Time: For the Lord to Act

For the time is near (Revelation 22:10)

This is the conclusion of a two-part reflection on 2 books by Carlo Rovelli: Seven Brief Lessons on Physics  and The Order of Time.  The previous post is  Rab – ½ R gab = Tab.

Rovelli deconstructs time as he talks about it in terms of relativity and quantum mechanics.  The song (quoted at the beginning of the previous post), “Does Anybody Really Know What Time It is?”, takes on totally new meaning in the world of quantum physics.  The answer is clearly “NO, we have no idea what time is let alone what time it is!”  Just as our observation deceives us when we think the earth is not moving or when we believe the sun is rising or setting, so too our normal experience of time is completely relative.  Time it turns out is related to mass, speed and gravity which is totally counter intuitive to what we think we experience.   As an old, slow moving fat man living in the lowlands, I experience time differently than the average child running in circles at the top of the Rocky Mountains – and its not just because I’m older and slower.

Ten years before understanding that time is slowed down by mass, Einstein had realized that it was slowed down by speed. The consequence of this discovery for our basic intuitive perception of time is the most devastating of all. The fact itself is quite simple. Instead of sending the two friends from the first chapter to the mountains and the plains, respectively, let’s ask one of them to stay still and the other one to walk around. Time passes more slowly for the one who keeps moving.   (Carlo Rovelli, The Order of Time, Kindle Location 353-358)

Those of us who have paid attention in recent years to liturgical talk know that in the Church there are different kinds of time – chronos and Kairos.  There also is the sense of eternity – that which exists completely outside of time, not bounded by beginning and end.  And in Christianity, we have the incarnation and ascension in which the timeless God enters into time itself blurring all distinctions between past, present and future and creating a unity in which eternity becomes temporal and  the temporal world comes to exist outside of time!

There is, nevertheless, an aspect of time that has survived the demolition inflicted on it by nineteenth- and twentieth-century physics. Divested of the trappings with which Newtonian theory had draped it, and to which we had become so accustomed, it now shines out with greater clarity: the world is nothing but change. None of the pieces that time has lost (singularity, direction, independence, the present, continuity) puts into question the fact that the world is a network of events. On the one hand, there was time, with its many determinations; on the other, the simple fact that nothing is: things happen.  (Carlo Rovelli, The Order of Time, Kindle Location 806-811)

The theory of relativity and quantum physics have shown that Newtonian physics [which to a large extent accurately describes the world we experience and was capable of getting humans to the moon] does not fully reflect the nature of reality.  Nature turns out to be far more mysterious than previously imagined.  Additionally, so much in quantum physics turns out to be shaped by the observer of the events – as if reality does not exist until and unless it is observed.   This aspect of physics should be far more intriguing to faithful theists than it often is, for it might suggest that the universe, 16 billion years old, was unfolding only because there was an observer all along – namely God.  The will of God might be considered to be that what God observes – not predestining every little thing, but allowing things to unfold in unexpected ways.  And in fact it could not unfold at all if there had not been One observing it.

…we must accept the idea that reality is only interaction…   (Carlo Rovelli, Seven Brief Lessons on Physics, Kindle Location 207-207)

Heisenberg imagined that electrons do not always exist. They only exist when someone or something watches them, or better, when they are interacting with something else. They materialize in a place, with a calculable probability, when colliding with something else. The “quantum leaps” from one orbit to another are the only means they have of being “real”: an electron is a set of jumps from one interaction to another. When nothing disturbs it, it is not in any precise place. It is not in a “place” at all.   (Carlo Rovelli, Seven Brief Lessons on Physics, Kindle Location 177-181)

Things do not simply exist – they only exist in relationship to other things.  Ultimately, they need an observer to exist at all.  Reality is thus relational, and certainly Trinitarian Christians would say that relation is part and parcel to God’s own existence.  God as Trinity does not exist alone but always and eternally as a relational divinity – the Three Persons of the Trinity in constant love with one another and now in relationship to that which they created and called into existence.

Rovelli for all his commitment to pure science can’t in the end resist waxing philosophically.  As he considers the human experience of the universe, he writes:

Lucretius expresses this, wonderfully: . . . we are all born from the same celestial seed; all of us have the same father, from which the earth, the mother who feeds us, receives clear drops of rain, producing from them bright wheat and lush trees, and the human race, and the species of beasts, offering up the foods with which all bodies are nourished, to lead a sweet life and generate offspring . . . (De rerum natura, bk. II, lines 991–97)  (Carlo Rovelli, Seven Brief Lessons on Physics, Kindle Location 677-687)

Even though we humans are conscious beings who influence and shape the changing world, we still are part of the empirical universe that exists.  Our roots are in the same creation which brought all else into existence.  Yet, we humans have a unique role to play in the universe because of our consciousness and our consciences.

