Creation and the World of Science

By A. R. Peacocke | Go to book overview

V
The 'Selfish Gene' and 'What Men Live By'

1. INTRODUCTION

IN the previous lectures, after an examination of the historical relation of science and theology, as represented in the metaphor of the 'Two Books', I have given reasons for thinking that we might be entering into a more fruitful phase of this relation, in which the results and methods of the two enterprises might be regarded as complementary in that quest for intelligibility and personal meaning in which we are all engaged--even now, perhaps especially now, in this age of burgeoning technology and uniquely energetic and fecund science. At any rate, after a brief account (Lecture I) of the Judeo-Christian models of God as Creator, we have been exploring various aspects of the scientific perspective of the world and how these, in inevitably shaping the context with reference to which men ask their questions about intelligibility and meaning, affect the plausibility and character of models of creation, of God's relation to the world. We found (Lecture II) that there was, in fact, such a close connection between the fundamental parameters of the physical universe and the emergence of life (and so of man) that we had to recognize that the potentiality of life (and so of man) was inherent in it from the beginning--and that therefore the emergence of self-conscious man, with his unique existence as a 'person', out of insentient matter sharpened the questions of intelligibility and of personal meaning. These questions, I suggested, could be reasonably and coherently answered in terms of a doctrine of creation, that is by the affirmation that the world had its being and is derived from and dependent upon One who transcends matter, energy, space, and time and is more-than-personal, who calls into being a cosmos, a purposively ordered existence. Ex hypothesi,

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