The best-seller God, science, evidence it seeks to “reveal modern evidence of the existence of God.” Meeting with the authors and decoding of his controversial theses with the physicist and theologian Thierry Magnin.
No doubt God sells, even in largely de-Christianized lands. Five months after its publication, Dieu, la science, lesproofs (1) surpassed the 140,000 copies sold. A bookstore success due not only to a catchy title (sounds?) And the appeal of the subject – the inexhaustible question of the existence of God – but also to the intense promotion of which this book has benefited with the his controversial theses. conservative press. The magazine Le Figaro has dedicated its cover and an eight-page dossier, the title of which makes us think about the subject: “When science believes in God, the book that upsets our certainties.”
No doubt God sells, even in largely de-Christianized lands. Five months after its publication, Dieu, la science, lesproofs (1) surpassed the 140,000 copies sold. A bookstore success due not only to a catchy title (sounds?) And the appeal of the subject – the inexhaustible question of the existence of God – but also to the intense promotion of which this book has benefited with the his controversial theses. conservative press. The magazine Le Figaro has dedicated its cover and an eight-page dossier, the title of which makes us think about the subject: “When science believes in God, the book that upsets our certainties.” The media controlled, or in the process of being controlled, by billionaire Vincent Bolloré (CNews, Europe 1, Paris Match) is no less, with river interviews of Michel-Yves Bolloré or Olivier Bonnassies, the co-authors of the best-seller . The first, a 76-year-old businessman, is the older brother of the paper-eating industrialist. A traditionalist Catholic, he is a member of Opus Dei, an institution of the Roman Church known for its taste for secrecy and its influence on economic circles. The businessman Olivier Bonnassies, founded the Catholic information portal Aleteia and is a promoter of the Marian cult. He lectures on the shroud of Turin, which he says “can only come from the resurrection of Christ” (studies, however, have revealed that the mythical sheet that would have wrapped the body of Jesus actually dates from the Middle Ages). Mons. André Léonard, former Archbishop of Mechelen-Brussels, considers the work “remarkable in all respects”. The Belgian newspaper dedicates a long article of praise to him, published in the February issue of La Nef, a traditional Catholic monthly close to the conservative right. The interest in the theses of the book is manifested far beyond the realm of “traditional catho”. The authors, known during their recent visit to Belgium, confirm: “More than 1,100 evangelicals attended one of our conferences in Créteil, near Paris, says Michel-Yves Bolloré. The YouTube video of our “Interview with Beur FM Studios has almost 800,000 views! An Israeli magazine dedicates its cover to our book. And I’m invited to talk about it in front of the Grand National Lodge of France.” The authors aim to show that the knowledge of God can be based on reason. Their work is “the result of several years of collective work,” they point out: each chapter integrates the advice and corrections of specialists, including scientists. Their names appear at the end of the volume. Most are militant Catholics or proponents of the theory of intelligent design (“intelligent design”). According to these neo-creationists, the complexity of the world strongly suggests the hypothesis of a “primary cause”, of a “creator” who would have presided over the birth of the universe and the appearance of life on Earth. The book also flirts with “concordism,” a current of thought that mixes theology and cosmology, which seeks to reconcile sacred texts and the achievements of science. Michel-Yves Bolloré and Olivier Bonnassies set the bar very high: they claim to “reveal the modern proofs of the existence of God.” The evidence “? We look for them in vain throughout the 577 pages of the book. For the physicist and theologian Thierry Magnin, president-vice-chancellor of the Catholic University of Lille Brouwer, 2015), the authors deliberately play with the ambiguity of the word “They.” To make believe that the book contains scientific evidence, while their approach is not hard science, but logical and metaphysical, like Thomas Aquinas a philosopher who sought to grant faith and reason. ” Michel-Yves Bolloré agrees: “We cannot present absolute proofs, because these certainties are specific to the record of mathematical proof. The Pythagorean theorem was true more than 2,500 years ago and will be maintained for 500 years. In our book, the word “evidence” is used in a different sense, that of converging elements, which support belief in a creator God. ” What items? “New scientific knowledge in cosmology and thermodynamics has blown away the certainties anchored in the collective mind since the early twentieth century, to the point of making the materialist conception of the world unsustainable,” says Olivier Bonnassies. The polytechnician repeats Louis Pasteur’s phrase on his own: “A little science takes God away, a lot of science returns it.” “For almost four centuries, from Copernicus to Freud to Galileo and Darwin, scientific discoveries have given the impression that it was possible to explain the universe without resorting to a creative god,” the authors continue. , the expansion of the universe and its thermal death have turned the