Persian poet Saadi Shirazi. Captured and enslaved at Acre by the Crusaders, Shirazi is the author of those luminous verses that now stand at the entrance of the headquarters of the United Nations:

All of the sons of Adam are part of one single body, They are of the same essence. When time afflicts us with pain In one part of that body All the other parts feel it too. If you fail to feel the pain of others You do not deserve the name of man.  (Carlo Rovelli, The Order of Time, Kindle Location 218-224)

To be human is to feel pain, not only our own, but also that of our fellow human beings.  To be human is to be part of the created order – we humans are relational beings.  We relate to each other but also to all that exists.  We not only observe the universe and thus affect it on the quantum level through our observations, we also interact with it consciously and help shape the unfolding of the universe and of time, whatever time turns out to be.  We are capable of knowing things and knowing one another, and observing things from another’s point of view.  Our capacity for knowledge leads us to new relationships with the universe of which we are part, which we can observe, and which we can influence and shape.

as Lucretius wrote: “our appetite for life is voracious, our thirst for life insatiable” (De rerum natura, bk. III, line 1084).   (Carlo Rovelli, Seven Brief Lessons on Physics, Kindle Location 669-670)

We are not merely the products of a random and indeterminate universe.  Though for science as Rovelli describes it the universe is mostly these random processes working out the relationships of the things which are:

A handful of types of elementary particles, which vibrate and fluctuate constantly between existence and nonexistence and swarm in space, even when it seems that there is nothing there, combine together to infinity like the letters of a cosmic alphabet to tell the immense history of galaxies; of the innumerable stars; of sunlight; of mountains, woods, and fields of grain; of the smiling faces of the young at parties; and of the night sky studded with stars.   (Carlo Rovelli, Seven Brief Lessons on Physics, Kindle Location 322-325)

The passage of time is internal to the world, is born in the world itself in the relationship between quantum events that comprise the world and are themselves the source of time.   (Carlo Rovelli, Seven Brief Lessons on Physics, Kindle Location 372-374)

As Christians we know that we humans have evolved to the point of being observers of the universe and thus in quantum terms capable of shaping what unfolds.  We have realized that the inanimate universe is not all that exists, for we have come to know there is a God who observes us observing the universe which God created for us to know God.  We not only observe, we are capable of conscious choice which itself changes the universe.  We are not merely evolving according to biology, for we have evolved to the point of being able to shape our destiny.  And we realize we are not the creators of this reality, but participants in a reality which was created by God.  We thus continue to discover ourselves as relational beings – not just to the empirical universe, but to its Creator as well, with whom we are capable of interacting.   We are capable of experiencing the mystery of time, of experiencing things that defy scientific explanation or which exist beyond the confines of the empirical universe.

So what is this  “time” which we experience?   Rovelli says in physics it can be reduced to this:

if nothing else around it changes, heat cannot pass from a cold body to a hot one. The crucial point here is the difference from what happens with falling bodies: a ball may fall, but it can also come back up, by rebounding, for instance. Heat cannot. This is the only basic law of physics that distinguishes the past from the future.  (Carlo Rovelli, The Order of Time, Kindle Location 233-236)

For Christians, however, time is kairos: that which God called into existence so that God can act in that which God created which is not God but which God created exactly to share in the divine life and to become God.

 “God became human so that humans might become God.”   (Irenaeus)

Rab – ½ R gab = Tab

As I was walking down the street one day
A man came up to me and asked me what the time was that was on my watch, yeah
And I said

Does anybody really know what time it is
Does anybody really care
If so I can’t imagine why
We’ve all got time enough to cry

(“Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?” by Chicago)

I occasionally read science texts though I’m not a scientist.  I appreciate the sense of discovering truth through science, and the recognition by science that the truth it proclaims today may be only an approximation of the universe as it really is.  Future discoveries can show that what science at one time believed (even dogmatically!) to be true, can at a later date be shown to be incomplete or completely wrong.  So as I just finished reading a couple of books about the nature of time (Carlo Rovelli: Seven Brief Lessons on Physics  and The Order of Time), I realize how little I know about the world I live in.

