Paul Davies Science as a Path to God!

Augustine Pamplany CST

Paul Davies is a world-famous physicist, born in 1946. He was awarded the prestigious John Templeton award for progress in Religion. The title of his most celebrated book itself is very suggestive – God and the New Physics. His outlook on science and faith has been articulated in a well-celebrated dictum: “in my opinion, today science offers a surer path to God than religion.” It is amazing that a scientist like Davies who does not believe in a Personal God postulates such imposing views on the relation between science and religion. There are certain qualities, which play some crucial role in physics with constant value elsewhere in universe, for example, the charge of electron. If these values are slightly changed our universe will collapse. This means that ours is a finely tuned universe. Hence there is need for a designer. This is one of the ways by which science becomes a “surer way to God.” God, therefore, is a very natural and holistic concept for Davies. Many issues like the purpose of Universe, role of humans, etc. still remain unanswered in science. Religion is needed to answer these deeper questions. According to Davies, both science and religion inspires in us a sense of wonder and awe for both of them are looking for values, simplicity and harmony.

Davies suggests that scientific explanation of nature in terms of the laws of the nature does not exhaust the mystery of such phenomena: “The most refined expression of the rational intelligibility of the cosmos is found in the laws of physics, the fundamental rules on which nature runs. The laws of gravitation and electromagnetism, the laws that regulate the world within the atom, the laws of motion — all are expressed as tidy mathematical relationships. But where do these laws come from? And why do they have the form that they do?” Davies thinks that there is scope of faith given the present day state of affairs in science: “It seems to me there is no hope of ever explaining why the physical universe is as it is so long as we are fixated on immutable laws or meta-laws that exist reasonlessly or are imposed by divine providence…. until science comes up with a testable theory of the laws of the universe, its claim to be free of faith is manifestly bogus.”

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