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vol 6: Essays

Green theology: a path to heaven

Table of contents:

0: Abstract

1: Introduction: Just for us

2: The 'Good News' is largely untested fiction
  2.1: A syllabus of errors
  2.2: A Babel of religions
  2.3: Friction at the boundaries

3: The evolution of theology
  3.1: Aquinas on God
  3.2: Bernard Lonergan
  3.3: Losing the old faith, creating the new
  3.4: A new model of god: Fixed points

4: Evolution
  4.1: Malthus and natural selection
  4.2: Competition and cooperation
  4.3: Error and death

5: Universal cooperation: Physics
  5.1: Cybernetics
  5.2: Quantum mechanics
  5.3: Relativity
  5.4: Symmetry and wildness
  5.5: Quantum field theory: bonding

6: The application of natural theology
  6.1: Love God = Love the Universe?
  6.2: The will of God is implicit in nature
  6.3: Power: Warlords, monarchs and government
  6.4: The political economy of war
  6.5: Science
  6.6: Theology: the science of everything
  6.7: Symmetry, law and human rights
  6.8: Education and democracy

0: Abstract

We proceed here on the assumption that the Universe is divine. From this we conclude that the observable Universe is God's body. We assume that the Universe executes all the functions traditionally attributed to God: creator, sustainer and judge. Since we, too are agents of God, our actions are part of God's action. The premise of green theology is that life is, to a large degree, what we make it. Ancient religions promise heaven and hell in an afterlife. In reality we die. We experience heaven and hell in this life. The role of green theology is to guide us toward the experience of heaven and away from hell.

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1: Introduction: Just for us

Christians have a very high opinion of themselves. On the whole, they believe that the world was created just for them. A written record of this belief is to be found in the first book of the Hebrew Bible, Genesis. There it is written that God said:

. . . Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. Genesis

We now know that the Universe came into existence about fourteen billion years ago. The Sun and the Earth are about five billion years old. Our species is one of millions of species that have evolved since life began on Earth. Modern Homo sapiens emerged in Africa about two and three hundred thousand years ago. In our early days we lived pretty much like any wild species. Chronology of the universe - Wikipedia, Renaud Joannes-Boyau: New Moroccan fossils suggest humans lived and evolved across Africa 100,000 years earlier than we thought

Our first step toward the domination of the global ecosystem that we now enjoy came when we learned to control fire. For hundreds of thousands of years we used fire for cooking, heating, light and hunting of and protection from other animals. Fire probably helped the expansion of human species into colder regions of the Earth. A few thousand years ago, fire began to be used for the mining and smelting of metals. All these practices continue today. Control of fire by early humans - Wikipedia

The definitive modern use of fire began with the development of heat engines which converted heat energy into mechanical power. Hear engines began to supplement our muscular effort and our beasts of burden. Heat engines gradually expanded from running pumps in mines to locomotives, ships, motor vehicles, and electric power stations. The basic human energy requirement is about 100 Watts. The average modern human in an advanced economy consumes about 100 times as much, 10 000 Watts. Thomais Vlachogianni and Athanasios Valavanidis: Energy and Environment Impact on the Biosphere Energy Flow, Storage and Conversion in Human Civilization

In the early days heat engines were driven by burning wood, leading to the destruction of millions of hectares of forest. Later fossil fuels, first coal and then oil and gas became our staple technological diet. Now we have reached the point where we are burning about 10 billion tonnes of fossil fuel per annum, and the resulting carbon dioxide emissions are causing significant and dangerous changes in global climate. Australian Bureau of Meteorology: State of the climate

The huge amounts of energy that we have at our disposal have also enabled us to destroy forests, dam rivers, build railways, roads, and cities. We are covering large areas of the earth in hard unproductive surfaces like concrete and asphalt. We are polluting the world with the byproducts of our industry, many of which are exceedingly toxic or interfere with life processes in more subtle ways. In a nutshell, we are destroying the natural systems which make the Earth inhabitable. World Wildlife Fund: Pollution, Sophie Jamieson: Fish become transgender from contraceptive pill chemicals being flushed down household drains

We have two choices. The first, favoured by many who profit from the way thing are, is business as usual. The second is to radically reduce our footprint on Earth so as to restore the health of the systems upon which we are absolutely dependent for life. We have two motivations for this latter course. The first is to save ourselves. The second is to recognise the divine truth and beauty of our planet and treat it accordingly. Diamond: Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed

This essay concentrates on the second motivation. The new God does not say reproduce, populate the world and subdue it. It says understand the divinity that enfolds us and use this understanding to work toward creating life in a sustainable paradise

I call this green theology because it sees that we grow out of the Earth just as all other living things do. It is theology because the home on Earth is our local revelation of God. The essence of greenness is to recognize the role that the Earth plays on our existence and to treat it with due respect. In reality, the Universe fulfills for us all the roles that have traditionally been given to God, creator, parent, provider, and judge. The respect due to the Universe in green religion parallels the worship of God in the old religion. Green Politics - Wikipedia

God reveals the world, not by some ancient fiat but by a steady process of evolution. Science tells us how this happened and reveals the beauty and consistency of the world we live in. We need to study this process and apply it to our own lives if we are to survive in peace and happiness.

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2: The Christian 'Good News' is largely untested fiction

2.1: A syllabus of errors

My starting point is the theology of the Roman Catholic Church. I do this first, because I have been a member of the church for seventy years and know it well; second, because its doctrines are relatively well defined and widely followed; and third, because its followers represent on the whole the wealthiest and best educated sections of the world population, and so are best placed to respond to the changes I will suggest. Catholic Church - Wikipedia

The Catholic Church has an unbeatable marketing plan based on the denial of death. The basic problem of theology is the problem of evil, and the basic evil that we all face is death, of our selves and those we know and love. The fact that ultimately we all live under a death sentence becomes clearer as we get older. The incentive for denial increases.

Timor mortis conturbat me: The fear of death upsets me but I know I will die. There are two ways to deal with death, to deny it or deal with it. The Catholic Church denies it, attributing to its members immortal souls. Our fate in the afterlife is said to depend on how we behave in this life: eternal bliss for the good, eternal torture for the bad. This doctrine was drilled into me from birth. It took me until I was about 40 to reject it completely. Timor mortis conturbat me - Wikipedia

People obviously die, but Christianity says death is not really real. We must be accept this on faith. The Christian writer Paul of Tarsus defined Faith as the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things that appear not. This definition suggests that faith replaces evidence. On the other hand, evidence strengthens faith. We have faith that the Sun will rise in the morning because it has risen so often before. Aquinas, Summa: Is this a fitting definition of faith: "Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things that appear not?" (Hebrews I:11)

The Christian Churches trace their origin to Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus is said to have been murdered by the Romans and to have come alive again three days later. Christians wrote the story of Jesus in the century after his death. This document is the New Testament or Gospel, and is framed as a sequel to the Hebrew Bible, known to Christians as the Old Testament. Hebrew Bible - Wikipedia

The Old Testament documents the relationship between the Hebrew people and their God, Yahweh. It begins with the creation, goes on to document the Fall of sinful humanity and passes though a series of exiles, reconciliations and breakdowns between the people and God until they occupied the Promised Land. Old Testament - Wikipedia

The Romans occupied Judea in 63 bce, a disastrous event for the Jews. The Christian writers then added a happy ending to the Old Testament. Jesus, they said, was the Son of God, both human and divine. By becoming a human sacrifice, Jesus reconciled his Father to humanity. Ultimately the world would be returned to its pristine state before the fall. Joseph Sollier: Redemption (Catholic Encyclopedia)

This new doctrine spread through the Roman Empire and was elaborated by Jewish, Greek and Roman writers. Three hundred years later the Emperor Constantine established Christianity as the religion of the Roman Empire. Constantine ordered a concise codification of Christian belief which became the Nicene Creed. Nicene Creed - Wikipedia

With the corpus of Christianity reduced to a simple Creed Christianity became bound to a fixed set of doctrines. Those who did not comply were branded heretics and might be excommunicated, tortured or killed. As had happened to Judaism in Jesus' time, the bureaucracy micromanaged the belief system, introducing a forest of detail. The Catholic Catechism released by Pope John Paul II in 1992 is approximately a thousand times longer than the Nicene Creed. Woes of the Pharisees - Wikipedia, Pope John Paul II: The Catechism of the Catholic Church

One potential heretic was Galileo, who cast doubt upon the literal truth of scripture. The book of Joshua, describing the destruction of Jericho during the conquest of the Promised Land, says:

At that time Joshua spoke to the LORD in the day when the LORD gave the Amorites over to the sons of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, "Sun, stand still at Gibeon, and moon, in the Valley of Aijalon.” And the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, until the nation took vengeance on their enemies. Joshua: 10:12-13

The Galileo affair became a significant episode in the Catholic confrontation between empirical science and authority. This problem probably became inevitable when the books of Aristotle entered the new Christian universities of Europe. Galileo affair - Wikipedia

