And I thank God for Him... as I am so fallen, only Jesus can raise me... and the rest of us.

14 posted on 07/20/2010 6:33:42 PM PDT by pnh102 (Regarding liberalism, always attribute to malice what you think can be explained by stupidity. - Me)
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To: firerosemom

Not yet, according to Stephen Hawkings, who also says nothing in physics, including big bang, disproves God.


15 posted on 07/20/2010 6:34:10 PM PDT by DesertRhino (I was standing with a rifle, waiting for soviet paratroopers, but communists just ran for office)
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To: firerosemom

Last year while taking Discrete Mathematics I found this short paper titled, “An Inductive Proof for God’s Existence II”, by Anthony J. Fejfar.

Its almost as simple as just believing.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/2515476/An-Inductive-Proof-for-Gods-Existence-II


16 posted on 07/20/2010 6:34:58 PM PDT by Keflavik76 (It's an Obama Nation, pray for America.)
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To: pnh102

But what if someone doesn’t trust in Jesus, for example, if they were raised in an environment that either mocked or ignored religion? Would they be unable to ever believe in a creator unless they had a “St. Paul” experience?


17 posted on 07/20/2010 6:37:45 PM PDT by firerosemom ("Don't make Me come down there..." --- God)
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To: firerosemom

Besides, the essence of Christianity is faith. Seeking proof through science is about the same mentality as those guys in the the medieval days seeking proof through “relics”.

It’s an evasion of just using faith.


18 posted on 07/20/2010 6:39:45 PM PDT by DesertRhino (I was standing with a rifle, waiting for soviet paratroopers, but communists just ran for office)
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To: firerosemom

I don’t know. Sometimes people become curious about things mocked by those who raise them. A child raised in an environment that mocks religious, eventually might seek to know why it was so menacing to their parent.


19 posted on 07/20/2010 6:43:23 PM PDT by DesertRhino (I was standing with a rifle, waiting for soviet paratroopers, but communists just ran for office)
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To: firerosemom

And i can’t prove it. But i think God wouldn’t even allow science to reveal him anyway. If we could just build the right kind of radio-telescope and “prove” him, that would basically undo the whole way we are supposed to find him.
Just my opinion there,,,


20 posted on 07/20/2010 6:47:20 PM PDT by DesertRhino (I was standing with a rifle, waiting for soviet paratroopers, but communists just ran for office)
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To: firerosemom

Bookmarked. Robert Spitzer is as bright as they come.


21 posted on 07/20/2010 6:51:41 PM PDT by JusPasenThru (Why won't those knuckle-dragging tea-bagging right-wing bastards just negotiate with me?)
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To: firerosemom
But what if someone doesn’t trust in Jesus, for example, if they were raised in an environment that either mocked or ignored religion? Would they be unable to ever believe in a creator unless they had a “St. Paul” experience?

Many such people have come to know Jesus as their Savior. They ultimately chose to let Jesus come into their hearts. And mind you, this goes even further than what happened to St. Paul, as he was a Jewish Pharisee who had experience with religion.

The way I see it, no explanation from an earthly perspective is needed in matters such as these. Jesus literally just does it. And in many ways, these people are truly blessed moreso than those of us who were born into the faith... their conviction can be even more sincere as they knew of how empty life was without Jesus.

22 posted on 07/20/2010 6:52:00 PM PDT by pnh102 (Regarding liberalism, always attribute to malice what you think can be explained by stupidity. - Me)
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To: firerosemom

God gave light to man with Jesus and thus explains the explosive growth of cognitive function in the past 2000 years


23 posted on 07/20/2010 6:59:08 PM PDT by kingcoal
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To: firerosemom

No. And it can’t disprove, either.


24 posted on 07/20/2010 7:01:44 PM PDT by Brilliant
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To: firerosemom

Romans 1 says yes.


25 posted on 07/20/2010 7:02:50 PM PDT by dartuser ("Palin 2012 ... nothing else will do.")
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To: firerosemom

God is revealed by His creation:

Psalm 19:1-6 states:

“The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handiwork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. Their line is gone out through all the earth and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun. Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race. His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it; and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof”.


26 posted on 07/20/2010 7:08:16 PM PDT by Keflavik76 (It's an Obama Nation, pray for America.)
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To: firerosemom

“In the absence of any other proof, the thumb alone would convince me of God’s existence. “ - Isaac Newton.


27 posted on 07/20/2010 7:09:05 PM PDT by GenXteacher (He that hath no stomach for this fight, let him depart!)
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To: firerosemom; All
Can Physics Prove the Existence of God?

