New Tangled Tango #29


“Right,” she said, “Going back to what you were saying, that’s all been a bit of a shock. It must have taken a hell of a lot of un-thinking and self-examination to bring about a turnaround like that. Do you think that you’ll ever go back to that former type of Christian belief again?”


“These six numbers constitute a ‘recipe’ for a universe. Moreover, the outcome is sensitive to their values: if any one of them were to be ‘untuned’, there would be no stars and no life. Is this tuning just a brute fact, a coincidence? Or is it the providence of a benign Creator? I take the view that it is neither. An infinity of other universes may well exist where the numbers are different. Most would be stillborn or sterile. We could only have emerged (and therefore we naturally now find ourselves) in a universe with the ‘right’ combination. This realization offers a radically new perspective on our universe, on our place in it, and on the nature of physical laws.”

[Martin Rees: Just Six Numbers (The Deep Forces that Shape the Universe), Basic Books 2000, p161]

“No,” he said, “ and I don’t think that I’m alone. Even Sheila said that it’s not uncommon for theology students – or even vicars – to lose their faith, the more they learn and the more they reflect on what they’ve read.”

“So, tell me again,” she said, “what do you still believe in?”

“I don’t really know what to believe anymore. I can best express my current state of thinking in terms of what I doubt about God – yet still wonder about. If God is not true – whatever that means – the whole of Christian faith crumbles. My starting point now, in thinking about God, is to wonder about the nature of the Universe. If God didn’t create it, how did it happen? As one scientist put it recently, ‘Why is there something rather than nothing?’”

He paused, sighed, grimaced and then continued.

“I can’t believe that the totality of time and space, all the trillions of particles and fields – and all the entities that these comprise – could ever have been confined within an infinitely small pre-Creation particle of pure energy.”

He paused again, trying to gauge her reaction – was she listening or bored, baffled or understanding what he was trying to express? He battled on in hope.

“So, I find many of the Big Bang theories put forward by some scientists less believable than belief in a Creator. Against that, however,  I regard the biblical seven-day creation occurring 6,000 years ago as even more preposterous. So, even if no one can either prove or disprove a Creator, that still doesn’t make the idea true. But, then again, using mathematical tricks to try to prove the Big Bang or it’s alternatives doesn’t make those theories true either.”

Cathy sat, her head tilted to one side, listening and trying to take in this seismic change in her understanding of how much Steve seemed to have changed.

He shook his head, trying to clear his thoughts.

“Conjuring up, without proof, trillions of other universes just to explain the inexplicable is no better than conjuring up a Creator. And, when people tell us that the Big Bang account is simply a brute fact that we must believe without evidence – well, that’s not even science. I suppose that’s the page I’m up to.”

“Isn’t that agnosticism rather than Christianity though?” she asked.

“Probably,” he said. “Have I bored you?”

Featured Photo

Instead of an opening photo today, I’ve used a quotation again. This quote refers to a question posed by the Astronomer Royal writer, “Why is there something rather than nothing?” In his book he discusses six basic cosmological forces – any of whose natures in combination, even if slightly different, would have led to a different type of universe – or none at all. This section of the story – where we hear Cathy and Steve come to a better understanding of each other – is difficult to represent by a photograph. I chose this quotations as a background to Steve’s dilemma.

I have, however, provided a photograph to feature. A rhododendron in flower – another image from April this year..

I took the photo using my Pentax KP 24 MP cropped sensor dslr camera with a 16-85 mm f/3.5-5.6 lens.

EXIF data were 1/25 secs @ f/10 and 53 mm. ISO was 100.

Author: writingandphotography0531

I am a retired local government officer. At that time, I was an IT manager and had associated responsibilities for training. I have previously been involved, in various organisations, with aspects of industrial training and management development. My hobby is photography and, until recently, hillwalking in Snowdonia. I have just written my first novel, Persephone and the Photographer, published as a Kindle eBook.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s