Things came to a head in the nineteen century with the application of modern critical methods to Biblical texts, questioning many of the Church's magisterial interpretations. In 1864 Pope Pius IX condemned the 'great perversity of depraved opinions' that arose from this work in his encyclical Quanta cura. He also published a Syllabus of Errors with this encyclical which listed 80 errors that he attributed to the 'modernists'. Pope Pius IX: Quanta cura

The Modernist Crisis has occupied the Church since the middle of the nineteenth century. I indirectly became a victim because the Dominican Order used the 24 Philosophical Theses of Thomas Aquinas as a ground for dismissing me from the order. From my point of view the modernists are on the right track. My error was (and continues to be) the first item condemned in the Syllabus:

The first error in the syllabus claimed that the modernists denied the existence of the Catholic God:

. There exists no Supreme, all-wise, all-provident Divine Being, distinct from the universe, and God is identical with the nature of things, and is, therefore, subject to changes. In effect, God is produced in man and in the world, and all things are God and have the very substance of God, and God is one and the same thing with the world, and, therefore, spirit with matter, necessity with liberty, good with evil, justice with injustice. Pius IX: Syllabus of errors

Piius X continued the attack with his encyclical Pascendi which characterized modernism as 'the synthesis of all heresies'. To counter modernism, the church went so far as to infallibly declare itself infallible, books were banned, and many theologians were forbidden to teach. Pius X: On the doctrines of the modernists

I was expelled from the Dominican Order for maintaining that there is no real distinction between God and the Universe. Since then I have explored the very close link between theology, religion and politics. Military politics usually culminates in absolute rulers: queens, kings, emperors and warlords. Many of these people try to legitimize their position by claiming a divine right. The classical God is modelled on such people, who exercise power of life and death over their subjects. The Catholic Pope plays one of the most imperial roles on Earth. The Code of Canon law tells us that No appeal or recourse is permitted against a sentence or decree of the Roman Pontiff. John Paul II: Code of Canon Law, Canon 333 §3

In the Christian West we see the close coupling between religion and politics in the world of Islam. We are inclined to believe that our constitutional arrangements which formally separate Church and State have broken this coupling, and that this break is a good thing. This is largely a delusion. The majority of our politicians and their apparatchiks are Christian. It is very clear that religion has a strong influence on politics through the democratic process, because many citizens are believers. Mr Trumps's war against Islam is a clear attempt to identify Islam with terrorism. Nevertheless, Christian America is certainly doing its share of terrorising and killing people. James Risen and Tom Risen: Donald Trump Does His Best Joe McCarthy Impression

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2.2: A Babel of religions

Like the thin skinned dictators of every age, Yahweh was inclined to throw a tantrum whenever the people became too independent. This happened in the Garden of Eden. He was provoked again by the 'Tower of Babel':

And the Lord said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.
Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech. Tower of Babel - Wikipedia

We now understand the multiplicity of human language to have evolved during the hundreds of thousands of years it took us to populate the Earth. Although our multitude of languages causes some difficulty, we can readily translate from one language to another because they all refer to common foundation of human experience.

There are probably about as many theologies and religions as there are languages. The world is in turmoil because theology and religion are failing. Athough we know there is but one God and one Universe, our religions have revealed themselves as sectarian rather than inclusive. They have become sources of war rather than causes of peace. They are in conflict because many incompatible fictions are held as a matters of indisputable faith.

The plan here is to make theology into a real science in two steps. First, we assume that the Universe is divine, so that all human experience is experience of God, so that theology can become empirical. Second, we use mathematics to build theological models because it is a universal language that loses nothing in translation.

Because the only property constraining God is consistency, and this same constraint operates in mathematics, we guess that there must be a link between God and mathematics. We bring this into focus by applying fixed point theory to God and guessing that the fixed points in the divine dynamics can be mapped onto mathematics, ie an isomorphism. This ideas is supported by Wigner's observation. Eugene Wigner: The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences

Christians believe that the writers of the Bible was inspired by God. This inspiration is considered to be the guarantee that the Bible is truly the word of God. Since God is held to be invisible, we have no scientific way of checking the credibility of this claim. The prophets may be in fact just like like any other writers, recording their mental states to communicate them to others. If the Universe is divine, their thoughts and feelings, like those of everybody else, are derived from their experiences of God. In this they are similar to everybody else, and have no special authority to guide us.

I talk about the Catholic Church and its defects, because it is the one I know. But I feel that there are lessons here for all ancient institutions which base themselves on historical documents rather than contemporary observation. Using scientific methods, we are able to reconstruct some of the undocumented history of our ancestors and see how they slowly climbed the literary, technological and scientific ladder toward our present state. History of writing - Wikipedia

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2.3: Friction at the boundaries

The key to human survival is cooperation. One of the foundations of cooperation is shared language, culture and religion. It is not easy to cooperate with someone if you do not share the same language. If you share the same language, cooperation is still difficult if you are do not share goals and an understanding of how the world works.

Cooperation requires the sharing of resources, which may difficult when resources are limited. The wisdom to see that cooperation may be the best way to deal with hardship is not easy to establish. We are more inclined to share with our families, friends and people who are 'one of us'.

It is not surprising that conflicts are likely to arise at the meeting points of religions, particularly if the religions involved are militant, like Christianity and Islam. We often see hostility between extreme members of both these religions. These people feel that they are defending positions that are not negotiable. When diplomacy fails, violence becomes an option

Over the centuries scientists around the world have reached consensus on many issues because the Universe they study is one and consistent. By making God visible theology can become a real science so might expect a similar convergence in theological belief. All doctors can work together because they share a common knowledge of human anatomy, physiology and psychology. We might expect all religions to work together when they share common knowledge of God.

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3: The evolution of theology

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3.1: Aquinas on God

Christian theology is built on Jewish theology which drew many of its ideas from the other theologies of the ancient near East. Alexander the Great's conquest of the Persian Empire beginning in 334 bce opened a path to Greek culture to spread, leading to widespread Hellenisation of the Jews and other people in conquered territories. Centuries later, Greek ideas played a significant role in the development and spread of Christianity. Miles: God, A Biography

In its first millennium, Christian theology was elaborated using ideas derived from Greek Platonic philosophy. The Platonic theory of forms was used to add substance to the ancient personalities of God and the angels. Theory of Forms - Wikipedia

Toward the end of the eleventh century pope Urban II initiated the first Crusade to oppose the spread of Islam in Palestine. One effect of this was to bring the writings of Aristotle, which had been preserved in the East, to the attention of Western Christianity. Albert the Great and Thomas Aquinas upgraded the Platonic philosophical foundations of Christian theology with the Aristotelian picture. Albertus Magnus - Wikipedia

Aristotle was a a student of Plato, more scientfically inclined than his master. He based much of his thought on observation and wrote extensively on physics, cosmology, logic, biology, ethics, politics, and many other subjects. He extended his physical ideas to argue for the existence of a first unmoved mover which is responsible for all motion and change in the Universe. In his Metaphysics he described this mover to be pure activity, an eternal living entity which existed in a state of bliss. Aristotle: Metaphysics 1072b3 sqq

Aquinas used Aristotle's theory of the unmoved mover to develop a new model of God which is now established in the Church and sanctioned by Canon law. The most significant difference between Aristotle and Aquinas is that while Aristotle saw the unmoved mover as part of the Cosmos, Aquinas was compelled by Catholic dogma to place God outside the Universe. God remained invisible to us, as it had been since the beginning of the Bible. Code of Canon Law, 252: The formation of clerics

Aristotle thought all motion in the Cosmos was caused by the first mover. He explained this idea using the metaphysical terms potency and act. Potency covers everything that might be; act covers everything that actually exists. Aristotle defined motion the transition from potency to act. This is a very general definition, covering generation and corruption as well as psychological and physical motion. Actus et potentia - Wikipedia

Aristotle took it to be axiomatic that no potency can actualize itself. Since we can see that there is motion, we must therefore be able to trace a chain of movers back to a first unmoved mover. This unmoved mover must be by definition pure actuality.

Aquinas took this argument literally:

The existence of God can be proved in five ways.

The first and more manifest way is the argument from motion. It is certain, and evident to our senses, that in the world some things are in motion. Now whatever is in motion is put in motion by another, for nothing can be in motion except it is in potentiality to that towards which it is in motion; whereas a thing moves inasmuch as it is in act. For motion is nothing else than the reduction of something from potentiality to actuality. But nothing can be reduced from potentiality to actuality, except by something in a state of actuality. Thus that which is actually hot, as fire, makes wood, which is potentially hot, to be actually hot, and thereby moves and changes it. Now it is not possible that the same thing should be at once in actuality and potentiality in the same respect, but only in different respects. For what is actually hot cannot simultaneously be potentially hot; but it is simultaneously potentially cold. It is therefore impossible that in the same respect and in the same way a thing should be both mover and moved, i.e. that it should move itself. Therefore, whatever is in motion must be put in motion by another. If that by which it is put in motion be itself put in motion, then this also must needs be put in motion by another, and that by another again. But this cannot go on to infinity, because then there would be no first mover, and, consequently, no other mover; seeing that subsequent movers move only inasmuch as they are put in motion by the first mover; as the staff moves only because it is put in motion by the hand. Therefore it is necessary to arrive at a first mover, put in motion by no other; and this everyone understands to be God. Aquinas: Summa: I, 2, 3: Does God exist?