What??? Of course not! Doesn't Spitzer know that the whole point to science is to DISprove the existence of God????

/Sam Harris

28 posted on 07/20/2010 7:21:39 PM PDT by Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus (The success of Darwinism was accompanied by a decline in scientific integrity. - Dr. Wm R. Thompson)
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To: muir_redwoods

“It cannot be proved that here are no living dinosaurs, for example.”

Alligators


29 posted on 07/20/2010 7:24:23 PM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus

I think that’s what bothers me most - mainstream media’s insistence on pitting science and faith against each other. Truth does not contradict truth! That’s what got me interested in the topic in the first place.


30 posted on 07/20/2010 7:32:41 PM PDT by firerosemom ("Don't make Me come down there..." --- God)
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To: firerosemom

I think it is God who proves the existence of physics!

But I’m all for the science, good for him.


31 posted on 07/20/2010 7:35:59 PM PDT by Persevero (Homeschooling for Excellence since 1992)
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To: firerosemom

Jesus raised the dead in front of people and some didn’t believe.

I am all for scientific inquiry but I don’t believe, sadly, that it will convince those who hate God.


32 posted on 07/20/2010 7:37:03 PM PDT by Persevero (Homeschooling for Excellence since 1992)
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To: firerosemom

See also: “Mathematics: Is God Silent?”


33 posted on 07/20/2010 7:38:40 PM PDT by Persevero (Homeschooling for Excellence since 1992)
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To: firerosemom
No.

Read Luke

25 "But Abraham replied, 'Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. 26And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.'

27 "He answered, 'Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my father's house, 28for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.'

29 "Abraham replied, 'They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.'

30 " 'No, father Abraham,' he said, 'but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.'

31 "He said to him, 'If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.' "

34 posted on 07/20/2010 7:41:00 PM PDT by Licensed-To-Carry (Hey Obama! All you have done is awaken a sleeping giant and filled us with a terrible resolve!!)
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To: firerosemom
Truth does not contradict truth!

Superficially, I agree with this statement. Yet - as a scientist - I believe "science" is an inferior form of inquiry. By its very nature, it can give no sure answers, and anyone - rabid atheist fundamentalist or otherwise - who thinks it can is merely deluding his or herself.

35 posted on 07/20/2010 7:48:44 PM PDT by Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus (The success of Darwinism was accompanied by a decline in scientific integrity. - Dr. Wm R. Thompson)
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To: Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus
Yet - as a scientist - I believe "science" is an inferior form of inquiry. By its very nature, it can give no sure answers, and anyone - rabid atheist fundamentalist or otherwise - who thinks it can is merely deluding his or herself.

500 years ago the best scientists believed that the world was flat and that the sun revolved around the Earth, among other nonsense. The idea that science is some sort of "constant" force of knowledge that can be taken at its word is silly. By its very nature science MUST be policed by peer review.

36 posted on 07/20/2010 7:53:54 PM PDT by pnh102 (Regarding liberalism, always attribute to malice what you think can be explained by stupidity. - Me)
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To: firerosemom

Think about the moment before the “Big Bang” and read Hebrews 11:3


37 posted on 07/20/2010 7:57:48 PM PDT by RatRipper (I'll ride a turtle to work every day before I buy anything from Government Motors.)
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To: pnh102
By its very nature science MUST be policed by peer review.

A system which fails more often than not. Case in point - the "peer review" that took place with the AGW debacle.

Another case in point - evolution. Evolution is basically unnecessary in science - even the biological sciences, outside of the pseudoscientific field of "evolutionary biology," which was basically invented to justify reliance upon evolution as an explanation. I can't tell you how many times I've read journal articles where the author has "tacked on" some statement about evolution which is complete non-germane to the point of the article, but which was probably demanded by some peer-review referee before it could get published.

38 posted on 07/20/2010 7:58:44 PM PDT by Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus (The success of Darwinism was accompanied by a decline in scientific integrity. - Dr. Wm R. Thompson)
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To: Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus

Your explanation is exactly why I will never trust science, or look to any other man-made “evidence”, or anything that purports to be as such, to prove to me that God exists.


39 posted on 07/20/2010 8:08:26 PM PDT by pnh102 (Regarding liberalism, always attribute to malice what you think can be explained by stupidity. - Me)
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To: DesertRhino
There is a fundamental difference between religion, which is based on authority and science, which is based on observation and reason. Science will win, because it works.

