Does the Universe need God? - 13th March 2014

 

Details

Twentieth century physical cosmology made "the universe" into a precise theoretical object, governed by the laws of the general theory of relativity.  But one result of this theoretical consolidation is that "the universe" becomes autonomous: it is neither brought into existence by some supernatural being, nor does its continued existence require any external intervention.  Indeed, physical cosmology has no need for the hypothesis of a Creator or Sustainer of the universe. Shouldn't we then conclude that the universe has no need for God?

On the contrary, I argue that the absence of God from physical cosmology provides no evidence against the existence of a divine Creator.  In fact, if the universe and its laws are the result of a free, creative act of God, then God is not constrained by natural laws, and God should not occur as the explanans in any scientific account of the universe.

This event will be held jointly with "Christians in Science"

THIS PUBLIC SEMINAR WILL BE HELD IN THE DANSON ROOM OF TRINITY COLLEGE, OXFORD, AT 8:30PM ON THURSDAY 13th MARCH 2014, PRECEDED BY DRINKS AT 8:15PM.
 

Speaker Info

PROF. HANS HALVORSON is professor of philosophy at Princeton University. He has written extensively on the foundations of quantum physics, philosophy of science, and the relationship between science and theology, with articles appearing in the Journal of Mathematical Physics, Physical Review, The British Journal for Philosophy of Science, and The European Journal for Philosophy of Religion, among others.  In 2008 he won a Mellon Foundation New Directions Fellowship, to pursue research in category theory and especially topos theory.  Halvorson has received the Cushing Memorial Prize in the History and Philosophy of Physics (2004), Best Article of the Year by a Recent Ph.D. (Philosophy of Science Association, 2001), and Ten Best Philosophy Articles of the Year (The Philosopher's Annual, both 2001 and 2002).

Picture

Part of a long-exposure Hubble Space Telescope image of massive galaxy cluster Abell 2744, the deepest ever made of any cluster of galaxies. The immense gravity in Abell 2744 is being used as a lens to warp space and brighten and magnify images of more distant background galaxies, seen as they were more than 12 billion years ago, not long after the big bang. Image Credit: NASA/ESA

Additional Information

Date 2014-03-13
Time 20:30
Speakers Halvorson, Hans
Place Danson Room, Trinity College, Oxford

Hubble Frontier Field Abell 2744