God was created with math
STANDARD- Interview: "God created the prime numbers"
Martin Nowak: No he did `nt. If interpreted fairly, science is neutral, honestly pursued, it provides no reason to call religion irrational. There is no scientific discovery that can be used as an argument against the existence of God.
DEFAULT: In spite of this, many natural scientists in the USA in particular feel called to argue against God. Do you have any objections?
Nowak: Yes, you are completely wrong with that. Above all, the method behind it is very doubtful: the scientist has developed a certain image of God that he then wants to refute. He imagines God, for example, as a magician who repeatedly performs little tricks in evolution. It goes without saying that there is no scientific evidence. The scientist then thinks that he has refuted God, but it was about a God who is not an object of Christian faith anyway. In fact, a mistake that Charles Darwin made is now repeating itself. For example, if he had understood the image of God by Thomas Aquinus, who said that "the essence of God is unknowable, but his existence can be proven", then he would also have seen that there is no contradiction between creation and evolution.
DEFAULT: So science is not a substitute for religion. But what can science and religion do side by side, and how can they possibly complement each other?
Nowak: There are many questions that interest people but are not the subject of science. Where do I come from, where do I go? What's the meaning of my life? What influences the very random path of my life and the people I meet or the people who walk with me for a while? Why do I exist? Why is there anything at all? Science can answer questions that complement religion. For example: God created the world, what is the result? What are the regularities of the life created in this way? Science helps to understand certain laws of the world. But it provides no teleology, no explanations for meaning and goal. Only religion can do that.
DEFAULT: You yourself are a mathematician and a deeply religious person. How is this combination received by scientists?
Nowak: Most scientists I know are amazed that people are interested in religion at all. Appearances are deceptive: A recent study showed that the majority of university professors in the United States are very religious.
DEFAULT: As a mathematician, you deal with things that were previously considered impossible to calculate. Most recently, for example, with cooperation behavior in evolution. Wouldn't it therefore be obvious to express religion in formulas? Is there a mathematics of belief?Nowak: Not yet. But I see very interesting parallels between mathematics and theology. Both sciences are very axiomatic. That means: one formulates certain axioms, definitions - and then tries to argue within these assumptions. They don't need scientific proof for this either: Mathematicians say that there are infinitely many prime numbers or that the square root of 2 is not a rational number. The same applies to religious truths, even there no scientific proof is necessary. For example, I imagine that God is the reason that anything exists at all, that God created not only the material world, but also the world of all logical truth, all ideas. God created the prime numbers as well as music and love or the beauty of geometry. (Peter Illetschko / DER STANDARD, print edition, January 20/21, 2007)
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