pendulum of science in another direction. The universe is not stationary. It develops in a precise and organized way from an absolute beginning of the space, time and matter, an initial singularity that reinforces the idea of a creative gesture “. And to refer to Georges Lemaître, the priest and great scientist who proposed, in the early 1930s, the scenario of the “primitive atom”, a model later confirmed by other researchers. But they do not mention that the Belgian scholar opposed those who identified this zero point with God’s “fiat lux” (“let there be light”) at the beginning of Genesis. Another “element” used by the authors to support their demonstration: today we know that the appearance of life was only possible thanks to extremely precise adjustments of the fundamental parameters of the universe. “Attributing this appearance to chance is unbearable, they believe. Such a fine-tuning of cosmological constants invites us to see in creation the work of intelligent thought.” God would thus be a brilliant mathematician. Nothing very new in this conception of the supreme being: Voltaire regarded the universe as a clock whose complexity would induce its creation by a watchmaker (Les Cabales, 1772). Deciphering the physicist and theologian Thierry Magnin: “The universe has a beginning, but that does not mean that God gave the first blow. Science cannot prove the existence or non-existence of God. It is undeniable that scientific advances have introduced complexity and uncertainty, but we are being questioned about the “basis of things.” But they do not prove the existence of a God who would have adjusted the mechanics of the universe and the living. certainly so impersonal. “great watchmaker” who handles the screwdriver, that higher intelligence that would propel the transatlantic of the universe and humanity.He is a God of love who left us an unfinished world, leaving the creatures the go on freely, in full autonomy, for better or for worse. ”In the second part of God, science, evidence, the most controversial, the authors turn away from new scientific knowledge and rely on the Bible to“ prove ” the existence of God.According to them, the Hebrews, a small people deprived of wealth, scholars and librarians could only access the great truths about the cosmos and man because they had access to “humanly unattainable truths.” Only “revelation” would indicate that they could have known that the Sun and the Moon, worshiped by the Babylonians and the Egyptians, were only luminaries. That forests, springs, and other forces of nature were not divine. That the universe had a beginning, will have an end, and is therefore not cyclical. That all men come from the same race. According to the authors, everything is true in the Bible. The book “Inspired by God” contains no errors. Experts point out that the story had to take into account the lack of culture of the Hebrew people, their limited vocabulary, “a serious handicap to express and transmit a revelation with a universal vocation.” If, according to Genesis, the world was created in six days, when it actually took more than thirteen billion years for the universe to form and lead to the appearance of man, it is because the concept of “millions” did not exist at the time the text was written. Likewise, the episodes of the exodus of Moses and the Hebrews “are not legends, but supernatural truths hidden in colorful tales based on historical facts.” Thus, the crossing of the Red Sea should not be seen as a mythical story, but as a “great spiritual truth.” For Michel-Yves Bolloré and Olivier Bonnassies, the fate of the Jewish people is in itself supernatural, “inexplicable by rational facts.” They describe them as “probably the only surviving people of antiquity”, “a people who survived extreme hardships” and “the only people who regained their land eighteen centuries after losing it”. This destiny “beyond the improbable” is proof, according to them, that the history of the Jewish people and that of the world cannot be considered “free from all divine prodigy.” They insinuate that the Jewish state enjoys divine protection: “During the recent wars, it has aroused surprise with unexpected and spectacular military victories.” Despite its “blatant inferiority,” Israel won the 1967 Spring War in six days, “a surprising biblical coincidence.” Likewise, for our two believers, the inexplicable events of Fatima are necessarily a “miracle,” therefore a new proof of God’s existence. They devote nearly forty pages to the “prodigious and inexplicable phenomenon” of October 1917 in Portugal. As a reminder, at noon, tens of thousands of people watched the sun set, a phenomenon that would have been announced three months earlier to three illiterate children by a “beautiful lady” who would be the Virgin. The Catholic Church has never officially ruled on the “miraculous” or not of the celestial phenomenon. This does not preclude the two authors from considering “rationally impossible” any explanatory hypothesis other than a miracle. Father Thierry Magnin’s comment: “They were of God systematically the ‘plug’ of our ignorance, the only possible explanation for phenomena that retain a part of mystery. The miracles of Christ are signs of openness to faith, not” proof “of the existence of God. The authors confuse science, metaphysics and faith, while these fields must be distinguished to articulate them. The success of their work says a lot about the anguish of a part of society. , the need for people to cling to the “test”, to the certainties “.