UFO Conjecture(s)

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Science subliminally believes in God?

When some scientists – more than one might expect – suggest we’re living in The Matrix or our existence may be a computer simulation, they are acknowledging that something beyond us – something greater than us – is responsible for our existence, for reality.

What is suggested, therefore, is that the Universe and us, in it, are the algorithmic creation of the gods or God. (There is no other way around it.)

And for those who are familiar with The Kabbalah will note that the Kabbalistic conception of the nature of God is mimicked by science’s conception of The Big Bang.

From The Zohar (about the Sefiroth) in The Kabbalah: The Religious Philosophy of the Hebrews by Adolphe Franck [Bell Publishing Co, NY, MCMXL]:

“Before having created any form in the world, before having produced any image, He was alone, without form, without resemblance to anything. Who could conceive Him as He was then, before the Creation, since he was formless?” [Page 86]

“He began by forming an imperceptible point; that was His own thought … He then began to construct a mysterious and holy form; finally He covered it with a rich radiant garment – that is to say the universe …” [Page 89]

So, let’s not pretend that science and its practitioners are atheistic because, in their heart of hearts, they believe in God.



  • The "ultimate" God of the Jews is an "unknowable", "non-physical", "unmanifested", and ultimately unhuman. That being said, the unspoken understanding of Jewish Mysticism is that God and Its universe are one-- there is no separation between God and Its creation. So how can there be this unmanifested God and a physical universe that are one?

    The idea on Page 89 you quote, is one which was developed further by Rabbi Isaac Luria in the 16th century as an expansion / explanation / commentary to the ideas presented in The Zohar. R. Luria said that for there to be a physical creation, God had to "withdraw from a point within Itself" and then at the center of this "space" allow a drop of Its essence to expand into that space, step by step [the steps would be represented by the Sephiroth] until eventually the physical universe was manifested.

    I won't get any further into the mysticism of the Creation as it really isn't germane to your post. But yes one might take that process of expansion of that essence as much like the description of the big bang [Last I heard there was still some argument as why the "bang" worked at all]

    Now that you mention it, I've often wondered if Einstein's "space-time" wasn't an unconscious nod to the concept of "Olam". Olam is a Hebrew word for a concept that melds the idea of the physical universe with the idea of eternity. Most Jewish prayers begin with "Blessed are you, Adonai, King of the Olam". Adonai is used in place of the four letter name of God, and "Olam" is usually translated as "Universe" or "Eternity" or "World". One might not be far wrong from thinking Olam is a way of saying "Space-Time"

    As a child, Einstein had the basic grounding in Jewish religious ideas but by the time he was 12 he had discovered science and decided religion was childish. He was never Bar Mitzvah. Yet Einstein himself said he was a believer in the God of Baruch Spinoza: “I believe in Spinoza’s God who reveals himself in the harmony of all being, not in a God who concerns himself with the fate and actions of men". That fits pretty well with the Mystical God of the Zohar.

    By Blogger Joel Crook, at Wednesday, May 11, 2016  

  • Ah, but God, Joel is beyond comprehension as you note, so conjecture about Him or It is purely speculative, whether it comes from the Kabbahlists, philosophers, theologians, and everyone else who has had a say.

    My posting here is only to show that there is a smidgen of God in science's "theorems" about existence.

    Let's not take this too far into realms this blog is not attuned to.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, May 11, 2016  

  • Ha-ha-ha... yes we are more accustomed to the nether regions... ;-)

    By Blogger Joel Crook, at Wednesday, May 11, 2016  

  • "So, let’s not pretend that science and its practitioners are atheistic because, in their heart of hearts, they believe in God."

    While obtaining my undergrad in biology and chemistry, one could say that I was training for a "priesthood." The white lab coat was our vestments. The classroom lectern was our alter. We had our saints: Newton, Boyle, Charles, Einstein, etc.

    The list goes on, but you get my point.

    By Blogger Tim Hebert, at Wednesday, May 11, 2016  

  • There are a great number of scientists who practice belief in God - Christians, Jews, Muslims, etc.

