Scientific and Religious Bias
Is God Eternal? Part 2
Audio In Production
Each of us has a view of the world through the lens of our own personal bias. Scientists are perhaps more predisposed because they inherently focus on what they see in the material world as they study it. Those who aren’t scientists are the ones that scoff not because of scientific evidence, but because of the atheistic worldview bias in which many scientists clothe their conclusions. Any scientist today gets separated into those that believe in a creator God and those that do not.
It seems worthy to mention the religious bent of all these scientists. These men seem like giants in history. What impresses me is how death equalizes all men, especially these scientists. Whatever our opinion on God it will pass with us into the next life.
Albert Eintein was raised in a secular Jewish home. He stated he believed in the non-personal god of Baruch Spinoza (Benedictus de Spinoza) who separated himself from mankind. Rejecting the atheist label, he categorized himself as agnostic or a religious non-believer. but his was agnostic. He died in 1955 at age 76 of a ruptured aortic aneurysm. Georges Lemaître attached no religious association of his theory of an expanding universe with the Catholic teaching of the origin of the Universe. Einstein, a secular Jew, discounted Lemaître and his expanding universe theory altogether after their first meeting. Lemaître died in 1966 of unknown reasons just after hearing of the confirmatory discovery of cosmic background radiation.
Fred Hoyle, who was an affirmed atheist, discounted the confirmed scientific evidence supporting the expansion of the universe, and in 1950 on live BBC radio mockingly coined the phrase “the big bang.” Curiously he felt that intelligent design was clearly evident in the universe, and he discounted Darwin’s theory of evolution out of hand. In November 1997 while hiking across the moorlands near his childhood home, he fell in a deep ravine. Searchers rescued him some twelve hours later, but after two months hospitalization for pneumonia, a broken shoulder, and kidney issues from the hypothermia he developed significant mental decline. He passed away in August of 2001 after a number of strokes at age 86.
His nemesis Martin Ryle seemed to have no particular religious propensity or atheistic postures that I could find in any of the sources available to me. Despite his strong support for an expanding universe, it didn’t seem to have much effect on him. There is no evidence that I could find that he held to any belief in God. Ryle was reared in an Irish family with no form of religion, and his parents were agnostic. In 1985, he died of lung cancer at age 66.
Ralph Alpher described himself as an agnostic humanist though he was raised in a Jewish home. He was a strong proponent of the expanding universe theory, though again it seemed to have little effect. He died in 2007 at age 86.
Edwin Hubble was raised a Protestant Christian though he abandoned that for agnosticism as his recorded quote suggests. Having previously suffered a heart attack in 1949, he died in 1953 of cerebral thrombosis at age 63. In her autobiography, Cecilia Payne tested the efficacy of prayer by separating her exams into a group that she prayed for and a group she did not. She received the higher marks in the ones for which she did not pray, and reportedly later became an agnostic. She died in 1979 at age 79.
Though he was not Catholic, George Gamow in early life took communion then rushed home to look at the “body of Christ” which he had hidden in his cheek under a microscope. His disappointment steered him away forever from organized religion despite his strong support of the whole Big Bang theory. He died in 1968 at age 64 of liver failure.
Robert Woodrow Wilson was born in 1936 and still lives in Houston, Texas. Arno Penzias was born in 1933.
One of the most telling discussions was this undated response from Robert Wilson. Fred Heeren, president of the Day Star Network, interviewed Wilson and Penzias. Penzias was then the Vice-President of Research for AT&T Bell Laboratories, and Wilson was the astronomer for the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory.
HEEREN: In general, some people feel that evidence for a beginning for the
universe also provides evidence for some kind of something outside of nature
to have created nature. It seems that if you compare the steady state with the
big bang, there’s one theory that has the universe that’s here eternally, and
so maybe there’s no need for anything else? Then you have the other theory that
says that everything started at one point, which would then require that something
came out of nothing. And that makes me wonder if this then would be indicative
of a Creator.
WILSON: Certainly there was something that set it all off. Certainly, if you
are religious, I can’t think of a better theory of the origin of the universe
to match with Genesis. It may be the creation stories are a bit anthropomorphic:
you know, people are created and live and die, and so the creation stories probably
follow the same general pattern.
HEEREN: But that is a very big difference between Genesis and the other creation
stories. I’m probably a better student of history than I am of science. If you
go back into comparative religions, in primitive religions, you find that the
Hebrews alone had a concept of a creation event, whereas all the other religions
seemed to have this amorphous blob that always was, this watery mass that everything
then came out of, including the gods, after that. So there’s a very big difference
WILSON: There is a big difference there, isn’t there? Well, it [the big bang]
certainly fits with that.
Penzias is a conservative Jew who believes in, but wrestles with, the existence of some kind of god. Here are reportedly some of his quotes.
“If I had no other data than the early chapters of Genesis, some of the Psalms, and other passages of Scripture, I would have arrived at essentially the same picture of the origin of the universe, as is indicated by the scientific data.” (Breakpoint)
“The best data we have are exactly what I would have predicted had I nothing to go on but the first five books of Moses, the Psalms and the Bible as a whole.” (c.1978, commentary on big bang theory)
“Religion is that which we know beyond what we can prove.” (1994 interview)
“The thing I wrestle with at all times is the reality of god.” (1994 interview)