as Hans Reichenbach suggests in one of the most lucid books on the nature of time, The Direction of Time, that it was in order to escape from the anxiety time causes us that Parmenides wanted to deny its existence, that Plato imagined a world of ideas that exist outside of it, and that Hegel speaks of the moment in which the Spirit transcends temporality and knows itself in its plenitude. It is in order to escape this anxiety that we have imagined the existence of “eternity,” a strange world outside of time that we would like to be inhabited by gods, by a God, or by immortal souls.* Our deeply emotional attitude toward time has contributed more to the construction of cathedrals of philosophy than has logic or reason. The opposite emotional attitude, the veneration of time—Heraclitus or Bergson—has given rise to just as many philosophies, without getting us any nearer to understanding what time is. Physics helps us to penetrate layers of the mystery. It shows how the temporal structure of the world is different from our perception of it. It gives us the hope of being able to study the nature of time free from the fog caused by our emotions. But in our search for time, advancing increasingly away from ourselves, we have ended up by discovering something about ourselves, perhaps—just as Copernicus, by studying the movements of the heavens, ended up understanding how the Earth moved beneath his feet. Perhaps, ultimately, the emotional dimension of time is not the film of mist that prevents us from apprehending the nature of time objectively.   (Carlo Rovelli, The Order of Time, Kindle Location 1746-1758)

Science moved us from a faith-based way of thinking to one which was based in evidence.  Science replaced the older idea of philosophy that truth could be found purely through reason.  Science showed that reason can be faulty because it might not have all the facts – there are many things hidden from our observational point of view – or the facts actually fit together in a way previously not imagined.  But science has also discovered that observation alone can also be misleading as it too might not have the complete picture of what is going on.  By observation people concluded that the earth was flat, the earth was not moving, or that the sun orbited the earth, or that the sun was the center of the universe (Copernicus proposed a heliocentric universe as versus an earth centered one, but his model was also not a correct description of the universe).  All these observations turned out to be wrong as we gained new information about our world and the universe.

During the great period of German idealism, Schelling could think that man represented the summit of nature, the highest point where reality becomes conscious of itself. Today, from the point of view provided by our current knowledge of the natural world, this idea raises a smile. If we are special, we are only special in the way that everyone feels themselves to be, like every mother is for her child. Certainly not for the rest of nature. Within the immense ocean of galaxies and stars we are in a remote corner; amid the infinite arabesques of forms that constitute reality, we are merely a flourish among innumerably many such flourishes.  (Carlo Rovelli, Seven Brief Lessons on Physics, Kindle Location 562-567)

Mathematics kept showing our version of reality just didn’t add up.   We still have the signs of these old beliefs in our language – for example, the sun rises and sets whereas now we now it is as the earth turns on its axis that we experience dawn and dusk.

Science thus keeps challenging the truths it proclaims.  Truth in science is not absolute but only as good as the data we collect and what we can observe.  Science recognizes there may be aspects of reality which we cannot know – some might say yet, but quantum physics has shown there are things we cannot know ever.

Aiden Hart recently wrote (FAITH & SCIENCE: YOKEFELLOWS OR ANTAGONISTS?) about the risks of trying to base one’s religious faith on scientific truth:

First, the danger of relating a “scientific truth” with one’s faith is that, while the tenets of faith are unchanging, the scientific theory of today might be replaced by another tomorrow. The scientific community is continually challenging its theories and trying to perfect them. Reality about the universe is not always the same as current scientific explanations about that reality. There is a saying: “The religion that marries the science of today will be a widow tomorrow.”

Hart calls science and religion “neighbors” in terms of truth, and one has to admit that as neighbors they don’t always share the same grounds for establishing truth.  There are property boundaries which neighbors have to respect and realize the limits of their properties.  On the other hand, Hart holds some hope that maybe with the physics of relativity and quantum mechanics that maybe Trinitarian theology will be able to give science some insight into a theory of everything.

