[FoRK] The Sayings of the Patron Saints of the New Science/Religion

Stephen D. Williams <sdw at lig.net> on Sat Apr 21 16:00:09 PDT 2007


Tom Higgins wrote:
> Saint Carl of the Billions
> "On the issue of "first cause":
>    I would say the question of a "first cause" is only a speculation.
> It is perfectly possible that the universe is infinitely old and
> therefore uncaused. In fact, there are detailed cosmological models
> that hold such a view and that are consistent with everything we know.
> To my mind, it seems not fully satisfactory to say that there was a
> first cause. That seems to postpone dealing with the problem rather
> than solving it. If we say "God" made the universe, then surely the
> next question is, "Who made God?" If we say "God" was always here, why
> not say the universe was always here? If we say that the question
> "Where did God come from?" is too tough for us poor mortals to
> understand, then why not say that the question of, "Where did the
> universe come from?" is too tough for us mortals? In what way,
> exactly, does the God hypothesis advance our knowledge of cosmology?
> What predictions does it make on which the hypothesis will stand or
> fall?"
>> From Ann Druyan's Epilogue to Billions and Billions:
I try to say what I mean and think might be useful every day.  When I am 
no longer of sound body, I'm probably not going to have many IQ points 
either, so it's unlikely I'll have anything useful to say in my last 
moments.  Maybe the password to shutdown the doomsday device or the 
thermonuclear protection in the trailer. (a la Snowcrash)  But not much 
>   " Contrary to the fantasies of the fundamentalists, there was no
> deathbed conversion, no last minute refuge taken in a comforting
> vision of a heaven or an afterlife. For Carl, what mattered most was
> what was true, not merely what would make us feel better. Even at this
> moment when anyone would be forgiven for turning away from the reality
> of our situation, Carl was unflinching. As we looked deeply into each
> other's eyes, it was with a shared conviction that our wondrous life
> together was ending forever."


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