Given the existence of God, the next step it to examine its properties. Here Thomas followed an ancient mystical tradition. God is so far beyond our powers of understanding that we are not capable of saying what God is, only what it is not, the via negativa. Apophatic theology - Wikipedia

The traditional God is not complex like the world. Aquinas argues instead that because God is pure actuality it is absolutely simple omnino simplex. This is hard line to understand. Insofar as God is actual, it is everything. But absolute simplicity seems to imply that it is nothing. Fifty years ago that was a mystery to me but now I think that the mathematical theory of fixed points may provide some insight.

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3.2: Bernard Lonergan

I was awed by Aquinas and completely trusting until I read Bernard Lonergan's Insight. Insight is a long and difficult book, and it took me a few readings to see that Lonergan undermined Aquinas's argument for the existence of a God outside the Universe.

Aristotle made the leap from physics to metaphysics by generalising his theory of matter and form into a theory of potency and act. Matter and form applied to physical changes. Potency and act gave Aristotle (and Aquinas) words to talk about psychology.

Lonergan follows the ancient Platonic tradition of using a theory of knowledge to explain the properties of the world. Plato's forms were intended to explain not only the nature of the world, but how we know it. The existence of knowledge proves that knowledge is possible in this Universe, but how does it work? Lonergan's model is based on the act of insight, the moment at which we 'see' or 'get' the meaning of some body of data.

Aquinas' proofs for the existence of God (= the non-divinity of the Universe) might be called physical, in that he starts each proof from a physical observation and uses his metaphysical theory of the world to show how this physical observation implies that the Universe cannot account for itself. Lonergan moves the question into the psychological realm:

The existence of God . . . is known as the conclusion to an argument, and while such arguments are many, all of them, I believe, are included in the following general form.

If the real is completely intelligible, God exists. But the real is completely intelligible. Therefore God exists. Lonergan: Insight, page 695

The Universe, however, is not God, because it is not completely intelligible. This, Lonergan claims, is because there are positively given empirical data which lack intelligibility, the 'empirical residue' detected by 'inverse insight'. Insight, pp 43-56

. . . the five ways in which Aquinas proves the existence of God are so many particular cases of the general statement that the proportionate Universe is incompletely intelligible and that complete intelligibility is demanded. Insight, p 700

Lonergan's position is developed with subtlety and some insight into the results of modern science. It is based on a careful study of the psychology of Thomas Aquinas as applied to Trinity. Lonergan's interpretation of Aquinas was my starting point for this work. Lonergan: Verbum : Word and Idea in Aquinas

He falls down, I believe, in his affirmation of the empirical residue. It is an historical accident that we do not yet fully understand the Universe, but this is no reason to assert that it is not fully intelligible. In particular, Lonergan seems to mistake scientific conjectures (such as the theory of relativity) for the concrete realities of which they an are abstract (formal) representations.

In the abstract, symmetries may be meaningless but in reality every symmetry is broken, that is made concrete, and every concrete act in the Universe stands at the end of a chain of acts stretching back to the beginning, and this history gives it meaning. There is, consequently, no empirical residue.

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3.3: Losing the old faith, creating the new

The Church makes an unbeatable pitch based on the biggest possible delusion, the denial of death. From an empirical point of view death seems completely obvious to everyone who has reached a certain age. We cannot deny it. Nevertheless Aristotle and Aquinas both maintain that the intellectual part of the human soul is a pure form without matter. Because it is immaterial it is both incorruptible and invisible.

Apart from dogmatic and political considerations, they reach this conclusion by applying the philosophical model of potency and act. They argue that the intellect is immaterial because we can, in principle, understand all material things. If the intellect was itself material it would have a definite material nature which would inhibit it from understanding everything, for to understand something is to assimilate its form.

Aristotle's theory of generation and corruption maintains that composite things can die because the parts can come apart, killing the living system. These arguments seem quite logical and once made a lot of sense to me, but they depended on a notions of life and immateriality that did not make sense. How can a God or an intellect with no structure be omniscient, or have any knowledge at all. The consequent denial of death was very comforting, but was it true? I had gambled my life on it, entering a monastery in the hope of guaranteeing my eternal salvation by supererogation. Supererogation - Wikipedia

Losing the promise of immortality and an eternity of heavenly bliss was the worst part of losing my faith after I left the Order. For about twenty years I explored what I knew of physics to find a way to accomodate immortality in the scientific view of the world. I began to write a science fiction book, based on the notion that a cold neutron star, comprising an enormous number of fermions, had quite enough storage capacity represent every quantum event in my life. Not only that, it was likely to last for the life of the Universe. If I could upload my life to such a star I might reboot myself in a network complex enough to hold every person that ever lived forever. I think this is impossible, but the exercise reconciled me to permanent death and I have not looked back.

Why is there death in the Universe? Aristotle was right. Complex systems can fall apart. Errors creep in because every system experiences noise because it is coupled, however lightly, to the rest of the Universe. Noise for one system may be signal for another. Eventually the errors will build up to a fatal error, and then I will die.

Our traditional theology is based on the writings of inspired individuals who mostly lived thousands of years ago. They lived in a different world. It would be surprising if their ideas have not been overtaken by new developments.

Traditionally, God is both everything and nothing. The traditional mystical view is that from our point of view God is nothing. In Aquinas' model, God is omnino simplex. Absolutely simple. No distinguishing marks to provide a hold for the human mind or store information. A mystery totally beyond our ken.

On the other hand Christianity also claims that God is everything, present all the time everywhere micromanaging every event, omnisicient, omnipotent, ubiquitous and eternal.

Neither of these pictures is very helpful by itself, but taken together they have been and remain a potent source of inspiration for billions of people. First, the simplicity of God shows that God is one. There are no divisions in it. From this we derive the fundamental act of human faith: whatever happens is part of some huge system which works, so don't worry.

The devil, on the other hand, is in the details. How do we fit in with this divine system of control if we want to survive? The ancient view is listen to the prophets. The modern view is listen to the scientists. Modern civilization, insofar as it works, is based on scientific understanding of how the world works. Once we could not live in cities because the filth and disease overwhelmed us. Then we developed sewerage. The enormous expense of digging up a whole city and laying pipes was amply justified by the resulting improvements in human health.

So lets put the religious discussion on a scientific footing. Religious freedom can go too far. If our religion does not respect reality we are ultimately doomed

Whatever the prophets say about creation, we can be pretty certain that it evolved from a simple beginning, just like the mystical paradigm of God. Hawking and Ellis predicted the existence of this singularity and all the evidence suggests that their prediction is true. Hawking & Ellis: The Large Scale Structure of Space-Time

One thing we can learn from evolution is that complicated things are made out of simple parts. The world is built on a platform of fundamental particles that combine and interact to give us atoms, molecules, cells, planets, galaxies and so on. This hierarchy of structure provides us with a way to understand the world. The initial singularity predicted by cosmologists is effectively identical to the classical God: both are without structure, and both are the source of the Universe.

Of coure, many of the adherents of the old God find the identification of God and the Universe impossible. Their God controls everything. We have very little responsibility for our own fate. All is preordained, a history of salvation that relies entirely on the notion that God is a very loving and very helicopter parent who makes everything come out right in the end. We can go on chewing up the resources of the planet like there is no tomorrow because our God takes care of everything.

The green god is nothing like this. The old god is invulnerable. We are all subsystems of the new God. Our lives are part of the life of God, and what we do has consequences for ourselves.

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3.4: A new model of god: fixed points

There are two enabling conditions for the establishment of scientific theology: First we must suspend ancient beliefs and open our minds to new possibility; and second, we must introduce a mathematical model that reconciles the absolute simplicity of the classical God with the extraordinary complexity of the universal God.

The formal answer to this second condition is mathematical fixed point theory. We often use mathematical structures to model the world. The whole of our trade, banking and engineering industry could not proceed without the help if arithmetic. More generally we describe the world with mathematical functions that mimic the behaviour of the world. Galileo found that the velocity of a falling object depended on how long it has been falling, and physicists use thousands of other equations (functions) to describe other features of the observable world. Fixed point theorem - Wikipedia

A function is a mapping, and we model motion in a certain space by mapping a certain set of points onto itself, so that here becomes there and so on. Mathematics shows that under certain conditions such mappings are logically bound to have a point which is unchanged by the mapping, f(x) = x. So mathematically we should expect to find fixed points in a Universe of pure action pictured as mapping itself onto itself. It maps onto itself because there is nothing outside the Universe to map to.

Now we would like explore this idea to build a new model of God drawing on our critique of the old model. This model, we hope, will fit both the classical conception of God contained in the old model, and the creative nature of life in the Universe we inhabit.