Not sure I share his optimism on this, but I appreciated his article and would recommend it to any person of faith who wonders what the relationship of science is to Christianity.  Hart writes as a Christian iconographer.   At the same time that I read Hart’s article, I also finished reading two books by physicist Carlo Rovelli: Seven Brief Lessons on Physics   and The Order of Time.    Both books are accessible to people not trained in science but who find science fascinating.  Speaking about the Theory of Relativity, Rovelli says:

The world described by the theory is thus further distanced from the one with which we are familiar. There is no longer space that “contains” the world, and there is no longer time “in which” events occur. There are only elementary processes wherein quanta of space and matter continually interact with one another. The illusion of space and time that continues around us is a blurred vision of this swarming of elementary processes…   (Carlo Rovelli, Seven Brief Lessons on Physics, Kindle Location 374-377)

Hubble Telescope Photo

We are like an only child who in growing up realizes that the world does not revolve only around himself, as he thought when little. He must learn to be one among others. Mirrored by others, and by other things, we learn who we are.   (Carlo Rovelli, Seven Brief Lessons on Physics, Kindle Location 560-562)

Rovelli manages to show that time and space in the new physics are not quite what we commonly think about when we use those words.  Relativity has shown us that even something like time which we commonly experience is relative, and known only in relationships with other things.  Time is not a constant throughout the universe but experienced differently throughout the vast universe relative to where one is and what one is doing.

… an extraordinary idea occurred to him [Einstein], a stroke of pure genius: the gravitational field is not diffused through space; the gravitational field is that space itself. This is the idea of the general theory of relativity. Newton’s “space,” through which things move, and the “gravitational field” are one and the same thing.   (Carlo Rovelli, Seven Brief Lessons on Physics, Kindle Location 92-95)

space and gravitational field are the same thing. And of a simple equation that I cannot resist giving here, even though you will almost certainly not be able to decipher it. Perhaps anyone reading this will still be able to appreciate its wonderful simplicity: Rab – ½ R gab = Tab That’s it.   (Carlo Rovelli, Seven Brief Lessons on Physics, Kindle Location 131-135)

The truth about the universe summed up in one formula!  Who would have guessed the universe could be so readily described or reduced to a formula?

Next:  Time: For the Lord to Act

How long, O LORD? Will You forget me forever?

O LORD, do not rebuke me in Your anger,
Nor chasten me in Your hot displeasure.
Have mercy on me, O LORD, for I am weak;
O LORD, heal me, for my bones are troubled.
My soul also is greatly troubled;
But You, O LORD—how long?
Return, O LORD, deliver me!
Oh, save me for Your mercies’ sake!
For in death there is no remembrance of You;
In the grave who will give You thanks?
I am weary with my groaning;
All night I make my bed swim;
I drench my couch with my tears.

(Psalm 6:1-6, Of David, A Prayer of Faith in Time of Distress)

King David, was loved by God, and yet in the Psalms he composed, he offers woeful lamentations about the suffering he experienced in his lifetime.  His Psalms certainly speak to those of us who have suffered, as well as expressing the sorrows of our hearts.  Distress, pain, sorrow, and suffering can all seem to go on forever with no end in sight.  We do wonder with David, how long will God let the suffering go on?

We can also have the same experience of endless suffering just by listening to the news.  And depression itself can come upon us like a darkness which will not go away.

What brought this all to mind was the words of St. Paul:

“It is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” (2 Corinthians 4:6)

As I mentioned in the previous blog, Light Shines in Darkness, I realized what hope we have in the God who shines out of darkness.  God is there present in the darkness.  God doesn’t have to shine light into the darkness, for in the darkness we will find God, even if hidden, and we realize we don’t have to get out of the darkness to find our Lord.  He is there where we are.  The darkness is not darkness to God (Psalm 139:12)

I also realized that while suffering and worry seem to go on forever, there is another scale of time within which I can understand my own existence or even the times we are in.  It is the time of the The Cosmic Calendar.  The Cosmic Calendar tries to give us a graphic view of time from the beginning of the universe (the Big Bang, 13.8 billion years ago) as science calculates it, to the present day.  It takes this long history of the universe and puts it all into a 1 year calendar.  Assuming the Big Band occurred at 1 second after midnight on January 1, and then showing when other things appeared in the universe, based on scientific calculations and assumptions.  Here is just a very brief glimpse at when some things appeared in our world:

January 1 – 13.8 Billion years ago The Big Bang

 

dsc_2244

Not until
December 25  –  is the Age of the Dinosaurs
December 31, 23:59:49 –  Invention of the Wheel
December 31, 23:59:55  –  Jesus Christ walks on earth
December 31, 23:59:59  –  The past 500 years

When viewed in this perspective of the universe, we realize that relatively speaking nothing we humans have experienced has lasted all that long.  In fact all of human history and experience lasts less than a minute on the Cosmic Calendar.  Even if one doesn’t believe in the Big Bang, or thinks the universe is younger than these scientific claims, still we come to realize how whatever we experience in the world is still a very small part of the whole, no matter how much of our thinking and lives it occupies.   When we think things last “forever”,  or when we worry about why God lets some event happen, we can see things from the perspective of the Cosmic Calendar and realize on the grand scale of things, our troubles are a minuscule part of time.