    I think too many people focus on the friction between science and religion, which in most cases only occurs around certain events (like creation) and usually with very orthodox sects of religion who oppose science.

    Ancient Hebrew texts show a lot of influence from other religions in regards to their acceptance of mysticism.

    However the core of the faith has always believed in a triune God, with particular emphasis on a "two powers in heaven" concept of Father-Son (but not ignoring the Spirit).

    In any case quite a few scientists have no problem accepting belief in God as creator.

    By Blogger Brian Bell, at Wednesday, May 11, 2016  

  • I recall this story some years ago.


    At the time I thought that the student was working on his PhD at Western Kentucky U, but a may have been wrong. None the less, the above is probably the original story.

    By Blogger Tim Hebert, at Wednesday, May 11, 2016  

  • > There is no other way around it.

    That is not a necessary conclusion.

    Do you absolutely rule out that these hypothetical simulators could emerge naturally in the universe, a consequence of billions of years of increasing complexity?

    By Blogger Terry the Censor, at Wednesday, May 11, 2016  

  • > in their heart of hearts, they believe in God.

    Always an insulting argument.

    By Blogger Terry the Censor, at Wednesday, May 11, 2016  

  • It is easy to believe in Spinoza's God/Nature when you see our small place in perspective with today's humbling Astronomy Picture of the Day of Mercury's transit of the Sun:



    By Blogger Bryan Daum, at Wednesday, May 11, 2016  

  • Take it easy Terry...

    I don't ascribe to the Matrix argument necessarily nor believe that such a "thing" would emerge naturally.

    As for the insult, who is insulted? Are you insulted?

    It's a throwaway line, used by a priest friend of mine, for whom I added it, as the common bromide it is, to delight him.

    I'd like to see some heft to your comments, as few as there have been lately.

    If you're just passing through on your way to other blogs, do so quietly, please, or provide something of substance won't you?

    You can do it, I know you can....


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, May 11, 2016  

  • Bryan...

    Again, I beg you: cut the white space that intrudes on your comment and presents a maw here.

    (Press your delete button right after you add your initials or name. That'll do it. Others pay attention also.)


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, May 11, 2016  

  • Glad you explained that. Last time you mentioned it I had no idea what you meant. I suppose I should have asked then...


    By Blogger Bryan Daum, at Wednesday, May 11, 2016  

  • It happens to me all the time....

    The problem is Blogger, not us.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, May 11, 2016  

  • Believers in anything seem unusually intolerant of honestly held disbelief. They seem unable to contemplate it as a rational or morally acceptable position. So they deny the possibility of disbelief altogether.

    The comebacks to disbelief I hear most often are:

    1) disbelievers secretly believe but are a) not conscious of or b) afraid to acknowledge their belief
    2) disbelievers are motivated by animosity or ideology, not facts
    3) disbelievers have an intellectual or character defect that prevents them from believing
    4) disbelievers are deceived or manipulated by an evil agent (devil, government)
    5) disbelievers have yet to receive the personal revelation of experience

    Theories without facts cannot be bolstered by such statements.

    By Blogger Terry the Censor, at Wednesday, May 11, 2016  

  • Let us suppose that we are indeed living in a simulated reality. What of the universe itself?

    Steady State or Big Bang.

    Steady State would provide more of a closed system conducive to running a simulation...at least it appears so to me.

    What say you Rich?

    By Blogger Tim Hebert, at Wednesday, May 11, 2016  

  • Tim:

    The idea of the Universe [via The Big Bang] coming into existence ex nihilo doesn't compute for me, not at all.

    (I dropped out of an AstroPhysics curriculum in college because of the emphasis on Big Bang.)

    I've always been attracted to Hoyle's steady state theory but even that is hard to swallow, reasonably.

    The damn Universe is a mystery that, as Monty Pythons would say, "hurts my brain."


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, May 11, 2016  

  • Rich, after giving it some more thought, perhaps the idea of a functional Universe is irrelevant in a simulation...merely static background. Of course that depends on the ultimate goal of the simulation that is currently on-going. This would also mean that the concept of real or perceived ET civilizations would be irrelevant...a figment of our imagination.

