THE "PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE"
Timothy Ferris (author of The Red Limit - The Search for the Edge of the Universe, Bantam, 1981) wrote, produced and narrated a PBS science special: "The Creation of the Universe." Ferris makes the following two points:
1. Some basic notions in the philosophy of science actually have their roots in the religious concept of one God.
2. Likewise, the search for, and the belief in the possibility of finding, a unified field theory "testifies to the triumph of the old idea that all creation might be ruled by a single elegantly beautiful principle."
Ferris states: "Religion and science are sometimes depicted as if they were opponents, but science owes a lot to religion. Modern science began with the rediscovery, in the Renaissance, of the old Greek idea that nature is rationally intelligible. But science from the beginning incorporated another idea, equally important, that the universe really is a uni-verse, a single system ruled by a single set of laws. And science got that idea from the... belief in one God...
"The founders of modern science -- Kepler and Copernicus, Isaac Newton and even Galileo, for all of his troubles with the church -- were, by and large, profoundly religious men.
"I'm not saying that you have to believe in God in order to do science. Atheists and agnostics have won Nobel Prizes, as have Christians and Jews, and Hindus, Muslims and Buddhists. But modern scientific research, especially unified theory, testifies to the triumph of the old idea that all creation might be ruled by a single and elegantly beautiful principle" (PBS science special: "The Creation of the Universe").
In the same PBS special, astronomer Allen Sandage is interviewed. Sandage was once a student of Hubble (who proved that the universe is expanding) and continued most of his career at the Mt. Palomar Observatory continuing Hubble's work. Commenting on the scientific fact of the "Big Bang," the beginning of the expansion, pointing towards a creation event, he says:
"If there was a creation event, it had to have had a cause. This was Aquinas' whole question -- one of the five ways [he tried to prove the existence of God. He said, in effect,] if you can find the first effect, you have at least come close to the first cause; and if you've found the first cause, that to him [Aquinas], was [equivalent to finding] God. What do astronomers say? As astronomers, you can't say anything except, 'Here is a miracle, what seems -- what seems almost supernatural -- an event which has come across the horizon into science, through the Big Bang.' Can you go the other way back, outside the barrier? Can you finally find the answer [to the question] 'Why is there something and not nothing?' No, you cannot, not from within science. But it still remains an incredible mystery: Why is there something instead of nothing?"