In the perspective of eternity or of the eternal God, we begin to understand the wisdom of Scripture:

“But do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
The Lord is not slow about his promise as some count slowness, but is forbearing toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.”   (2 Peter 3:8-9)

Helix Nebula
Helix Nebula

In the absolute immensity of space and boundlessness of time , God shines forth out of the darkness.  God is there.  The darkness may obscure God to us.  The vastness of space and the of enormity of time, may hide God from our eyes, causing us to see only darkness.  Sometimes events occur which make us feel the darkness will last forever.  But out of this darkness God will shine, illuminating all of time with eternal light and divine love.

The Future, As Absurd Idea

I’m dedicating this blog to my son, John, whose birthday is today.  He started me blogging, and his interest in media and the future has given me much to think about.

As I was driving this morning I was listening to NPR’s On the Media which aired a story, “Does Science Fiction Predict the Future of Journalism?”  At least from the story it seems that journalist and professor Loren Ghiglione concludes that speculative fiction, aka science fiction, has proven to be a better predictor of what the future will bring than what “futurist” experts predict.  Futurists often base their thinking on current science, while speculative fiction writers invent the science which the future often holds.  Thus speculative fiction writers are not encumbered by existing limitations in technology nor in logic and thus are enabled to imagine a wide variety of technologies that currently are impossible or totally absurd.

The idea of “the future” helped me to understand the Big Bang Theory and the expanding universe.   The sense is that there really is nothing beyond the universe, but as it expands (something like an inflating balloon) it is in fact creating space. [So whereas the amount of matter plus energy in a closed system may be a constant, and thus E=mc2, space and time are not constants].  I always had a difficult time understanding how the universe could be expanding into “nothing” since it seemed to me the outer edge of the expanding universe must be pushing against something.  However (and this is where the future helps me understand this concept), I don’t think of the future as existing, and so time is expanding into nothingness and creating a larger time scale.    Time is not pushing against something that already exists but is in fact creating its expanding existence. [Even though we can imagine the future, that doesn’t mean it exists yet.  Time is wonderously strange – changed by gravity, and dependent on one’s point of observation].   The time it has taken me to type this, did not exist before.  Time isn’t filling something, it is creating something.  In the same way that time expands and creates more of what is, so too space is expanding and creating more of itself, or perhaps more of it is in the process of being created.  Space is not pushing against anything; it is not reducing something else while it expands.  There is nothing beyond the end of the universe.  This is a most marvelous mystery of a logic which is beyond my comprehension, just like the future and the nothing beyond the end of the expanding universe.

In the On the Media story, two quotes worth pondering:

Albert Einstein said, “If at first an idea does not seem absurd, there is no hope for it.”

I’m going to mix a little religion in with science here, for I think this remark applies very well to the claims of Christ’s disciples that He is risen from the dead.

Loren Ghiglione said, “The future is likely to be counter-factual and not built upon what has just happened.” 

When we try to envision the future based only on what is, we cannot see the future at all.   One needs only think about Johnnes Gutenberg or Thomas Edison creating devices, which they could not even envision what they were capable of doing to the world or what they would come to mean for the world.  Guttenberg went bankrupt, and Edison had to try to catch up to competitors who used his inventions in creative ways and who could imagine popular uses for his devices that he could not.

And the implication for Christianity?   Though Christianity is totally based upon Torah and the Old Testament, it was unexpected and really a New Testament.

What is man……..?

sunset062509When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,

the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,

what is man that you are mindful of him,

and the son of man that you care for him? 

(Psalm 8:3-4)

 

The current issue of IN COMMUNION  (Pentecost 2009  *  Issue 53) has two articles which offer what rationally might be considered almost contradictory images of what it is to be human, but I think them as actually complimentary.  They offer two images of humanity that certainly stretch our understanding of what it means to be a human created in God’s image and likeness.

In the first article, Archimandrite Meletios Webber writes in “The Mystery of the Present Moment“:

CopernicusWe can only meet God in the present moment. This is an area where God chooses to place limits on His own power. We choose whether or not to live in the present moment. Because we can encounter God only in that present moment, whenever we live in the past or in the future, we place ourselves beyond His reach.

