Archive for the ‘laws of nature’ Category

Science draws upon…the idea that we live in a world which has been ordered in a rational way, by a lawgiver, that there is a lawlike order in nature which is imposed from above

October 5, 2009

Science draws upon…the idea that we live in a world which has been ordered in a rational way, by a lawgiver, that there is a lawlike order in nature which is imposed from above.

Most cultures do not share that view…nature is a battle-ground, capricious, a tension..Galileo, like many of the early scientists was deeply religious…The motivation for doing science was this belief that there really is a scheme of things that can be discerned through experimentation. If he had not believed that, he would never have embarked upon science…It was usual to say man was created in God’s image…the human mind reflected in some diminished way God’s power, so there was an intellectual basis to nature.

Source unknown

Once when I asked Professor Einstein how he had arrived at his theory of relativity, he replied that he had discovered it because he was so firmly convinced of the harmony of the universe

October 5, 2009

Hans Reichenbach, now professor of philosophy at the University of California, repeated a particularly revealing conversation he had with Einstein: “Once when I asked Professor Einstein how he had arrived at his theory of relativity, he replied that he had discovered it because he was so firmly convinced of the harmony of the universe.  This faith was and still is the very foundation of his scientific effort…”Einstein’s work contains,” added Reichenbach, however, “more implicit philosophy than do many philosophic systems.

Gradually Einstein came to realize this himself. Now he is certain of it. He has often repeated to Infeld: “I am more of a philosopher than a physicist.”

THE DRAMA OF ALBERT EINSTEIN, Antonina Vallentin

Miracles are restoration of nature’s laws, not violation

September 10, 2009

There is a disturbing element in the world…a principle at work absolutely contrary to the principle of Law – what the bible calls sin…If miracle seems abitrary and violent, may it not be because some forcible method is necessary to redress the balance already upset by the introduction of evil into a world originally ‘very good’?…When the physician…restores the body to health, although he forcibly interrupts a series of physical processes which apart from him must have worked themselves out, he is really ranged on the side of the natural and normal…May we not say then that in the sphere of biblical miracle the real intervention is not the intervention of grace, but that of the sin that required it?

J.R.Dummelow in R.Abba, Nature and Authority of the Bible, p.138

Miracles not violations but restorations of order

September 9, 2009

Those who advocate the Christian doctrine of miracles, then, are not champions of chaos in an ordered world. Rather they are zealous for law and order of a higher type,—that of the spiritual realm, which they hold has been thrown into chaos by man’s choice of evil. They point out that sin, disease, sorrow and death are unnatural and abnormal in an ideal world, and that the great majority of the Scripture miracles had as one of their purposes the restoration of order in those regards. In the highest sense they were not violations but restorations of order.

Loraine Boetnner, Studies in Theology, 1947, p.63

Naturalism in Liberal Theology

September 7, 2009

This closedness (of the universe) means that the continuum of historical happenings cannot be rent by the interference of supernatural, transcendent powers and that therefore there is no ‘miracle’ in this sense of the word.

[Rudolf Bultmann, Kerygma and Myth: A Theological Debate, ed.Hans WernerBartsch, trans. Reginald H. Fuller, (London: Billing and Sons, 1954), p. 292.]

1. This viewpoint is passé, or should be.

2. It’s another reminder not to be wedded to the spirit of the age because his thinking, though ‘cutting edge’ and trendy then, is very much ‘widowed’ now.

… modern man acknowledges as reality only such phenomena or events as are comprehensible within the framework of the rational order of the universe. He does not acknowledge miracles because they do not fit this lawful order.

[Rudolf Bultmann, Jesus Christ and Mythology, (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1958), p. 37.]

Laws of Nature are observed regularities only

September 7, 2009

(a false assumption is that) the so-called ‘laws of nature’ state what must always necessarily occur. They are regarded as ontological entities which determine the course of nature on the supposition that ‘an observed regularity in events is somehow also an observed immutable necessity’ (H.H. Farmer). laws of nature, however, are mental concepts, not ontological entities. They are generalizations made on the basis of the observation of certain regularities in the events which have happened hitherto in the phenomenal world.

R.Abba, Nature and Authority of the Bible, p.156

Nature held in suspense by the higher law of mind

September 7, 2009

‘Physical laws are suspended any time an animate being moves any part of its body; the laws of matter are suspended by the laws of life’ (Mozley). Archbishop Trench: ‘When I lift my arm, the law of gravitation is not, as far as my arm is concerned, denied or annihilated ; it exists as much as ever, but is held in suspense by the higher law of my will’…this is what Lord Kelvin meant when he said that from the point of view of science every free human action is a miracle. Man, says Augustine, is a greater miracle than all that he can work…If it gives scope  for the exercise of human personality to such an extent that it may be deflected from its normal course by the mind and will of man, is it reasonable or unscientific to believe that it may be influenced to an even greater extent by the mind and will of God?

R.Abba, Nature and Authority of the Bible, p.157