Spirituality and religion address the ultimate mystery–our existence. Are we the only creature that can ponder these questions: Where did we come from? What are we? What is reality? How can mind and consciousness emerge from body and brain? What survives death? The explanations have led to the recurrent wars between deduction and faith, science and religion, and materialism verses spirituality propagating corpses of dogma littering countless battlefields. The conflict between science and spirituality can be bridged by understanding the deeper meaning of 21st-century scientific discoveries, which reveal that our world is a blending of mind and spirit.
Our world was explained by religions and spiritual teachings millennia before science described atoms and molecules. Spiritual and religious teachings generally agree that we humans cannot comprehend reality, which usually includes God. In general, religions teach that God and mystical reality are different from what we experience in ordinary consciousness. What do scientists say?
Science and dogma
We live in a scientific age, and many people find their spiritual and religious beliefs beaten down by scientists. Generally, scientists avoid proclaiming absolutes. Such dogma usually ends as additional corpses on battlefields. Historians recorded numerous examples of famous scientists’ dogma. One example was in the 1600s when Galileo Galilei attacked Johannes Kepler for asserting that the moon affects the tides–calling the notion paranormal and childish nonsense.
Professor Richard Dawkins is a highly respected British biologist who has made numerous scientific contributions. I fully respect him and these contributions. The dogma Dawkins asserts is that God does not exist–that it is a delusion. Dawkins criticizes those who use the word “God” in a non-theist manner–including numerous renowned scientists such as Einstein. Let’s examine Dawkins’ delusion. Interestingly, his book devotes only one chapter of ten to “why there almost certainly is no God” amounting to only 12% of the pages. I find that most of that chapter does not deal with the chapter’s title.
Dawkins expounds “cranes” which he defines as “explanatory devices that actually do explain.” He seems to rest his case on the crane of Darwin’s explanation of evolution. Dawkins admits there is no equivalent crane in physics. He does have faith, however, stating: We should not give up hope of a better crane arising in physics…” What might this hope be based on? In the above mentioned chapter, Dawkins devotes three pages to the “multiverse theory.” This is a hypothesis scientists use to explicate some of the stickier problems in explaining our world where numerous or even an infinite number of other universes exist “out there.” He does not convince me that this is less outrageous then spiritual or religious teachings.
The Dawkins delusion
Dawkins bristled when he was condemned as “nineteenth-century.” He points out that Darwin’s explanation of evolution is from this period and that he is proud to be associated with it. However, materialism is also of this era. Dawkins claims science utilizes reductionism based upon fundamental particles: “it is a beautifully simple idea that all things are made of fundamental particles…” This illustrates that he, like many people, clench the delusion of materialism, a dogma which needs to be recognized as just another corpse on the battlefield because our world cannot be explained with mere matter. What physicists call “fundamental particles” actually have smaller components which scientists cannot agree on as to their make up, names, or character. String theory is one such explanation for the fundamental components of the universe–everything is made up of strings of energy a billion trillion times smaller than fundamental particles.
A new truth emerging
Scientists’ materialism rationalized chastising religions and spirituality for teaching outlandish concepts. Now the tables are turned. A decade ago, scientists realized that 96% of our world is missing. It isn’t that they misplaced it; it is that despite an arsenal of sophisticated scientific instruments they can’t find the mysterious dark energy and dark matter which are needed to explain their latest theories on the universe.
Early in the twentieth-century scientific discoveries and conjectures turned science on it head with the findings of an expanding universe and a quantum theory that is still not understood. The revelations of the 21st-century are again forcing scientists to discard prized theories and beliefs. The new mysteries include dark energy, dark matter, the multiverse, and the “stuff” in a vacuum. Scientists agree that energy is an apt metaphor for what is out there–just as religions and ancient spirituality taught. A growing number of scientists venture further and exhort the universe is mental and spiritual. This is part of the bridge between science and spirituality.
Over the last decade the physics of black holes has been revolutionized by developments that grew out of Jacob Bekenstein s realiz…
String theory says we live in a ten-dimensional universe, but that only four are accessible to our everyday senses. According to t…
During its forty year lifespan, string theory has always had the power to divide, being called both a ‘theory of everything’ and a…
The past decade has witnessed dramatic developments in the fields of experimental and theoretical particle physics and cosmology. …
In his first book ever, the father of string theory reinvents the world’s concept of the known universe and man’s unique place wit…
Everything is connected… We’’re living in the midst of a scientific revolution that’’s captured the general public’’s atte…
* View full lesson: http://ed.ted.com/lessons/string-theory-and-the-hidden-structures-of-the-universe-clifford-johnson
What is everything made of? Thus far, we can break everything in the universe down to a few very small elementary particles. But they fit into strange patterns that are not understood. Some scientists believe that this is because we can go deeper – perhaps to simple vibrating strings! At TEDYouth 2012, Clifford Johnson describes these ideas, along with the concept of string theory.
Talk by Clifford Johnson.
String theory and the hidden structures of the universe – Clifford Johnson