Thursday, December 30, 2010

Light, Truth and Gravity

Once I was asked how I could believe in God and science.  It's true that religion and science have a history of conflict.  I think one of the problems is that religions extrapolate dogmas too far, then new scientific discoveries invalidate unfounded beliefs, and the battle begins.  Usually science wins as the theories are proven out.  When religion rationalizes outdated beliefs, it is discredited and the temptation for the "scientifically minded" is to "throw out the baby with the bathwater".

I've managed to see and experience the value in both systems of understanding, and in many instances I am satisfied to see science and religion in agreement.  This happened tonight as I was reading an article on some of the latest thinking in Physics.  The theories start by trying to explain what happens to "information" in the Universe with results of a quantum mechanical explanation for gravity (and dark energy, which no other theory accounts for).   Here's a quote from the article:
Some physicists are convinced that the properties of information do not come from the behaviour of information carriers such as photons and electrons but the other way round. They think that information itself is the ghostly bedrock on which our universe is built.[1]
There seems to be an interesting relationship between "information", "light" and "laws by which all things are governed".

Here are some religious verses:

D&C 88:11-13
11 And the light which shineth, which giveth you light, is through him who enlighteneth your eyes, which is the same light that quickeneth your understandings;

12 Which light proceedeth forth from the presence of God to fill the immensity of space

13The light which is in all things, which giveth life to all things, which is the law by which all things are governed, even the power of God who sitteth upon his throne, who is in the bosom of eternity, who is in the midst of all things.

I would equate the bold items as such:
  • "light" with "photos and electrons"
  • "information" with "knowledge" or "enlightenment"  
  • "gravity" with "the law by which all things are governed"
So what does this mean to me?
  1. Scientific understanding is finite.  
  2. Religion provides a hope of infinite understanding.
  3. Religion overreaches
  4. Science corrects religion with new understanding.
  5. Go to step 1.

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