I call upon You, Lord, God of Abraham and God of Isaac and God of Jacob and Israel, You who are the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the God who, through the abundance of your mercy, was well-pleased towards us so that we may know You, who made heaven and earth, who rules over all, You who are the one and the true God, above whom there is no other God; You who, by our Lord Jesus Christ gave us the gift of the Holy Spirit, give to every one who reads this writing to know You, that You alone are God, to be strengthened in You, and to avoid every heretical and godless and impious teaching.

St Irenaeus of Lyons, Against the Heresies 3:6:4

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Memeology: Jesus vs. Physics?

A guy I work with shared this meme with my via text. I'm only guessing, but I believe the challenge it poses impressed him. Below is my response. Please forgive the formatting; it was texted ;)

First, physics, as a thing, doesn't exist. Physics is a term we use to describe
our observations of the seemingly inviolable regularities and consistencies we
discover in the material (and sometimes immaterial) aspects of our experience.
Physics, then, is a human activity, not a thing in itself.

Having better defined our terms, we can move toward an answer to the question.
Since the problem was posed in somewhat simplistic, even archaic Newtonian,
terms, I'll answer it in like.

Secondly, then, we should ask, what are the most basic attributes of the laws we
discover that govern our experience of the physical world? 1st, they are
immaterial; they don't grow on trees and you can't stub your toe on a
law--they're nonphysical entities. 2nd, they're invariable, they're immutable;
that is, they don't change. If they did, they'd not be laws. 3rd, they're
universal. For example, the so-called law of gravity, which is implicitly
invoked in this meme, it true regardless of place. 4th, they're abstract, which
is to say that, they are true apart from any physical instantiation. And
finally, laws of physics are absolute, they're irreducible.

Now that we know what we are talking about, we can ask a final question: What is
the source and ontological grounding of these laws? That is, where might we find
an entity in our experience that is immaterial, invariable, universal, abstract,
and absolute? Or better, where might laws with these attributes find residency?

Nothing in our physical experience can account for these laws. Rather, these are
many of the same attributes of God, as revealed in Christ, nature, history, and
scripture. In short, only if the God of Christian theism exists could the laws
of physics exist. So, rather than asking, If physics, how Jesus? Reality demands
the other way around: If not Jesus, then how on earth physics!?! Jesus is the
Source and necessary precondition of physics and therefore has little problem
ruling over such laws.

Does that help?

No comments:

Post a Comment