We can only make decisions in the present moment. We can only enjoy sights and sounds in the present moment. We can only love or hate in the present moment. The present moment is the interface between ourselves and the rest of the universe, and, more importantly, it is the only point of contact between the individual and God. Of all the possible points of time, only the present moment is available for repentance. The past cannot be taken back and remade. The future remains forever outside our reach.

The present moment may appear to be tiny in duration – so much so that the human mind thinks it hardly exists at all – but in depth it is infinite.

In the second article, Metropolitan Kallistos Ware writes in “I Love, Therefore I am”:

Who am I? The answer is not at all obvious. My personhood as a human being ranges widely over space and time. And indeed it reaches out beyond space into infinity, and beyond time into eternity. Our human personhood is created, but it transcends the created order. I am called to be a “partaker of the divine nature,” as Peter said in his second letter. I am called to share, that is to say, in the uncreated energies of the living God. Our human vocation is theosis – deification, divinization. As St. Basil the Great says, “The human being is a creature that is called to become God.”

Theotokos7cWhat is it to be human?   To experience God in the present moment which is the only moment we can act in.  However in this present moment in God we experience the infinite.   God who is beyond time does not search for us in the past or look for  us in the future, but He encounters us now, in this moment, the only moment we can take hold of and make something of.   The past can be remembered, but it is beyond our reach to return there.  The future can be imagined, but it too is beyond our reach.   The present moment however is the one which God is willing to turn into an experience of the infinite – if only we are willing to encounter Him.

God promises to forgive us if we repent.  He doesn’t promise us the tomorrow to do it in.

He does however eternally offer us the present, now, as the moment for our salvation.

The Open Mindedness Required to Believe in God

Some atheists and agnostics today ask why do believers continue to persist in believing in God, or even introduce God into discussions about the universe when the advances of science have time and time again managed to explain the universe in natural terms without having to introduce God into the picture/equation?  

One reason is that mystery still exists.   There are still a countless number of things that we do not understand about our world, our universe, our selves – on the cosmic scale and on the micro scale.  Even when science can offer explanations of how things work, there remains the question of why?  Why is there something rather than nothing?  Why are we aware of our existence?  Why do things happen in the natural world that defy human logic? 

“Kamerlingh Omnes discovered the totally unsuspected property of superconductivity in 1911.  More than fifty years elapsed before it was explained.  It could not have been understood in 1911, since it is an intrinsically quantum mechanical phenomenon and modern quantum theory was then unknown.  It would have been foolish to have taken its mysterious character as a reason for denying its existence.”    (John Polkinghorne,  THE FAITH OF A PHYSICIST)

The fact that there is mystery in the universe prompts the believer to use his or her creativity and aspirations to seek to understand the universe beyond the limits of science.  Scientific inquiry puts over us a ceiling and says we cannot understand anything beyond the empirical universe.  It is a ceiling that involves space, time, temperature, velocity, beyond which science cannot see.   Believers are not so limited because above that ceiling, the limits of scientific inquiry, and beyond space and time, we think there is more to the universe than can meet the eye.  We believe human aspiration is not leading  us to nothing but to something greater than ourselves and the empirical universe.

And just because our experience of the Divine leaves us with the sense of God’s mysteriousness, we do think it foolish to therefore deny the existence of a Creator.   Humanity has grown through history an ever increased capacity for abstract thinking.   This is obvious in the realm of algebra but also in physics.  Our worldview has changed and we have realized that things we thought were absolute truths which could not be transcended, have in fact been proven limited by further reflection and discovery.  Algebraic equations which at one time humans were sure could not be resolved, have in fact been resolved by the increased capacity for abstract thinking that has emerged in history.   The Newtonian science which allowed us to accomplish many great things has been shown to be limited and has been eclipsed by quantum mechanics.   And so, the believer, seeing this truth about human creativity and the growing capacity for abstract thinking, can imagine that even beyond our most sophisticated understanding, there is a logic in the universe which we have yet to grasp, and a Logician who said, “Let there be light” and what resulted was our ability to think beyond the limits of space and time. 

To be a believer in God requires one to be a lot more creative and open minded than being an atheist.  It requires embracing human aspiration and a level of abstract thinking which is not limited by the current theories of science.  Like Omnes, we see and experience that which humanity is not yet capable of comprehending.