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Date of publication: 2017-08-26 06:52

John adds All human knowing involves perception from a particular point of view, which will offer opportunities for insight but be bounded by its inherent limitations. I certainly do not think that this implies that we are unable to get beyond misleading tricks of perspactive, but it does mean that we have to be careful. Nicholas quoted Michael Polyani (a very helful writer on this subject) who emphasises that science is precarious (it does not trade in unquestionable proof) but also reliable (it affords us verismilitudinous knowldge). One place where you could find my take on tis is Chapter 7 of Beyond Science (CUP). I would extend this critical realism to theology also (see Belief in God in an Age of Science (Yale UP) Chs 7 and 5).

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9) Yes. Simon Conway-Morris FRS (paleontologist), Rev Bernard Silverman FRS (statistician), Dennis Alexander (biologist) spring immediately to mind and there are many others. I recall correspondening with the authors of that 'pre-eminent scientists' study and I don't think it's very good data. Part of this will be that the older generation of pre-eminent scientists swallowed the 'science-vs-religion' nonsense that people like you rightly reject.

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John Adds: the preliminary replies are very helpful, and suggests you might want to look at Ch 65 of Science and Christian Belief or Ch 7 of Science and Theology

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Preliminary Response : We don't find the arguments for multiverses particularly persuasive, but clearly if God (Ultimate Creator) exists in any possible world then God exists in all possible worlds, so if Tegmark's ideas were correct they would imply that God exists. Thus those who propose enough universes to avoid a "neo-Design" argument must be careful not to have enough to be caught by this "neo-Ontological" argument.

7) Certainly Christianity makes sense of aspects of life that otherwise appear meaningless - but the same is true of any other good explanation. And whatever we think of our theories and ideas, there is the fact of Jesus, whose love and towering personality and teaching by word and deed resonates throughout the ages.

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God outside Time I am a lifelong Catholic, and have recently encountered an agnostic whose questions are particularly difficult for me to answer. Having challenged me to find a Christian physicist, he also wants me to account for how humans can have free will and have a God that is omniscient at the same time. His argument is that if God knows what we will do before we do it, then our free will is gone because God cannot be wrong. I've tried using time arguments, but his argument is that if God exists outside of time, He does not exist. I would love to have some kind of solid scientific and religious information to present to him, so if you could help me out, I would really appreciate it!

Preliminary Reply 6) God's incarnation can only have happened once in human history. Indeed the 'window of opportunity' between the re-building of the Temple and its destruction was rather small. By definition the majority of humans can not be contemporaries of Jesus's earthly life, so Christianity has to be something that is accessible to all. And God's influence has to be indirect for freewill - after all Jesus never forced people to believe.

John adds: this is something I wrote for our Parish Magazine, based on a few words with which I prefaced my sermon on 7 John:
Great natural disasters, like that which we have seen in the Indian Ocean, trouble all of us and perplex religious believers as they wrestle with the question of God's role in these matters. It would be foolish to suppose that there is some simple formula that could, in a few sentences, remove all our difficulties, but there are two thoughts that may be of some help as we think and pray and give in response to what has happened:

Created in the Image of God? I have read with interest the website of John Polkinghorne and I am deeply appreciative of his thoughts on integrating science and religion. If it were possible, I would like to know some of his thoughts on what he thinks Genesis 6:76-77 means, especially in trying to understand what it means for humankind to be created in the image of God. I am a graduate student at XX University in XX Texas. I also pastor the XX Church in XX Texas. We are studying the account of Creation for one of our graduate seminars and I am writing a paper on Genesis 6:76-77. I'm just curious at what some of Dr. Polkinghorne's thoughts would be.

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