    By Blogger Tim Hebert, at Wednesday, May 11, 2016  

  • With the current excitement about virtual and/or augmented reality, one can imagine a simulation allowing for a "functional universe" existing in the context of the simulation, one that includes ET civilizations.

    But there is an alternative I've always been attracted to: Teilhard's concept of the Mystical Body of Christ, of which we (the Earth and humanity, or just human beings, I've never been sure which) may be likened to atoms or molecules, or as some have said a virus. Thus, when we sin, it causes discomfort in that Mystical Body.

    The Universe is a living entity, thusly, that Teilhard sees as the transcendental body of Jesus/Christ, which corresponds to some of the Kabbalah musings about the ineffable God.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, May 11, 2016  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger hessdalen lights, at Wednesday, May 11, 2016  

  • > Steady State or Big Bang

    What if they're both right?

    It seems to me that a kind of steady state theory might explain how something emerged from nothing initially. Perhaps in the very beginning, there was no matter, just forces -- or merely fundamental time-space properties. Think of these properties as simple, potential relationships between adjacent points in space (or the initial equivalent). The vastness of this initial nothingness suggests there might be some irregularity -- or perhaps interaction -- among these potentialities. Once you have differentiation in these potentialities, off you go -- nothing becomes an identifiable bunch of somethings, potentiality becomes actuality, and if so, it all becomes more and more complex and weird.

    Perhaps that initial universe of hypothetical somethings from nothings contracted into a single point, obliterating all its relationships and properties, and a new universe succeeded the old in a big bang. Maybe this all happened once so far; maybe it's happened trillions of times.

    There's no way to get back to that initial universe, of course, so such a hybrid theory cannot be verified or disproved. And maybe we should be okay with that, psychologically speaking.

    By Blogger Terry the Censor, at Wednesday, May 11, 2016  

  • Rich,

    Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, a reality is a reality, and a simulation is just a simulation. Does it matter which is true?

    Belief systems are too easy to trip over or warp our perceptions. Some religious examples which fly in the face of some comments above:

    The God of the Christians and the God of the Jews are "factually" *not* the same god [The Jews have One God. The Christians have a Trinity and [maybe] a [lesser] God of Evil].
    The Christian Bible [and its meaning] is not the Jewish Bible [and its meaning].
    A Christian sin is not a Jewish sin [The Christian "judgment day" is always "some time in the future". The Jewish Judgement day happens every year on Yom Kippur].
    The "Law of the Christian" is not the "Law of the Jews" [Jews have 613 "laws". Christians have 10 plus optional add-ons]. You get the drift... and this is just "religion".

    Take that same kind of "willful re-interpretation" and apply it to anything like the Simulation Argument or Philosophy or even the many interpretations of physics. You get some people that redefine it, refuse to even talk about it, say it's fixed in stone or make it the butt of jokes.

    Despite the insistence of some that "Science is homogeneous" a quick look at the controversies and arguments within science shows that is not the case. Why there are even tenured or emeritous professors studying the unthinkable or founding organizations that are willing to scientifically investigate things which are not concrete, like Peter A. Sturrock.

    So what difference does it make if a "theology that is not a theology" creeps into the study of Nature? No one is going to believe it anyway.

    By Blogger Joel Crook, at Wednesday, May 11, 2016  

  • Reality, our perception of it, and consciousness (thought) itself are up for rumination, but my point here was to indicate that science's theorems are as steeped in a "religious-like" patina as is the Kabbalah or theology of the 12th Century scholastics, that's all.

    We peons are not going to provide anything new or an epiphany of any kind in comments here.

    The posting was an aside, an observation, not worth the time it took to type it, so let's not get carried away with commentary.

    Science is not removed from theology, that's about it.

    So, let's not give it more credence than we do theology, or belief (faith) in things (like reality).

    Quantum tells us reality is a bizarre thing. Let's leave it at that.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, May 11, 2016  

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