I just read that some sciency person wants to be a theologian. So I thought I’d go read what that sciency person had to say about theology. Here’s a sample of what sciency person and astrophysics professor Charles Liu said.
Is there a God?
“What I tell people is that science in general and astronomy in particular do not address the question of whether or not there is a God. In science, conclusions are made based on evidence and confirmation of predictions, and that’s what differentiates scientific knowledge from unscientific knowledge.
“Recently Pope Benedict said something like this: ‘The Big Bang theory is proof that God exists.’ Actually it’s not. It’s only proof that something happened at the beginning of the universe, where there wasn’t space or time and then there became space and time. For many people, astronomers’ discoveries confirm what they thought was true all along: that God is there. And then for many others, the discoveries of astronomers confirm what they thought all along, and that is that God is unnecessary — that God doesn’t exist.”
First, Liu remarks were in the context of a frequently asked question. When asked a question it is generally considered polite to give some kind of an answer. Second, Liu main point is, and I quote him again, “(S)cience in general and astronomy in particular do not address the question of whether or not there is a God.” If that’s theology, theology sure has become a lot crisper, and non-committal, than I remember it. Sure, Liu does say that there is no evidence for a god or gods. But there are many theologians that would agree with that. For many theologians, faith solves that little problem. Third, Liu does contradict Benedict. He does it by limiting the scope of appropriate scientific conclusions. This is a case of the Pope is trying to inappropriately adopt a sciency claim not the other way around.
And what is Liu’s personal opinion on the existence of God or gods? He provides a personal rather than sciency answer.
“One last twist to this answer: People ask, ‘Well, what do you think?’ And what I say is, ‘I don’t know.’ I think that the universe is beautiful, complex and fascinating. And I have not seen any evidence to show that an omniscient or divine being has to exist in order for the universe to be the way it is. But there’s nothing to say that it can’t exist, either.”
That sure doesn’t sound like a sciency type trying to be a theologian to me. It sound’s like a guy who just doesn’t know and doesn’t care all that much. The universe is “beautiful, complex and fascinating,” with or without a god. But I suppose that is the ultimate theological statement. And that may be what upsets a theology person (I don’t know how to formulate the diminutive of theology).