The principal feature of this model is that it reconciles the ancient mystical idea that God is absolutely simple and the modern scientific observation that the world is exceedingly complex. This reconciliation is made possible by the mathematical theory of fixed points. Every motion within God may generate a fixed point. We observe this process in quantum mechanics. Quantum mechanics may work in spaces of any dimension, so there is no limit on the complexity of such fixed points (section 5.2). Such fixed points do not break the simplicity of the divine life, they are simply points in God which do not move. Their source is the dynamic wave function assumed in quantum mechanics to underlie every event.

The Christian God is a living God, which means that it must be the source of its own life. For Aristotle and Aquinas, life is self motion. How can an eternal God move? Aquinas and Aristotle both distinguish two kinds of motion. Ordinary physical motion is the process that makes a potential situation actual. This can only happen if there is an actual efficient cause to drive the transition from potency to act. This sort of motion is alien to God, since God is pure actuality.

There is also psychological motion, which proceeds from actuality to actuality. Aquinas explains the situation in his discussion of the life of God:

Is life is properly attributed to God?

Objection 1. It seems that life is not properly attributed to God. For things are said to live inasmuch as they move themselves, as previously stated. But movement does not belong to God. Neither therefore does life.

Reply to Objection 1. As stated in [Aristotle's] Metaphysics ix, 16, [1050a22 sqq] action is twofold. Actions of one kind pass out to external matter, as to heat or to cut; whilst actions of the other kind remain in the agent, as to understand, to sense and to will. The difference between them is this, that the former action is the perfection not of the agent that moves, but of the thing moved; whereas the latter action is the perfection of the agent. Hence, because movement is an act of the thing in movement, the latter action, in so far as it is the act of the operator, is called its movement, by this similitude, that as movement is an act of the thing moved, so an act of this kind is the act of the agent, although movement is an act of the imperfect, that is, of what is in potentiality; while this kind of act is an act of the perfect, that is to say, of what is in act as stated in De Anima iii, 28. In the sense, therefore, in which understanding is movement, that which understands itself is said to move itself. It is in this sense that Plato also taught that God moves Himself; not in the sense in which movement is an act of the imperfect. Thomas Summa I, 18, 3: Is life propery attributed to God?

Observation and logic only apply to fixed points since there is nothing in between the fixed points for them to get a grip on. From an engineering point of view (including software engineering), we use fixed points (algorithms, crankshafts etc) to control dynamics, but we use the desired dynamics to guide our choice of fixed points, what we might call intelligent design. Intelligent design is design intended to achieve a certain dynamic end, like a steam engine. The relationship of genotype and phenotype is a relationship between fixed genes and the dynamics of life. The role of intelligent design is played by variation and selection. Every designer works like this, producing a model, varying it to find improvements, and selecting a good one.

We may ask how the Christian doctrine of ideas in God relates to the emergence of fixed points in the divine dynamics, which we interpret physically as the creation of the Universe of our experience. The classical God is omniscient and its knowledge is identical to its substance. Part of God's knowledge is the form or idea of the world which he intends to create, just as a builder has in mind an idea of the building she wishes to construct. From our point of view, we may identify such ideas with the fixed points in the divine dynamics. Thomas sees the world as other than God, so that the ideas in Gods intellect are realized as the world. Because we identify God and the World, we identify the classical notion of God's ideas with the world that we observe and experience. Aquinas: Are there ideas of all things that God knows?

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4: Evolution

4.1: Malthus and natural selection

Reproduction is a form of chain reaction, and is capable of growing exponentially. Since each newborn individual requires resources to live, and the resources of Earth are finite, unbounded reproduction will eventually be halted by famine, overcrowding, pollution or some other constraint. In such a situation, not all the offspring can survive and there will be a selective process which will favour those better able acquire the resources for life. Malthusianism - Wikipedia

Charles Darwin knew that centuries of selective breeding created a wide variety of domesticated animals and plants. He imagined that natural selection could do the same in the wild world. In the domestic realm the breeder seeks to mate individuals that are tending in the desired direction. This selection is guided with an eye on the desired end result. Darwin: The Origin of Species

In the wild mating is rather more random, since in the wild there is often room for choice by the participants themselves. In a divine world, natural selection is effectively a judgement from God, and it operates at all scales from the quantum of action to the Universe as a whole. Every time I act, my action is judged. If I make a fatal error, the action will fail. A lesser error may lead to a limited result, an error which may need to be repaired. In each case, the individual action is judged by its interaction with its environment.

Our scientific understanding of the tree of life exhibits the work of natural selection. Darwin had far less information to go on, but was able to discern the general pattern and publish it in The Origin of Species. His work stirred even greater controversy when he applied his theory in The Descent of Man. This work was understood to directly contradict the Catholic doctrine that God creates a new immortal soul for every child born. Darwin: The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex, Catholic Catechism: 366: Every spiritual soul is created immediately by God

Variation and selection enable organisms to adapt to environmental change. If the change is so fast that a species cannot keep up it will probably become extinct through failure to reproduce. Human anthropocene activity, by making swift and massive changes in the planetary environment, may have been been responsible for tens thousands of extinctions since our footprint began to explode. Anthropocene - Wikipedia, Fred Pearce: Global Extinction Rates: Why Do Estimates Vary So Widely?

In the theological language suggested here, adaptation means listening to God and acting on what we hear. We listen through the sciences that tell us how God works, and the arts that communicate these ideas to us in images, symbols and machinery.

Variation and selection apply in all environments where competition is induced by a shortage of resources. In general survivors are the ones who can gather abundant resources or learn to live with less. Creatures adapt through the slow process of genetic evolution, the faster process of the epigenetic emergence of instincts, and the fastest process, cultural development.

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4.2: Competition and cooperation

The phrase 'survival of the fittest' suggests that nature 'red in tooth and claw' is a ceaseless battle for existence. From this point of view, it is very difficult to understand the widespread prevalence of cooperation in the world. The simple answer is that cooperation is the most powerful strategy for survival. Kipling: In Memoriam, Axelrod: The Evolution of Cooperation

Axelrod asks 'Under what conditions will cooperation emerge in a world without central authority?' We can apply this question at all levels of complexity, ranging from the first particles to emerge in the creation of the world to ourselves, to nations and ultimately to the largest structures in the Universe. By 'without central authority' we understand that the only constraint acting upon the egotistical actors that we are thinking about is local consistency. We may understand this generally to mean that suicide is not considered to be a viable option.

The basic question for selfish individuals is whether they will be better off cooperating. From a physical point of view, we may think of cooperation as bonding or communication, and we find that particles tend to bind when their energy is lower in the bonded than the isolated state. Thus we find that it takes a lot of energy to separate a rocket from Earth or an electron from an atom.

Axelrod's research is based on game theory. He assumed the existence of intelligent agents and set out to explore the effects of different rewards and penalties for cooperation and defection. He invited players to submit algorithms designed to maximize the payoff for a particular player. In the game called Prisoners' Dilemma, he found that the simplest algorithm, Tit for Tat, was the most effective in creating cooperation in a repetitive two player game where the players remember previous moves. Without memory the first player will always get the maximum payoff by defecting. Many variations of the game have been devised and it is used in many disciplines to explore the probability cooperation.

One of the critical areas of cooperations is where life is at stake. Should we passively starve to death, or it better to turn to plunder and take the resources for survival from someone else? Reality is, of course, much more complex than this simple game, and cooperation is about more than just a payoff, it also has a psychological and a spiritual dimension. The political and social function of theology and religion is to improve cooperation, a tendency called meliorism. Meliorism - Wikipedia

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4.3: Error and death

'The wages of sin is death.' Here we are looking scientifically rather than morally, so that we see death as a consequence of error rather than sin. All fatal disease is the result of some physiological error in our bodies, as are the accidents that kill motorists, workers and children playing with guns. There is also the deliberate killing of war and murder. These deaths are a consequence of error at a higher level, failed diplomacy and the breakdown of personal, religious and racial harmony. A very important but almost invisible killer is domestic violence. The ultimate killer, old age, follows a breakdown of living systems, usually by an accumulation of errors. Paul, Romans 6:23

The errors of the Catholic Church are killers at many levels, rather like those companies that sell adulterated baby food to unsuspecting parents. The root of these errors is the worship a false God inherited from the Old Testament. The God of the Christians worship is a crusty and vindictive old man, modelled on contemporary kings and warlords who are completely unaware human rights. The Bible records many of Yahweh's vicious actions: The Fall, the Flood, the Exodus, Abraham and Jacob, the genocide in Palestine and the crucifixion of Jesus. Yahweh is very thin skinned, and many of his worst deeds are retribution for supposed slights. Flood myth - Wikipedia

For much of its history the Church has held itself to be above human law, and it has often proven itself a thorn in the side of civil society. I feel that its root political error is sexism. Women carry no weight in the political sphere of the Church. The glass ceiling is well below the rank of priest, the footsoldiers of Catholic propaganda. This sexism is a symptom of the much wider failure of the duty of care. The Church considers itself a loving and just shepherd guiding its sheep to a happy life. What is omitted from the story is that the shepherd is being nice to the sheep because this maximizes the quantity and quality of clothing and food he can derive from each sheep. John Paul II: Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, 22 May 1994

In other words, it may be that the Catholic 'history of salvation' is an unsafe doctrine from a practical point of view. The Church embodies a moral hazard, that we should all love our conspecifics because if we do we earn an eternity of bliss in heaven, A dream. A religion has a duty of care, it is an embodiment of care, and we can see in history many instances of the struggles of the poor being mitigated by religious motives in the wealthy, ie those with adequate fulfillment of their needs, like me.

