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A CHALLENGING WORK ON THE RELATION BETWEEN COSMOLOGY, SCIENCE AND RELIGION,
This review is from: Beyond the Big Bang: Quantum Cosmologies and God (Paperback)
Willem Drees (born 1954) has doctoral degrees in theoretical physics, theology, and philosophy. In 2009 he assumed the editorship of Zygon, Journal of Religion & Science.
In this 1990 book, Drees states in the Preface, "This book criticizes the religious abuse of science; it also criticizes the simple dismissal of religious questions, as if science would unambiguously supply all the answers.... I therefore develop an outline of a theology which takes science seriously, but does not restrict itself to the quest for a fit with the results of science. I hold that an adequate theology should deal with experiences of imperfection and justice, and hence has to maintain a 'prophetic' dimension, a judgment of disparity between the way things are and the way they should be. This brings me closer to the dominant position among Protestant theologians on the European continent.... I seek a theological position in critical coherence with science."
He argues against priest and historian of science Stanley Jaki (e.g., Road of Science and the Ways to God), saying "this way of presenting the case for God does not work. Cosmology is more ambivalent about the beginning, contingency, and time than Jaki claims. Jaki uses God where the scientific explanation stumbles upon something apparently unexplainable." (pg. 19)
He rejects "young-earth Creationism" on the grounds that "I think that belief in God as deserving worship is inconsistent with the idea that God fools us by creating a 'developed' universe which is deliberately faked to appear older than it really is." (pg. 21) He concludes that "Genesis is not a cosmological book." (pg. 254)
He states, "Cosmology supports neither contingency nor necessity ... both are meaningful in the context of a well-defined scientific theory or philosophical system." (pg. 98) "If theology were merely another kind of science, or an intelligible and consistent fiction, there would be no reason to bother with it." (pg. 184)