Sunday, 17 April 2011

Why is information from the Bible not used for science?

I am quite newly Christian. I've just read the article about you and the Divine Action Program in "Physics of the Divine" by Zeeya Merali in the March 2011 Issue of Discover Magazine. I am a layperson. And while I have postsecondary education and have read some books on quantum physics, the detailed science often moves across my brain like the Saskatchewan wind blows over skiffs of prairie snow: it's briefly there, and then.... it's moved on!

That said... I am inspired by how you are building connections between science and God, and grateful for the work you do. My question is maybe too simple, but I really need to ask it after reading this Discover article and thought you'd be the perfect person to ask (how great you have this website):

Q: As regards some of these unexplained mysteries at the quantum level in the physical world, why is information from the bible not considered as a possible source of insight or knowledge in these matters, in the scientific dialogue? Or maybe it is, and the article just does not have that focus?

God communicates with us in the Bible in many ways, and certainly the conviction that a loving ultimate creator God was behind the universe was a major inspiration for the great Christians from Newton to Maxwell and beyond who discovered much of science. The Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge still has inscribed the words of Psalm 111: 'Magna opera Domini exquisita in omnes voluntates ejus', meaning 'The works of the Lord are great, sought out of all them that have pleasure therein'.

However it is clear from reading the Bible that God is concerned there to communicate the fundamental relationships between God and His creation including esp. humanity, not to communicate scientific details. So whereas the Bible can and does inspire scientists to deep insights, any insights however motivated then have to be subject to scientific scrutiny in the usual ways.

Animals and natural beauty in Heaven

I'm wondering if I could ask Rev. Dr John Polkinghorne to explain how heaven might be like in some details of his choice. The more the merrier of course.
ie how it looks like there, is there food there, lakes, animals, mountains, illnesses etc.  just some examples.
I have asked this to many people, but no one seems able to answer anything about it than a tiny description which didn't reveal anything really.

NB: We know there are no illnesses. Heaven is perfect union with God rather than a “place”. The beauty and good will transcend the beauty and good of food, lakes etc.. but it may (or may not) be less misleading to say that there is food/are lakes than to deny it.

Whether there are animals in heaven is not I think known and occasionally debated.