Duty of care implies a duty of truth, since one must truthfully recognize what is going on when caring for someone. Knowing when and how to change the nappy, finding the right food and shelter and all the the necessities of life. In formal terms actions based on truth are instances of engineering. Reliable engineering must be based on reliable properties and knowledge of these properties for each element of engineered structure. The history of engineering is a history of the disasters we have learnt to avoid. From this point of view religion is social engineering. Insofar as engineers seek useful stability rather than dangerous failure, religion is the technology of peace. Its tool is the law, the genotype of society written in the legislature, executed in the executive, and tested by the judiciary.

The emotional problem I faced in the Church is reflected in the Church between the two halves of its personality: the pastoral and the dogmatic. The Church exercises its pastoral mission within a dogmatic framework that asserts that the Universe is not divine, that females are inferior to males, that enjoying sex for any reason other than procreation is forbidden, that the Universe and in particular human nature is flawed by original sin, and so on. Many of these dogmatic positions are simply wrong, that is they do not conform to reality. The alternative is simple. We do away with dogmatism by the assumption that the Universe is divine, that all experience is experience of God, and that the scientific method generates reliable knowledge of God.

In the Church the pastoral duty of care is in conflict with the dogmatic duty of 'truth', and the result is unnatural pressure on people which leads to unnatural behaviour.

Correcting the fraudulent trajectory of the Church is not going to be easy. Because it has tremendous momentum it needs a great force to deflect it, a force much greater than can be directly exerted by one individual. The generation of this force is a political task, a numbers game which requires the establishment of new and attractive policy. Jesus served as an attractor in his day. The scientific community performs a similar role now. Scientific Community - Wikipedia

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4.4: Network ecology

The Universe comprises an enormous number distinct entities. These distinct entities interact with one another through communication networks. Such a network comprises sources and channels. We may think of it as a network of pipes, with water going in and out to various sources and sinks. Here we call them all sources. A sink is a source that receives rather than transmits, a negative source, if you like. If the pipes do not leak, the sum of the positive and negative is zero. In communication networks the flow is not water but information, which is just as real as water.

We measure the flow of water in litres per second. We measure the flow of information in in bits per second, a quantity usually called bandwidth. Although we may represent information by continuous functions like modulated waves, the information flowing in a network is necessarily digitial. This is a consequence of the mathematical theory of communication invented by Claude Shannon. He showed that in order to transmit information without error we must make it digital, that is a sequence of distinct symbols that are too far apart to be confused with one another. Claude Shannon: Communication in the Presence of Noise, Bandwidth (computing) - Wikipedia

Ecology studies the interactions of organisms with one another. If we are thinking of living things, we have biological ecology. Living things also interact with the sunlight, earth, air, and water and all the physical elements of the world, some being useful to them, others neutral or dangerous. Inanimate particles also communicate through networks, and have their own ecology which is the subject of physics, chemistry and cosmology. Cosmology - Wikipedia

The history of Earth tells us how it was built, and explains the relationships between all the parts of the Universe, and how the small parts get together to form larger parts, including ourselves. The foundation of this construction is cybernetics. Communication and control are in effect two sides of the same coin. I am communicating with you, and by doing so I am in some way controlling you, putting information into your mind through the internet. This communication is one way. I am not yet ready to introduce comments on this site

Communication and control correlate things. The Book of Genesis recounts that everything began from something like nothing, chaos. The creator brought order to the chaos, beginning with the command 'Let there be light'. Tohu wa-bohu - Wikipedia

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5: Universal cooperation: Physics

Human consciousness awoke in a new world. We were attuned to survival in our environment by billions of years of evolution, but the curiosity to ask what it all meant must have been, at some stage, new. The ancient religions, with a history stretching back to the origin of consciousness, are answers to these questions.

One of the most powerful forces for survival is cooperation. United we stand, divided we fall. Complex systems have an advantage over simple systems. We see this at work in the history of the Universe. Over billlions of years it has constructed itself from a gas of fundamental particles to complex systems like the Earth.

A key idea in traditional religion is that the Supreme Being is benevolent and loves us, guiding everything for our welfare. Although this may not always be obvious, it becomes a matter of faith. The evolutionary paradigm puts a slightly different interpretation on this: we are here because we survived because we fitted our environment. If the Universe is divine, our existence suggests that God is on our side. Anthropic principle - Wikipedia

History shows that the world has constructed itself from a formless initial singularity to its present state. Our aim is to find out how it did this so that we can apply the same lessons to our human development, from simple human individuals to a complex and peaceful global society.

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5.1: Cybernetics

Norbert Wiener defined cybernetics as the science of communication and control in the animal and the machine. Wiener: Cybernetics

The construction of complex organisms in the Universe requires communication and control. One of the core processes in this construction is feedback. A source or personality observes the consequences of its action and uses this information to modify its behaviour. This feedback may be almost instantaneous, as when I hit my finger with a hammer. Or it may take millions of years, as we observe in the slow evolution of species through the feedback called selection.

In business, if a new product is observed to sell well, the manufacturer will be encouraged to make more of them. This is positive feedback. It makes thing grow. An outstanding example is the chain reaction that releases the energy of a nuclear weapon. The fission of one nucleus releases two neutrons which cause two more nuclei to fission, which release four neutrons, and so on. The process only ends when all the nuclei in the weapon have split.

Negative feedback, on the other hand, controls things. So I drive along looking at the road. When I see that I am getting out of my lane, I steer back toward the centre. The evolution of the world is an interplay between positive and negative feedback. We see it in evolution. Growth can be explosive. In some species two adults can have millions of babies, but very few of these can grow up to reproduce because resources are limited.

Each of these children must avoid predation and obtain enough resources to grow and reproduce to continue the chain reaction, but few do. Other species have very few babies and nurture them carefully. In both cases, the result is usually a relatively stable population. We are acutely aware of the need to stabilize our own population so that we do not collide violently with the limits established by our finite environment.

We model the predictable elements of the world as a computer network. Finite versions of this model are found in engineered networks such as the internet. The infinitely expanded transfinite version serves as a model of the observable fixed points God.

The mathematical theories necessary for designing engineered networks were developed by Claude Shannon and Alan Turing. The transfinite expansion of these ideas from finite engineering to the infinite divinity may be constructed in Cantor's universe of transfinite cardinal and ordinal numbers. Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an application to the Entscheidungsproblem

Control requires error free communication. Shannon showed how to transmit information over a noisy network. The speed of this communication depends on the level of noise. The noise level in a channel imposes an upper limit on the speed of communication. The central idea of the theory is to place legitimate messages in the communication space so far apart that there is very little chance of them being confused.

The conquest of noise requires coding messages to make them distinct. Coding (and the corresponding decoding) are mathematical algorithms which may be executed by a digital computer. Since a computer is itself a network, it must be digital to implement error free communication within itself. Turing showed that there are limits to the power of a such a machine.

A system must stay within the limits imposed by the noise in its environment and its own computing power if it is to control itself. This is what a careful driver tries to do. If the vehicle gets out of control, extreme negative feedback in the form of a crash may being the vehicle back under control.

The bodily systems that sustain are lives are studied in physiology. Physiological questions are all matters of communication and control: how do the trillions of cells in our bodies work together to make us what we are? It must be possible because we are alive.

Many see the contemporary world as out of control. Does it have to be so? It seems that the Earth got along pretty well before we came along. Now we are in a mess. Can we have missed something? I think so. There is a massive defect in our theology. Or more accurately, we no longer have a theology. Theology is the traditional science of everything and provides the fundamental references system we use navigate our way through life.

In the old religions, God is in control and we trust Him to look after us. Green theology suggests that a green religion will recognize that our own fate depends on what we do. The old religions are essentially monarchies. One or a few prophets speak for God and control the behaviour of everybody else, by violence if necessary. This approach introduces noise into the society as people revolt against arbitrary control, and reduces the processing power of the community to the mind of very few people.

The Roman Catholic Church is an absolute monarchy. There is no recourse from any judgement of the Pope. Over its two thousand year history the Church has demonstrated all the bloodthirsty characteristics of those who maintain doctrine by authority rather than conformity to reality. Violence and monarchy are intimately related.

My feeling is that peace on Earth will be greatly facilitated when the Roman Catholic Church becomes a scientifically based democracy. Democracy has two benefits. First, by involving everybody, it nurtures peace in the society, bringing down the noise level and increasing the speed of communication. Second, by bringing the everybody's mind to bear on the problems facing us, we increase the probability of finding a viable solution.

