posted on 12/07/2005 6:17:13 AM PST
("Moderation in pursuit of justice is no virtue." ~ Senator Goldwater)
These are the important paragraphs
Creation, on the other hand, is the radical causing of the whole existence of whatever exists. To cause completely something to exist is not to produce a change in something, is not to work on or with some existing material. If, in producing something new, an agent were to use something already existing, the agent would not be the complete cause of the new thing. But such complete causing is precisely what creation is. To build a house or paint a picture involves working with existing materials and either action is radically different from creation. To create is to cause existence, and all things are totally dependent upon a Creator for the very fact that they are. The Creator does not take nothing and make something out of nothing. Rather, any thing left entirely to itself, wholly separated from the cause of its existence, would be absolutely nothing. Creation is not some distant event; it is the complete causing of the existence of everything that is. Creation, thus, as Aquinas shows, is a subject for metaphysics and theology; it is not a subject for the natural sciences. Although Scripture reveals that God is Creator, for Aquinas, the fundamental understanding of creation is accessible to reason alone, in the discipline of metaphysics; it does not necessarily require faith. Aquinas thought that by starting from the recognition of the distinction between what things are, their essences, and that they are, their existence, one could reason conclusively to an absolutely first cause which causes the existence of everything that is. (13) Aquinas shows that there are two related senses of creation, one philosophical, the other theological. The philosophical sense discloses the metaphysical dependence of everything on God as cause. The theological sense of creation, although much richer, nevertheless incorporates all that philosophy teaches and adds as well that the universe is temporally finite.
The theological arguments based on Behe's work are similar to arguments for creation based on Big Bang cosmology. Traditionally, the Big Bang has been seen as a singularity at which the laws of physics break down. Physics cannot explain the primal Big Bang; thus we seem to have strong evidence, if not actual proof, for a Creator.(33) Philosophers such as William Lane Craig have argued that contemporary Big Bang cosmology confirms the doctrine of creation out-of-nothing since it shows that the universe is temporally finite.(34) It does not seem, however, that the singularity affirmed in modern cosmology encompasses the absolute beginning of the universe. As we have seen, Aquinas does not think that the sciences themselves can conclude whether or not the universe is temporally finite. Obviously, as Aquinas was aware, if we were to know that there is an absolute beginning to the universe we would know that the universe is created out of nothing and that God exists.(35) Of course, what some cosmologists have termed an inexplicable singularity, recent theorists have sought to make explicable. Alexander Vilenkin has developed an explanation of the Big Bang itself in terms of "quantum tunneling from nothing." Stephen Hawking argues that an understanding of quantum gravity will enable us to do away with the notion of a singularity altogether, and he concludes that without an initial singularity there is nothing for a Creator to do. Hawking identifies creation with a temporal beginning of the universe. Thus, he thinks that by denying such a beginning he denies creation. But Big Bang cosmology, even with recent variations, neither supports nor detracts from the doctrine of creation, since cosmology studies change and creation is not a change. The Big Bang is not a primal event before which there is absolutely nothing.(36)
posted on 12/07/2005 6:34:48 AM PST
("Life is hilariously cruel" - Bender)
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