And when you look at the sky you know you are looking at stars which are hundreds and thousands of light-years away from you. And some of the stars don’t even exist anymore because their light has taken so long to get to us that they are already dead, or they have exploded and collapsed into red dwarfs. And that makes you seem very small, and if you have difficult things in you life it is nice to think that they are what is called negligible, which means they are so small you don’t have to take them into account when you are calculating something.
The role played by time at the beginning of the universe is, I believe, the final key to removing the need for a Grand Designer, and revealing how the universe created itself. … Time itself must come to a stop. You can’t get to a time before the big bang, because there was no time before the big bang. We have finally found something that does not have a cause because there was no time for a cause to exist in. For me this means there is no possibility of a creator because there is no time for a creator to have existed. Since time itself began at the moment of the Big Bang, it was an event that could not have been caused or created by anyone or anything. … So when people ask me if a god created the universe, I tell them the question itself makes no sense. Time didn’t exist before the Big Bang, so there is no time for God to make the universe in. It’s like asking for directions to the edge of the Earth. The Earth is a sphere. It does not have an edge, so looking for it is a futile exercise.
My view is that if your philosophy is not unsettled daily then you are blind to all the universe has to offer.
The sun symbolizes the Divine intelligence, the empty vastness of space symbolizes the Divine All-Possibility and also the Divine immutability, a bird symbolizes the soul, a tree symbolizes the grades of being, and water symbolizes knowledge and rain revelation.
It is possible that these millions of suns, along with thousands of millions more we cannot see, make up altogether but a globule of blood or lymph in the veins of an animal, of a minute insect, hatched in a world of whose vastness we can frame no conception, but which nevertheless would itself, in proportion to some other world, be no more than a speck of dust.
The unity of scientific and spiritual knowledge is realized when each of the particular sciences is organically related to the supreme knowledge of al-tawhid.
For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.
How is it that hardly any major religion has looked at science and concluded, “This is better than we thought! The Universe is much bigger than our prophets said, grander, more subtle, more elegant?” Instead they say, “No, no, no! My god is a little god, and I want him to stay that way.” A religion, old or new, that stressed the magnificence of the Universe as revealed by modern science might be able to draw forth reserves of reverence and awe hardly tapped by the conventional faiths.
Science is opposed to theological dogmas because science is founded on fact. To me, the universe is simply a great machine which never came into being and never will end. The human being is no exception to the natural order. Man, like the universe, is a machine. Nothing enters our minds or determines our actions which is not directly or indirectly a response to stimuli beating upon our sense organs from without. Owing to the similarity of our construction and the sameness of our environment, we respond in like manner to similar stimuli, and from the concordance of our reactions, understanding is born. In the course of ages, mechanisms of infinite complexity are developed, but what we call 'soul' or 'spirit,' is nothing more than the sum of the functionings of the body. When this functioning ceases, the 'soul' or the 'spirit' ceases likewise.I expressed these ideas long before the behaviorists, led by Pavlov in Russia and by Watson in the United States, proclaimed their new psychology. This apparently mechanistic conception is not antagonistic to an ethical conception of life.
How can we satisfy ourselves without going on in infinitum? And, after all, what satisfaction is there in that infinite progression? Let us remember the story of the Indian philosopher and his elephant. It was never more applicable than to the present subject. If the material world rests upon a similar ideal world, this ideal world must rest upon some other; and so on, without end. It were better, therefore, never to look beyond the present material world.
There cannot be a language more universal and more simple, more free from errors and obscurities...more worthy to express the invariable relations of all natural things [than mathematics]. [It interprets] all phenomena by the same language, as if to attest the unity and simplicity of the plan of the universe, and to make still more evident that unchangeable order which presides over all natural causes
The God of the gaps argument for God fails when a plausible scientific account for a gap in current knowledge can be given. I do not dispute that the exact nature of the origin of the universe remains a gap in scientific knowledge. But I deny that we are bereft of any conceivable way to account for that origin scientifically.
There are only certain intervals of time when life of any sort is possible in an expanding universe and we can practise astronomy only during that habitable time interval in cosmic history.
Philosophy [nature] is written in that great book which ever is before our eyes -- I mean the universe -- but we cannot understand it if we do not first learn the language and grasp the symbols in which it is written. The book is written in mathematical language, and the symbols are triangles, circles and other geometrical figures, without whose help it is impossible to comprehend a single word of it; without which one wanders in vain through a dark labyrinth.