This idea is relevant to the human world, but also applies at every level of complexity in the universal network. We now apply it in the physical world which is very well described by quantum mechanics.

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5.2: Quantum mechanics

The foundation of modern physics is quantum mechanics. Quantum mechanics was developed to explain the fixed points observed in the Universe. It began when people tried to explain the spectra of atoms. These spectra reveal many fixed frequencies, called lines.

The modern technology of clocks depends upon the precision of these lines. We can now make atomic clocks, which depend on spectral lines, accurate to one second in 100 million years. This suggests that the natural frequencies of spectral lines may be defined with absolute precision: they are determinate fixed points in the Universe. Atoms are just one of may sources of spectral lines. Quantum mechanics applies to all these sources. Atomic clock - Wikipedia

In the last few decades, we have come to see quantum mechanics less as a 'mechanical' theory describing the collisions of little particles something like billiard balls, and more as a description of information processing, transmission and computation. The first piece of evidence is quantization itself. Although physicists ancient and modern use continuous (geometrical) mathematics to describe the world, all observable events are discrete, non overlapping entities. Quantization arises, we guess, because the mathematical theory of information tells us that error free communication requires quantized signals. Feynman: Feynman Lectures on Computation

Quantum mechanics equates energy E and frequency f through the Planck-Einstein relation, E = hf where h is Planck's constant, the measure of the atom of action. Quantum mechanics enables us to calculate the nature and frequency of the messages we receive from the physical world. Spectral lines are such messages. Physicists try to picture the underlying processes that generate these fixed points. Planck-Einstein relation - Wikipedia

The scale of quantization places limits on the precision with which things can be observed, the uncertainty principle. Frequency is the inverse of time, and the uncertainty principle tells us that the precision of our measurement of time is inversely proportional to the precision of our measurement of frequency, the constant of proportionality being the quantum of action, in symbols ΔE.Δt ≈ h. This uncertainty arises from the digitization of communication. We cannot see or measure between quanta of action.

Quantum mechanics gets its answers from two mathematical procedures. The first is symbolized by the proper value equation, traditionally known (in German) as the eigenvalue equation, Mψ = mψ. M is a measurement operator embodied in some instrument. We may think of it as a set of computers represented by vectors in a multi-dimensional space. ψ is the unknown state of the system to be measured. The equation tells us that the result will always be a simple number m, the eigenvalue of a vector which remains fixed under the action of M. This eigenvalue represents the frequency of a spectral line. Eigenvalues and eigenvectors - Wikipedia

The spectral messages in the quantum network are characterized not just by their frequencies, but by their frequency of occurrence, sometimes called line weight. This frequency is calculated using the Born rule. This rule implements the quantum mechanical principle of superposition. Because quantum mechanics works at the simplest layer in the universe, its computations are very simple, basically just addition. If we add two waves, we get another wave in which each of the constituent waves its maintains its identity. If we listen carefully to an orchestra, for instance we can often pick out individual instruments. The Born rule in effect picks out how strongly each instrument is represented in the universal music. Born rule - Wikipedia, Quantum superposition - Wikipedia

Quantum mechanics shows us how the world controls itself. The formalism picks out the fixed points that enable communication in the world. Our transfinite network model suggests that these fixed points correspond to the integers in our number system, discrete entities. The theory of communication tells us that error free communication is only possible if the symbols shared are discrete. The underlying wave equation of quantum mechanics is constructed using continuous mathematics. It took a long struggle, culminating in the work of Cantor, to show that a continuum per se is meaningless, and that the Universe can only communicate meanings by sharing discrete units of information physically embodied as particles. Particle here embraces all discrete entities from fundamental particles to galaxies and beyond.

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5.3: Relativity

Our experiences of the world are spread out in space and time. We see that no two real things can exist in the same region of space at the same time. Quantum mechanics deals with time and energy. Space adds three new dimensions, often known as x, y and z, to time to give us spacetime. Space and time are related by the fact that it takes time to move a distance through space. The faster one travels, the shorter the time to get there, but there is a physical maximum speed, the velocity of light.

According to our hypothesis, the creation of the world is the emergence of fixed points in the divine dynamics. We understand these fixed points to be carriers of information in the universal network.

Quantum mechanics describes the lowest physical layer of this network. Although the quantum formalism is usually applied in space-time, all its essential features can be realized in the energy-time domain. Quantum mechanics identifies energy and time through the Planck-Einstein equation E = hf, where f is frequency, inverse time. Quantum mechanics does not see absolute energies, only energy differences, that is frequency differences, which determine the outcome when the wave functions are added according to the Born rule.

Classically, God is pure action. In modern physics energy is the time rate of action, so that we can imagine the first act of creation was the emergence of two orthogonal entities, energy and time, from action. Because they are distinct, a region of uncertainty lies between them.

Relativity is concerned with the emergence of the next layer of structure in the Universe, space-time. This introduces a new duality, space and time, with two properties: space is not time; and it takes time to move in space. Einstein developed the special theory of relativity when he realized that Maxwell’s equations are not consistent with the Galilean transformations used in Newtonian physics . The velocity of light, c, is fixed locally by Maxwell’s equations and is completely independent of the velocity of either the source or the observer of the light. This leads to the equation c+c = c, a counterintuitive result that is nevertheless consistent with observed reality. It is explained by the Lorentz transformation. This transformation is the fixed point or algorithm which governs the local structure of space-time. Albert Einstein: On the Elecrodynamics of Moving Bodies, Lorentz transformation - Wikipedia

Relativity inherits the conservation of energy from quantum mechanics. The Universe as a whole, we believe, contains a constant amount of energy, which may in fact be zero, the physical equivalent of eternity. This is because in space-time we can distinguish potential energy and kinetic energy. Conservation holds if we count kinetic energy as positive and potential energy us negative. A frictionless pendulum would swing forever converting potential energy into kinetic energy and back again. Feynman: Lectures on Gravitation

The special theory deals with inertial motion, that is systems in free fall. In this system, Newton’s first law of motion holds: a body at rest remains at rest and a body in motion continues to move in a straight line unless it is acted upon by a force. The general theory takes force (like gravitation) into account. It corresponds to Newton’s second law: that a body with mass m acted upon by force F accelerates at a rate a, ie a = F/m.

Einstein began his study of gravitation with the insight that a person in free fall does not feel their own weight. This led to the equivalence principle, that there is no way to distinguish between weight and acceleration, between gravitational mass and inertial mass. Gravitation sees only energy regardless of its form. Einstein: Relativity

Two constraints bind the general theory of relativity. First, that we live in a four dimensional space-time. And second, that energy is conserved. A world with three spatial dimensions is the simplest world in which a network can be completely connected without ‘crossed wires’, that is with messages interfering with one another and becoming confused.

Formally, general relativity describes a dynamic space-time which may expand or contract. At present we see an expanding Universe, and can extrapolate this expansion back to a singular point which we see as the source of the ‘big bang’ which created the current Universe. The inverse process, which occurs in regions of concentrated energy, is the formation of black holes. General relativity may be the only consistent implementation of conservation of energy in 4D space-time, having been selected from all those possibilities that entail inconsistency in some way.

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5.4: Symmetry and wildness

A symmetry is something that stays the same while other things change. Physics is built on a number of symmetries, each of which adds a new layer of structure to the world. The fundamental symmetry is the act. All events, no matter what their content, are acts. There is an atomic act, an indivisible event measured by the the quantum of action. All actions comprise one or more quanta of action. Because the quantum is so small, most actions at the human scale comprise many trillions of quanta. Because act is fundamental it is the measure of all events, but nothing measures it. This implies that there is no inconsistency between the classical definition of God as pure act and the quantum of action. All events are acts of God.

The Universe is wild. It is also full of symmetries, and symmetry and wildness are closely connected. We may see the basic characteristic of wildness as unpredictability. This uncertainty is based on symmetry. A fair die, for instance is symmetrical, and because of this symmetry we cannot tell which face will land upwards when we throw it. All we can say is the the probability of each of the numbers from 1 to 6 is 1/6. Kolmogorov: Foundations of the Theory of Probability

In a layered network, the lower layers are the symmetries of the layers above themselves. The energy layer described by quantum mechanics establishes the symmetry known as conservation of energy for all subsequent layers. No matter how complex a system may be, it conserves energy.

In human affairs the basic symmetry is provided by our common humanity. This symmetry is the basis for all the statements of human rights that have developed over the last few centuries. A consequence of this symmetry is that gender, colour, wealth and all the other breaks in human symmetry are given an equal chance of realization. Nobody is barred from fulfilling their dreams, we face a wilderness of possibilities. United Nations: Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Wilderness maximizes entropy and so maximises stability and peace. Instead of dictatorial rulers using violence to limit human behaviour, everyone is free to do anything humanly possible as long as it does not impinge on the human rights of others.