--Stephen Hawking

40 posted on 07/20/2010 9:33:07 PM PDT by GunRunner
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To: firerosemom

Quite the opposite. Why is there always attempts to prove that God or an “originator of everything” exists? There is arguably a fallacy or better, a flawed assumption being made in all these so-called attempts that God’s existence needs to be proven. In other words, the attempt to prove the existence of God or an “originator of everything” arguably stems from the belief, premise, or basis that for some reason, 1) God’s existence needs to be proven and/or 2) God does not exist. Why not work from the premise that God or an “originator of everything” does exist; therefore use science or math to disprove such an existence. See where I am coming from here?


41 posted on 07/20/2010 9:35:13 PM PDT by cranked
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To: firerosemom
I teach physics at a Catholic secondary school, and I am interested in Fr. Spitzer's stated goal of examining fundamental physics constants (the strength of gravity, strong and weak nuclear forces, electromagnetic force, etc) to show that the chance of them being other than they are is so extremely remote as to argue for an intelligent designer.

Many people have put forward this argument; for my money the most lucid is Paul Davies' The Goldilocks Enigma.

Its subtitle is "Why is the Universe just right for Life?" I confess it seems to me that he inhabits a very different universe - the universe I see around me seems almost implacably hostile to life, and we exist on the razor's edge of that "almost". Only one world in the whole of Creation - and on that world 99% of all species that ever lived are extinct?! As if Goldilocks had found the one bowl of soup in an ocean of poison...

I am intrigued - what do you think?

On the specific issue of the "fine tuned" fundamental constants, I'll be blunt - I think its a total crock. There is zero evidence that these constants are tunable in the first place, any more than the value of pi was finely tuned so that billiard balls could be round. With a better fundamental theory, we should be able to calculate their values from first principles, just as we calculate the value if pi.

After all, a century ago, organic chemistry was cited as evidence how "finely tuned" the carbon-carbon bond was - else life could not exist. Tuned by God, one might argue. But today we can simply calculate the properties of the carbon-carbon bond using simple quantum mechanics (I remember actually doing this in 10th grade), and hence show it could not have been other than it is.

And if there is nothing to tune, that rather pulls the rug out from under the supposed tuner.

42 posted on 07/20/2010 10:20:41 PM PDT by John Locke
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To: firerosemom

By definition, of theologians of all major religions, God is beyond the view of science-only. Science limits itself to that which can be detected by the senses (and their extensions), has size, quantity and simple location.

Whatever is proved by physics is, again by definition, not God.


43 posted on 07/20/2010 10:53:04 PM PDT by D-fendr (Deus non alligatur sacramentis sed nos alligamur.)
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To: driftdiver; muir_redwoods
“It cannot be proved that here are no living dinosaurs, for example.”

Alligators

IBTHTP.

Cheers!

44 posted on 07/21/2010 12:13:16 AM PDT by grey_whiskers (The opinions are solely those of the author and are subject to change without notice.)
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To: GunRunner
LOL!

Explain the CRU emails, then.

Cheers!

45 posted on 07/21/2010 12:14:32 AM PDT by grey_whiskers (The opinions are solely those of the author and are subject to change without notice.)
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To: John Locke
But today we can simply calculate the properties of the carbon-carbon bond using simple quantum mechanics (I remember actually doing this in 10th grade)

What did you use? Hartree-Fock, perturbation theory, CI, density functional theory, or...?

Cheers!

46 posted on 07/21/2010 12:16:49 AM PDT by grey_whiskers (The opinions are solely those of the author and are subject to change without notice.)
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To: grey_whiskers

Thanks for the post. As I recall, back in those days it was mostly Hartree-Fock. We did use perturbation theory for the H-H molecular bond, but just so we could learn it.


47 posted on 07/21/2010 1:41:50 AM PDT by John Locke
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To: grey_whiskers

alligators are not dinosaurs. The leg joints are different in crocodilians which, by the way, pre-date dinosaurs.


48 posted on 07/21/2010 2:40:05 AM PDT by muir_redwoods (Obama. Chauncey Gardiner without the homburg.)
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To: cranked

Does it really ‘matter?’


49 posted on 07/21/2010 3:29:46 AM PDT by AdaGray
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To: DesertRhino
"Besides, the essence of Christianity is faith. Seeking proof through science is about the same mentality as those guys in the the medieval days seeking proof through “relics”.It’s an evasion of just using faith."

Scripture never characterizes faith as "blind faith" or "a leap of faith". We can be absolutely confident in our faith in that it is supported by the evidence of the created world (science = natural revelation) and scripture (special revelation). I have just as much faith in the saving power of Christ and his future return as I have faith that the sun will rise in the east tomorrow. And for essenstially the same reasons. If one looks at the tangible evidence it points unerringly to God.

50 posted on 07/21/2010 4:48:43 AM PDT by circlecity
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