“The book” God, science, evidence “serves science and faith”

with his book God, science, evidence (Guy Trédaniel, 2021), Michel-Yves Bolloré and Olivier Bonnassies have thrown a stone at the pond. They aim to describe and deduce recent advances in the fields of physics and cosmology “proof of the existence of God (who is) modern, clear, rational, multidisciplinary, objectively confrontable (sic) in the real world “. After the “Undivided Kingdom of Materialism” on the intellectual world, the authors congratulate themselves on this “Science seems to become an ally of God”. Unfortunately, the book contains false truths, which can be understood by non-scientists. He proposes a scheme of thought on the question of God that is both simplistic and fallacious, which could be called “empty materialism.”

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Nature is sublime and everyone, especially the scientist, can be amazed at its meticulous order. According to Messrs. Bolloré and Bonnassies, contemporary science would have explored this order with such a level of detail that we would not be very far from putting our finger on the Creator, as on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. It is nothing more and nothing less than the teleological argument: nature, perfectly harmonious, can only be the work of a perfect being, God. The authors approach this argument without naming it and distort it to fulfill its purpose. Does the sensible experience of nature have to go through the pursuit of science? No, of course not: the lone walker who catches the flight of birds over a lake fully experiences the sublime nature without exercising any scientific approach. Whatever MM. Bolloré and Bonnassies, no one expected the Hubble Space Telescope to contemplate Creation and hear God’s gesture around it.

Mistakes in fact

The authors report that modern cosmology “It implies that the universe had a beginning,” to support a history of Creation and the existence of a Creator. This is incorrect: the big bang theory suggests that the universe occupies an increasingly dense and hot state as we go back in time, so that it reaches regimes of density and temperature in which our understanding of current physics no longer applies. Then science ceases to be predictive and any scientific statement about a beginning can only be an uncertain extrapolation. But what does it matter, MM. Bolloré and Bonnassies sell the skin of the bear: we would have found the original point.

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But do we really prove the existence of God in this way? Between the lines, we understand that the authors invoke the cosmological argument: any movement that has a cause, there must be a primary movement, which is God. Again, the point is given by reducing the historical argument to an empty expression: science found the first movement, God is the first movement, therefore science found God. But this test cannot satisfy believers! Is this great watchmaker who threw the big bang and calculated the fundamental constants of physics, the God of mercy who came down to earth and suffered the passion for the forgiveness of sins? Of course, no one believes it.

spiritual dead ends

Certainly, think of the harmony of the universe or of God as primary mobile they can comfort believers in their faith, but the cosmological and teleological arguments are dead ends, they do not help to advance the path of faith in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

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This spiritual impasse in fact hides another, logical this time: the existence of God can not be the object of science. As Karl Popper teaches us, only statements that are falsifiable are scientific, that is, the contribution of new experiences can invalidate. This is how science advances: by the progressive falsification and improvement of its content. This excludes from science, in principle, a number of claims, including the existence of God. Relying on science to prove the existence of God is therefore a double dead end, which is well known.

God is a revelation

First, God is a revelation. Then, for those who want to contemplate the truth, “Faith and reason are like two wings,” wrote John Paul II a Trusts and ratios, an essential monument on the current issue, and a gap in the references of the work. Also, these wings are not foreign to each other. Faith is nourished by knowledge, in particular by the knowledge of God through the study of the life of Christ and his teachings, through exegesis and theology, which are sciences. Naturally, the faithful are invited to acquire this knowledge to strengthen their faith, as the encyclical suggests. Lumen fidei.

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Seeking to relegate materialism to the state of “irrational belief,” MM. Bolloré and Bonnassies contradict each other. To propose the manifestation of God to nature as proof of its existence is materialism. Limiting the understanding of this manifestation to science is even worse: it is empty materialism. His work proposes a scientific-mystical discourse that serves both science, suddenly deprived of its principles and object, and faith, suddenly removed from the dominion of the human heart.

However, the heart of man is the place of manifestation of God in its first dimension, that is, spiritual. The power of love, the joy of forgiveness, the persistence of faith and hope, the happiness of charity: if there is to be proselytism, it is certainly these inner movements that we must seek to describe. and raise. Because if God also manifests himself in the contemplation of Creation, this, though sublime, is not his only work.

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