5.5: Quantum field theory: bonding

A key relationship arising from the special theory is the equation of mass and energy: E = mc2. Massive particles can be created from energy and energy is released when they are annihilated. One of the most successful applications of quantum field theory is quantum electrodynamics, the theory of the interactions between photons and electrically charged particles like electrons. Most of the macroscopic phenomena we observe are explained by quantum electrodynamics, with the particular exception of gravitation, which has so far eluded incorporation into the standard model that embraces the other three interactions. Feynman: QED

Particles fall into two classes, bosons and fermions. Bosons serve as messenger particles, fermions as structural particles. Identical bosons tend to congregate together. Identical fermions, on the other hand, obey the Pauli exclusion principle: only one fermion is allowed in any quantum state. This leads to the spatial extension of structures like atoms and everything made from atoms. Quantum field theory understands this differentiation by the spin-statistics theorem. Streater & Wightman: PCT, Spin, Statistics and All That

Classical physicists thought that information could be transmitted instantaneously through space. The special theory of relativity tell us that it takes time to move a distance. This fact leads to the time ordering of causality and the effective isolation of events that are outside one another’s ‘light cones’ and cannot communicate with one another. Light cone - Wikipedia

The emergence of spacetime enabled the creation of particles. We model this process using quantum field theory (QFT) which lies at the intersection of quantum mechanics and special relativity. Particle Data Group. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

One of the key ingredients of modern physics is Emmy Noether's explanation of the close relationship between symmetries and conservation laws such as the conservation of energy. Many other physical quantities are conserved, and we find that these symmetries define the nature of possible particles, that is possible messages in the physical world. Neuenschwander: Emmy Noether's Wonderful Theorem.

Particles are the observable fixed points in the divine dynamics. On the whole, they are observed by one another rather than by physicists. Particles interact with one another through the underlying, largely invisible processes which we represent by quantum wave functions, analogous to computer software. These processes are invisible, since to be visible, they must communicate. Since communication is itself a process, the overhead of communication would bring every process to a standstill if it tried to communicate a real time history of every step it took. For the purposes of our model, these fixed points correspond to transfinite numbers and the underlying processes are modelled by Turing machines.

Quantum mechanics becomes creative when we introduce 'measurement', ie systems communicating with one another. The act of communication takes place in a product of the Hilbert spaces of the communicating particles This product space is in effect a new creation. Zurek explains that communication can only take place if the two particles share an orthogonal basis, that is a common code, as we should expect from Shannon’s theory. Networks extend themselves by creating new network addresses, that is new space. Quantum communication or measurement has a similar effect. Wojciech Hubert Zurek: The QuantumOrigin of Quantum Jumps

Fermions bind to one another by exchanging bosons. We can see layer after layer of this structure, beginning with fundamental particles and moving up through atoms, molecules, cells, organisms, ourselves, ecosystems, planets and galaxies to the Universe as a whole. This process is governed by natural selection or, as we have noted above, divine judgement.

The fundamental network in the Universe is the gravitational network which, like quantum mechanics, sees only energy. It is indifferent to the form which energy states. Gravity sees me and an 85 kg boulder as identical. The symmetry of gravitation treats every particle the same, a condition known as general covariance which means that any consistent reference frame will do for gravitation. In linguistic terms, this means that anything can mean anything, any two symbols can be bonded together, like (for instance) words in a dictionary bound by their spatial order.

Most attempts to develop a quantum theory of gravitation have run into trouble, suggesting that perhaps gravitation may not be quantized so that gravitons do not exist. The general theory of relativity describes four dimensional spacetime using the continuous space described by differential geometry. A continuum carries no marks, and so cannot carry information. This continuity serves as an interface between the classical God of pure dynamic simplicity and the fixed points that we observe being created and annihilated within this dynamic. Differential geometry - Wikipedia

An inertial reference body is inertial because it is being subject to no force, the definition of inertial. Gravitation, therefore, carries no information and does not exert a force on inertial frames. Since it carries no information, it has no need to be quantized. We only feel the gravity on Earth because the ground we are standing on stops is from following our inertial inclination. The structure of the Earth is maintained by the electromagnetic, weak and strong forces.

Gravitation is exceedingly weak. The electromagnetic force is is approximately 1040 times stronger than gravitation. The next step in the construction of the Universe may have been be the emergence of electromagnetism, photons and charged particle like electrons and quarks. Photons are bosons and charged particles like the elecron are mostly fermions. Electromagnetism explains most of the features of the macroscopic observable world. Electromagnetism - Wikipedia, Physics Forums

Gravitation does not change things since it communicates no information. Inertial frames remain inertial under the action of gravitation. The other three forces do transmit information. They do not simply push things around but change them, just as we are changed when we talk to one another. Electromagnetic interactions changes the state of changed particles through the exchange of photons. Because the photon is massless, it travels at the velocity of light and has an infinite range. We can now detect photons that were created a few hundred thousand years after the Universe began 14 billion years ago. Cosmic microwave background - Wikipedia

The weak force is very similar to the elecromagnetic force. The three 'vector bosons' particles exchanged by the force are massive and so have a very short range and lifetime, dictated by the uncertainty principle. This force operates on quarks, changing one flavour into another. It is responsible for radioactive decay. It also interacts with electrons and neutrinos. Weak interaction - Wikipedia

Each new generation of particles arises through the breaking of a pre-existing symmetry. The similarities of the electromagnetic interaction and the weak interaction are explained by seeing them both as examples of an electroweak interaction at high energies whose symmetry is broken at lower energies to give the photon and the three vector bosons.

The strong force binds quarks together to give us nucleons like the proton and the neutron and mesons. It also serve to bind nucleons into atomic nuclei. It is carries by massless particles called gluons which interact through colour charge. The strong force is so strong that any attempt to break the bond between quarks takes so much energy that new quarks are created in the process, making it impossible to isolate a single quark. Nevertheless the variety of quarks and colour charges provides a very satisfactory explanation of the large number of heavy particles observed in high energy interactions. Strong interaction - Wikipedia

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6: Application: the commandment of love

Religion is applied theology in the same way as engineering is applied physics and medicine is applied biology. Religions have traditionally been sources of values and have developed codes of behaviour to guide their followers. Billions pf people have been guided by the ten commandments of Yahweh. These codes are often motivated by a reward like an eternal life of blessedness. If practical terms, religions foster communication and cooperation within groups of people which improve their fitness. Ten Commandments - Wikipedia

In the time of Jesus, the priestly bureaucracy of Judaism had produced a forest of regulation that seemed to benefit the priesthood at the cost of the people. Jesus revolted against this, using strong language. Matthew devotes a whole chapter of his Gospel to the woes of the priests, listing their hypocrisy in detail:

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness. Matthew 23

Naturally they wanted to kill him. Self appointed priesthoods have been righteously condemning people to death, often horrible, for at least as long as we have historical evidence. With the help of the Romans, the priests ultimately had Jesus crucified. By rising from the dead, he proved his divinity. The writers of the Gospel portrayed their work as a happy ending to the disasters of the Old Testament. God had received recompense by the sacrifice of his Son. Now he will eventually repair the damage he did to the world in his fit of anger at the first people. Catholic Catechism: He will come again in glory

Jesus took them back to the beginning of the Law by quoting from the Deuteronomy 6:5: 'Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength', words written down about 600 years previously. To this Jesus added: “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34) This radical simplification of the Law might be enough to explain why Christianity has since grown to be about 100 times more popular than Judaism. Deuteronomy 6:1-9, John 13:33-35: Love one another

Elsewhere, Jesus set a standard for this love: 'Love your neighbour as yourself'. He used the Parable of the Good Samaritan to explain the meaning of 'neighbour'. New Commandment - Wikipedia, Mark 12:30-31, Luke: The Parable of the Good Samaritan

There are people such as Margaret Thatcher who say that there is no such thing as society and that we are all on our own. This makes no sense, of course. Very few of us live alone incommunicado. Most of us are in constant contact with other people, and this is the communication that forms a society.

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6.1: Love God = love the Universe

If the Universe is God, love God means love the Universe. As we pointed out above, the Catholic Church depends for its existence on the hypothesis that God is invisible to us so that it is the sole channel of reliable communication between ourselves and God.

Here we explore the alternative, that God is biggest, most powerful and awesome thing we can see, ranging from the whole Universe to every moment of our lives. If the Universe is divine, every experience is experience of God, what Christianity calls revelation.

The Universe fulfills all the traditional roles of God, creator, sustainer, provider and judge. From this point of view, the Universe deserves the same worship and care as we traditionally devote to our fictional Gods. To care passionately for the planetary systems that preserve and enhance our lives is to be green. Green theology puts greenness on on a sound theological footing.

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6.2: The will of God is implicit in nature

We want to know the will of God. This is the quest of all religions. Different cultures have had different approaches to acquiring this knowledge. Institutions like the Catholic Church claim that they know the will of God through books they have written themselves. They claim the sole right and ability to tell us what God wants.

They motivate us to trust them by their promise that people who do as they are told qualify for an eternal afterlife of divine bliss. On the other hand disobedience will be punished by an eternity of suffering in Hell. A strong motivation which deeply affected me for the first 25 years of my life.

