- 1500 words
- Level: all audiences
A discussion by the noted astronomer and cosmologist Allan Sandage. This excerpt has been selected by the Interdisciplinary Encyclopedia of Religion and Science (Inters.org), which is edited by the Advanced School for Interdisciplinary Research, operating at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, Rome, and directed by Giuseppe Tanzella-Nitti. Sandage writes:
If there is no God, nothing makes sense. The atheist’s case is based on a deception they wish to play upon themselves that follows already from their initial premise. And if there is a God, he must be true both to science and religion. If it seems not so, then one’s hermeneutics (either the pastor’s or the scientist’s) must wrong.
But Sandage also asks “Do recent astronomical discoveries have theological significance?” and answers:
I would say not, although the discovery of the expansion of the Universe with its consequences concerning the possibility that astronomers have identified the creation event does put astronomical cosmology close to the type of medieval natural theology that attempted to find God by identifying the first cause. Astronomers may have found the first effect, but not, thereby, necessarily the first cause sought by Anselm and Aquinas.