A blade of grass is a commonplace on Earth; it would be a miracle on Mars. Our descendants on Mars will know the value of a patch of green. And if a blade of grass is priceless, what is the value of a human being?
It took less than an hour to make the atoms, a few hundred million years to make the stars and planets, but five billion years to make man!
There's no obvious reason to assume that the very same rare properties that allow for our existence would also provide the best overall setting to make discoveries about the world around us. We don't think this is merely coincidental. It cries out for another explanation, an explanation that... points to purpose and intelligent design in the cosmos.
It’s hard to build models of inflation that don't lead to a multiverse. It’s not impossible, so I think there’s still certainly research that needs to be done. But most models of inflation do lead to a multiverse, and evidence for inflation will be pushing us in the direction of taking [the idea of a] multiverse seriously.
We have examined the universe in space and seen that we live on a mote of dust circling a humdrum star in the remotest corner of an obscure galaxy. And if we are a speck in the immensity of space, we also occupy an instant in the expanse of ages.
Creation, in all its splendor and misery, in all the beauty and ugliness of its myriad forms, is how God manifests His presence in time. Creation is God in time.
Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the western spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun. Orbiting this at a distance of roughly ninety-two million miles is an utterly insignificant little blue green planet whose ape-descended life forms are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea.
We have yet to encounter an observable astronomical phenomenon that require a supernatural element to be added to a model in order to describe the even...Observations in cosmology look just as they can be expected to look if there is no God.
Rather than being handed down from above, like the Ten Commandments, they [the laws of physics] look exactly as they should look if they were not handed down from anywhere...they follow from the very lack of structure at the earliest moment.
If God were mortal and had but one life to give, he would have been more careful about how he created the world.
There were no witnesses to what was about to happen. 'Happen' didn't yet exist. Reality was timeless. Space also didn't exist. The distance between two points was immeasurable. The points themselves could be anywhere, hovering and bouncing. Infinity tangled into itself. There was no here and now. Only Being.
Science and religion both make claims about the fundamental workings of the universe. Although these claims are not a priori incompatible (we could imagine being brought to religious belief through scientific investigation), I will argue that in practice they diverge. If we believe that the methods of science can be used to discriminate between fundamental pictures of reality, we are led to a strictly materialist conception of the universe. While the details of modern cosmology are not a necessary part of this argument, they provide interesting clues as to how an ultimate picture may be constructed.
... for we perceive that this miraculous development is not the result of our own efforts: an eternal Perfection is moulding us into its own image.
[Beware of] the fallacy of misplaced concreteness [mistaking an abstraction for concrete reality, for actuality] In the inescapable flux, there is something that abides; in the overwhelming permanence, there is an element that escapes into flux. Permanence can be snatched only out of flux; and the passing moment can find its adequate intensity only by its submission to permanence.Error is the price we pay for progress.In the real world it is more important that a proposition be interesting than that it be true. The importance of truth is that it adds to interest.Creativity is the universal of universals characterizing ultimate matter of fact. It is that ultimate principle by which the many, which are the universe disjunctively, become the one actual occasion, which is the universe conjunctively. It lies in the nature of things that the many enter into complex unity.The aim of science is to seek the simplest explanations of complex facts. We are apt to fall into the error of thinking that the facts are simple because simplicity is the goal of our quest. The guiding motto in the life of every natural philosopher should be, Seek simplicity and distrust it.It requires a very unusual mind to undertake the analysis of the obvious.[From various of Whitehead's books, not only PR]
Someday they would discover that the stars were not sacred, but made from the same material as their bodies. They would learn it was the stars that created their worlds, that worlds created their minds, that minds created tools, and tools could create stars. Growing, sprawling, thriving until they too became masters of their own understanding, chasing enlightenment with the fervor of having nothing to lose, launching from their homelands like fireworks with glorious yellow tails.
Know, child, that the One God—He is so vast that He cannot be moved, else the Universe falls. Nor can He answer, for the very act of opening His Mouth is Movement, indeed the greatest Act of all, for it is the Word. And this is precisely why He has made an infinity of lesser gods, creating them in His own image, so that we can do the lesser things on His behalf. We are His hands and arms and feet and mouths. We are His answers to your prayers, enacted along the great Framework of Being.