Getting on for 14 billion years ago the universe suddenly sprang into life. I can’t actually do the math, as they say, but I’m happy to accept the word of those who can that the physics is unambiguously nailed down. But for all their undoubted brilliance, mathematicians and physicists don’t know what was going on before the big bang.
There are consequently two possibilities it seems to me: mysterious matter has always existed and spontaneously blows up on occasion; or there is some sort of animating force in the universe – let’s call it “God” for the sake of argument – that got the metaphorical ball rolling. I can’t work out which of these two possibilities seems the more unlikely, which is why I’m an agnostic.
I mention this because religious beliefs and “faith” remain surprisingly important despite the remarkable advances of science and – as we’ve seen yet again this week – a potential source of, and justification for, casually inflicted carnage on the innocent.… Read the rest