Likelihood of Success

Ron Coleman’s pretty good blog

Does there have to be a why?

Posted by Ron Coleman on March 13, 2008

In the New York Times:

The $1.6 million Templeton Prize, the richest award made to an individual by a philanthropic organization, was given Wednesday to Michael Heller, 72, a Roman Catholic priest, cosmologist and philosopher who has spent his life asking, and perhaps more impressively answering, questions like “Does the universe need to have a cause?”

The $1.6 million Templeton Prize, the richest award made to an individual by a philanthropic organization, was given Wednesday to Michael Heller, 72, a Roman Catholic priest, cosmologist and philosopher who has spent his life asking, and perhaps more impressively answering, questions like “Does the universe need to have a cause?”

The John Templeton Foundation, which awards grants to encourage scientific discovery on the “big questions” in science and philosophy, commended Professor Heller, who is from Poland, for his extensive writings that have “evoked new and important consideration of some of humankind’s most profound concepts.”

Much of Professor Heller’s career has been dedicated to reconciling the known scientific world with the unknowable dimensions of God.

In doing so, he has argued against a “God of the gaps” strategy for relating science and religion, a view that uses God to explain what science cannot.

Professor Heller said he believed, for example, that the religious objection to teaching evolution “is one of the greatest misunderstandings” because it “introduces a contradiction or opposition between God and chance.”Peaceable Kingdom - Edward Hicks

So much energy is spent by people on both sides of this purported divide, uselessly assailing the other side. The only basis for such an assault is when one claims it can meaningfully explain the other. More:

In a telephone interview, Professor Heller explained his affinity for the two fields: “I always wanted to do the most important things, and what can be more important than science and religion? Science gives us knowledge, and religion gives us meaning. Both are prerequisites of the decent existence.”

I am sure that will rile up some people in the neighborhood who believe their existence is quite decent without any consideration of God in their lives. But I came to the same conclusion, myself, as a young adult. Not that religion guarantees a decent life, but that there is certainly little hope for it without some form of relationship with God.

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One Response to “Does there have to be a why?”

  1. […] lie is given again to the supposed dichotomy between faith and […]

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