Darwin Aquinas God Essay, Research Paper
The existence of God has been questioned since the beginning of time. Religions thrived on answering the unanswerable questions of the universe and people were able to find solace in the answers. As science has expanded and been able to answer these questions with natural, as opposed to supernatural answers, many people stopped looking to God and religion for the causes of things and started looking towards science. God was dead, according to many scientists and people of all professions. Many philosophers, however, have different conclusions. In the article, ?Science Finds God? (Newsweek 1998) it was recognized that although theologians and scientists differ sharply in their views and do not see any type of middle ground between the two fields, others feel that religion and science do not contradict each other, but compliment each other. Science discovers more of God?s creations and the intricacy of which the world was created and God provides the explanation of the complexity and wonder of the natural world. He fills in where science leaves off. With Darwin?s idea of evolution came the greatest controversy between science and religion. Darwin denied the creationist ideas of Christians and caused, an uproar in the Christian community. Some drastically decided to deny all science. To deny science, however, would be to deny the natural world. Others searched for ways to confirm and hold on to their faith. One way that people found to confirm their belief in a God was philosophy. St. Thomas Aquinas used the science of philosophy to prove God?s existence. He showed five ways in which the existence of God must be absolutely concluded. His first proof dealt with the mover and the unmoved mover. From just one observation of movement it can be concluded that movement is. Whatever is moved must be moved by another, because nothing can have potential and actual energy at the same time. To actually move a thing must be moved by another thing that is actually in motion. Therefore that thing must have been moved by another. However this cannot go on infinitely. There must be something that is the first unmoved mover that causes all movement. This being, in a state of pure actuality, is what people call God. An example of this is a stone is moved by a stick. The stick is moved by a hand. The stick moved from a state of potential movement to actual movement by the hand. In order to move the stick the hand must move from potential to actual by something else. What moves the hand must be also be moved by another because nothing can be moving both potentially and actually at the same time. Whatever was the original cause of all movement must be pure actual movement. This being is the unmoved first mover, God. Aquinas?s fifth proof relates more directly to ?Science Finds God.? This article states that the complexity of the natural world is more evidence that God must exist. Thomas says that there is some pure act of intelligence that causes all other acts of intelligence. As an archer shoots an arrow towards its target, God aims everything to its ultimate end. Everything is ordered towards an end and that end is determined by a being we call God. Using empirical sciences, it is evident that everything has its purpose and functions for the good of something else. This purpose is determined by God. Another philosopher whose teachings seem to correspond directly with the article is Paley. He presents this situation. If a man finds a stone and wonders how it got there, it would not be that unreasonable to conclude that it had been there forever. However, if a man stumbles upon a watch in a field, he could not reasonably reach the same conclusion. ?Because a watch performs such a specific function and has a clear purpose, which is grasped by the human mind, Paley concludes that ?the inference?is inevitable; that the watch must have a maker.?? (Stumpf 381) Every part of the watch is designed towards the specific function of telling time. It would seem absurd to think that all of the pieces in the watch just happened to come together in that way to work towards the function of telling time. The analogy is extended towards other things in nature. By observing an atom, we see how every part of it is absolutely necessary and performs a specified task. So, using Paley?s idea, there must be an atom maker. The more nature is observed, the more seemingly miraculous things can be found. According to some religious believers, these are only more evidence that there must be an ultimate creator, someone who designed every last piece of the universe. This is why some religions, particularly Islam and Judaism (article) believe that studying nature is a form of worshiping God. Though science and religion seem to have been on two completely opposite sides of the spectrum that answers the question of why things are how they are in the universe, there are some people who now believe that science is not denying, but supporting the existence of God. Not only philosophical science, such as St. Thomas?s proofs of Gods existence and other teachings on the existence of God, but even empirical science. The more scientists discover, the more many of them are realizing that the reason for things goes deeper than what science can explain. For those who already believe in a God, science may even strengthen their belief, not weaken it. Even things that seem like they might have been proven by science, that may completely deny biblical teachings, may still have their origins in a God. Even if Darwin?s theory of evolution is true, perhaps this only gives insight into God?s nature. Perhaps He is humble enough to create and allow His creations to continue as they will. Perhaps He created natural selection. The scientific theories that have been developed and have been said to kill God do not necessarily lead to the conclusion that no God exists.