Thursday, October 8, 2009

Quote: The Heavens Proclaim

Physics as such can specify in great qualitative and quantitative detail how we get from one physical state to another, or what the underlying constituents or actors of a given state are. It can do this if it has adequately modeled the regularities and relationships involved. However, it cannot in principle account ultimately for their existence or for the particular form those structures, regularities, and relationships take. To put this in temporal terms, which are not essential to the issue, physics can never tell us how we get from absolutely nothing -- no space or time, no matter or energy, no wavefunction or field, nothing physical at all -- to something that has a particular order. There is no physics of "absolutely nothing." Thus, though physics can shed a great deal of light on many other questions having to do with the universe, it evidently cannot help us in illuminating the ultimate ground of order or of being. This is precisely why physics in general and quantum cosmology in particular do not provide an alternative account of the creation of the universe, philosophically or theologically speaking.

Fr. William R. Stoeger, S.J., "Is Big Bang Cosmology in Conflict with Divine Creation?" in The Heavens Proclaim

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