One fairy tale at a time, I guess.
While admitting that there is no purpose to the universe, and that everything that exists is only the product of chance and time, Lawrence M. Krauss still wants us to take hope.
Writing recently in the Los Angeles Times, Dr. Krauss expressed sympathy with the human penchant for order and meaning. We can’t get that from the cosmos, he explains, because science has shown us that all the “order” and “meaning” in the cosmos are merely random products of random events in a galaxy among billions of galaxies where, sooner or later, something like earth and life was bound to happen.
Dr. Krauss recommends that we make our own meaning in life. Our lives do not have to be “devoid of meaning,” as he puts it: “Imagining living in a universe without purpose may prepare us to better face reality head on. I cannot see that this is such a bad thing. Living in a strange and remarkable universe that is the way it is, independent of our desires and hopes, is far more satisfying for me than living in a fairy-tale universe invented to justify our existence.”
I’m a little troubled by this assertion, however. Dr. Krauss is confident that science has pointed the way for us to find meaning apart from religion. “We now know”, he insists, a good deal about the cosmos – although “know” would seem to be stretching it a bit. His confident assertions notwithstanding, we do not “know” how the universe began, or that there are 100 billion galaxies besides ours (but who’s counting?), or that our universe is just one of an unlimited number of universes, each of which may come and go.
We don’t “know” these things. Cosmologists and physicists propose such ideas as strictly naturalistic means of justifying their naturalistic explanation of the cosmos. These things Dr. Krauss claims “we now know” are models, ideas, proposed templates that cannot be proven by science but which scientists, rejecting the notion of God, create in order to justify an exclusively naturalistic vies of the cosmos.
Dr. Krauss even echoes the Biblical teaching when he indicates that he believes our universe originated out of nothing, but without the aid of a Creator. Nothing on its own generated mass – it “just happened to form” – and mass became the universe, and the universe gave rise to life. And then there was Dr. Krauss. See?
Dr. Krauss believes – and that is the operative word – that his view of the cosmos is correct because he is simply allowing “nature” to be his guide, “rather than a priori prejudices, hopes, fears or desires.”
But if we rule out God and revelation “a priori” – thus establishing an anti-supernatural prejudice in all our scientific endeavor – then it seems to me all our “hopes, fears or desires” are going to follow that materialistic suit.
So the universe comes into being out of nothing, by the strength of nothing exerting itself into something. Over time a life form comes into being which demands order and meaning, even though everything in the cosmos discourages such thinking, as if nature wants to guide us into meaninglessness and despair, reflecting the end of the cosmos itself. Yet, rather than be guided in this way, human beings insist on meaning and order, make up scenarios without evidence to explain their misguided hopes, and then write columns in major metropolitan newspapers warning against the fairy tale of God.
But don’t get me wrong. I agree with Dr. Krauss on this much. We should not allow anyone’s fairy tale about the cosmos to be determinative of what we embrace or believe. We’d all be much better off if we listened to the various perspectives on cosmic origins and purpose which are currently going the rounds, and then see which one makes the most sense.
Oh, but that would mean giving a fair hearing to the Christian view of cosmic origins in places like schools and newspapers and major scientific conferences and journals, and, well, we wouldn’t want to do that.
One fairy tale at a time, I guess.