I was curious about recent scientific news reported in Newsweek Magazine. So I consulted family friend, Dr. Ted Mock, who is a scientist. Dr. Mock has some interesting thoughts on science and God. I have his permission to share the note below.
With respect to your query pertaining to the origin of the universe, let me preface my remarks with the statement that many scientists like myself believe in a “world of reason” and a “world of faith,” and properly understood they shed light on each other, they are never in actual conflict with one another, and they simply must be accepted on the basis of their own terms.
Scientists and mathematicians – [think here of the well known Goedel's Theorem that proves the existence of meaningful mathematical statements that are neither provable nor disprovable, now or ever] – have accepted the fact that there are some statements that can neither be proven true nor false. To my way of thinking, scientists will never be able to “prove” nor “disprove” the existence of God. We can admire his handiwork and marvel at how he created the world and everything in it, but we will each have to accept his existence on the basis of our faith.
Scientists are constantly evoking new theories or improving on old ones as to how they believe our universe was created. One of the more popular concepts for the past half century has revolved around the theory of the “Big Bang”. But theoreticians go far beyond that concept to try to explain how the “Big Bang” was generated and how many other universes may have been created at the same time (or at any other period of time). Some theories postulate that we live in a multidimensional space of infinite membranes, and when any two parallel membranes touch at any point at any instant of time, there is a transfer of an immense amount of energy that would appear in the recipient membrane as a “Big Bang” with all the subsequent attributes we currently attribute to that phenomenon.
There are many other theories proposed for the creation of the universe. One of these is based on Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle – which can be used to assert that even a pure vacuum contains a myriad of virtual particles that come into and out of existence -- with positive charges balancing negative charges, positive energy particles balancing negative energy particles, etc. Occasionally, over an infinity of time and space, some of these particles will appear with near infinite energy, thus creating universes such as the one we inhabit. (Somewhere another universe exists which is a “negative” of our universe, the exact “reflection” of our own.) There are other theories, such as those based on the fairly recent “string theory” as a starting point.
The message I wish to convey is that the farther back we penetrate into the origin of space and time, the more we understand how limited our knowledge really is, and how we merely move the frontier of our understanding farther and farther back as if we are receding into an infinity of mirrors in which we will never catch up to our own image.
I realize that this may seem a bit confusing – because it simply isn’t clear to anyone – including Einstein. Place your faith in God, and take time to marvel at the intricacies of his handiwork, as we slowly understand them with the growth in our scientific knowledge.
Dr. Ted Mock is a distinguished scientist and educator who holds graduate degrees in engineering, chemistry, international affairs, business administration, and a Doctorate in nuclear science. He also has a J.D. and L.L. M in intellectual property law. Dr. Mock has served as a professor of mathematics at the U.S. Air Force Academy, the George Washington University and the University of Virginia, and a Visiting Scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has also contributed as a Senior Science Advisor to the Department of Defense, the National Science Foundation, and the U.S. Department of Energy.
(Photos by Alidarbac (top) and Feuillu. See flickr.com for restrictions.)