None of us want to die, the survival instinct is too strong, so there comes point in a time of stress where the natural course is to avoid starvation by taking resources from other people, at the risk that if they resist our attempts at plunder they may harm, perhaps kill us. Our motivation is that we would die of starvation anyway. None are so dangerous as those who have nothing to lose.

Does God want us to kill to live? Yes, if resources are limited, there may be no choice. On the other hand, we have long since learnt that a bit of foresight can prevent conflict. We need to set aside our surplusses for hard times, as Joseph taught the Egyptian Pharoah long ago (as if he did not know that already!). If it is the will of God to kill when necessary, it also the will of God to prevent conflict by careful management and communication. Genesis 41:1-39: Pharoah's dreams

The classical God is eternal, omniscient and omnipotent. One the other had, we are parts of the universal God, and our actions are God's actions. As we learn how to maintain our lives with less violence, love should motivate us to seek to lighten our footprint on our planet. Ways to do this include voluntary poverty, recycling, vegetarianism and renewable energy. Ecological footprint - Wikipedia

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6.3: Power: Warlords, monarchs and government

One of the realities of life noted in the Book of Genesis is the need to work. For most of us work is a pain and better avoided. This has led, over many thousands of years to institutions such as slavery, military conquest, rape and plunder, all aimed at reducing the workload of those powerful enough to command the labour of others.

We might measure power of a person by the aggregate amount of change they can produce in the lives of his subjects. At one extreme all the subjects are slaves of a monarch who has an arbitrary power of life and death. At the other end we have an ideal society ruled by laws so agreeable that people are inclined to obey them without force. The aim of democracy might be use the collective wisdom of the people to craft laws that as many people as possible see as just and necessary. Citizens wish to have a say in the way their tax money is spent.

One important sphere of power is the upbringing of children, filing their minds with models of self control which improve the chances of profitable outcomes of the events of their lives. This why religions like to control education. The Catholic education I received was partly an abuse of power because much of the theology I was taught was wrong. The question here is whether we are breeding people who live by evidence or people who live by ego and instant gratification.

There are two general approaches to truth. The first is faith: believe what you are told by the authorities; the second is observation. If you want to know what is actually happening, look. It seems true that truth is stranger than fiction. The sayings of the authorities, like the dogma of the Catholic church, are often fictions, made up to promote their political agenda and make certain that they maintain their authority. This battle between traditional authoritarianism and the modern search for evidence based opinions seems to have always been with us.

'And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.' (John 8:32, KJV). Conversely, error imprisons us. Scientists use the natural world as their touchstone, as Christian theologians use the Bible. Christians believe the Bible, and the task of theologians is to decode this information using the tools approved by their institutional masters. The Biblical ‘deposit of faith’ is less than a million words. Although Christian theologians allow that world teaches us something about God, this knowledge is severely limited and definitely not the full story of our existence.

There is a selective pressure toward the scientific approach, simply because it is more likely to show us how the world really works so that we can devise technological strategies and tactics to help ourselves. Fictions like divine grace, homeopathic medicine and trial by battle have no place in an evidence based world.

The Catholic Church claims to have received the gift of truth from its God, but it is definitely wrong on one obvious matter: that women are precisely equal to men in the theological sphere and cannot therefore be barred from the priesthood. True education replaces these ancient fictions with facts about the nature of God. John Paul II: Fides et Ratio

Christianity is a meliorist religion. It would like to make things better. There is the ultimate betterment of eternity in heaven, but the doctrine of loving your neighbour as yourself has probably done much for good and benevolent government in those countries that take social security, health care and education seriously.

One valuable consequence of this approach is the peace and freedom that have allowed science and technology to flourish, leading to improvements in the physical sides of life, communication, transport, housing, food, health care and so on. In adverse poltical circumstances, these benefits may not yet be realized, but the fact that they are possible remains an aspiration for oppressed people.

Here we come to a problem with systems of sharing and cooperation: control of the impact of 'free loaders'. Taxpayers are often worried that their money is being used to support people who do not deserve it. Looking after everybody is good for business, however, and we can rely on poorer people to spend their income quickly to the benefit of the economy.

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6.4: The political economy of war

[People] are qualified for civil liberty, in exact proportion to their disposition to put moral chains upon their own appetites; in proportion as their love of justice is above their rapacity; in proportion as their soundness and sobriety of understanding is above their vanity and presumption; in proportion as they are more disposed to listen to the counsels of the wise and good, in preference to the flattery of knaves. Edmund Burke

Creatures produced by evolution are inclined not only to minimise the costs of survival, but also to survive at any cost. We need energy to live and the principal source of energy on Earth is the Sun. Because we are incapable of photosynthesis ourselves, we have had to get our food from a food chain rooted in the Sun, eating either vegetables, herbivorous animals, or animals that feed on herbivorous animals.

The search for food can often lead to conflict. All species which hunt and gather and reproduce sexually gather must protect their resources from interlopers. People who live by horticulture and agriculture must protect their produce from from vermin and plunderers. On the other hand, there is a tendency to rape and plunder since from an evolutionary point of view it gets ones genes into the next generation. For those who are skilled and equipped for violence it may be any easy way to acquire resources. It is therefore necessary to curtail some of our ancient instincts to maintain peaceful society. Civilization and Its Discontents - Wikipedia

Here we conceive the world as a layered network. Physics explores the lowest layer of this network. Physics explains many of the violent events in the Universe, and this knowledge has both shown us the evolution of the Universe from the initial singularity and taught us how to make nuclear weapons.

Life on Earth became possible first because we live a long way from supernovas and black holes, and secondly because it is a mineral rich planet near a star whose energy spectrum is just right to promote the chemistry of life. We do not know how life started, but we have some history of its evolution over the last few billion years.

We are a very successful species because we have been able to appropriate the energy forms of life for our own use. This power comes from the social networks we form to gather and share information about the world and devise ways of using this information for our welfare. The foundation of this development is peaceful government.

This is not easy, since violence often wins. We can see this at work in many countries, where violent regimes are systematically killing and imprisoning anybody who dare to dissent from government rape and pillage, eg Egypt under Morsi, Russia Putin, Syria under Bashar al Assad and so on. These violent warmongers are serious impediments to the construction of heaven on Earth.

Violence involves the release of large amounts of energy in a very short time, like punching someone in the head or exploding a bomb. Energy of itself is very simple since it is a fundamental symmetry of the universe. A fundamental symmetry of social organization is money, that is a conserved measure of value that obeys the laws of arithmetic. The analogy between money, energy and violence is that large amounts of money can cause large amounts of violence by buying weapons and mercenaries to operate them. The oligarchic lust for money and the power associated with it is a leading cause of national failure. Acemoglu

The flow of energy is transparent. At present the global money system is shrouded in secrecy. In practice government is a matter of money, taxing and spending. It is guided to some extent by the taxpayers' desire to control how their money is spent. One aspect of this control is to prevent leakage of public funds into supporting violence and corruption. Theology and religion must learn to apply the physics of energy to the flow of value and power in the human network.

Like energy, money is divine. We must learn to manage money as effectively as the Universe manages energy. This is the question for political economy.

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6.5: Science

We rely on the input of information from our environment to guide our lives. If this information is false, we could be in trouble. Driving on a foggy night, is the road clear enough ahead for me to overtake the truck in front?

We have billions of sensors on our surfaces which are continually feeding us with the real time information necessary for dynamic processes like ding the dishes or driving in city traffic. This raw information is integrated in our central nervous system to determine what we need to do to deal with this input.

Individual life is fast and detailed. The political system works at a slower pace and takes an abstract view of the population. It also collects information and integrates it to devise courses of action. The traditional input to government is statistics. How many voted for who? how much steel are we producing? How much money are we spending on welfare, and so on. Ideally it implements human symmetry, collecting information fairly and equally. Any tendency to falsify information is dangerous, as it may lead the body politic astray. Truth in feedback is essential for stability.

Science is the source of reliable social feedback. It begins with statistics. The basic process of scientific data collection is the same as that used by government, which we call binning and counting. We picture things by devising a list of bins, and then counting how many individuals may be in each one. How many people smoke? How many are over 80 years old? The bins describe symmetries, a set of events with something in common.

Is this population of creatures healthy. The scientific approach is to count them year after year to see if their population is increasing or decreasing. We learn about fundamental physics by hitting particles together and binning and counting the particles that come out. We Decide of the Earth is warming by measuring the temperature at many points and many times.

Science can only deal with observable phenomena. In traditional theology the doings of the gods and angels are generally invisible to us, and we need to listen to a prophet to find out what is going on. If the Universe is divine, on the other hand, we can look scientifically at God and decide how best to deak with it.

We are born with enough innate knowledge to survive, to charm our carers, to find food, to shy away from danger. But there is a lot more to learn, so that we find these days that many people are only just finishing their education in their mid-twenties.

It is probably still true that most people in the world have been brought up in traditions that base values and activities on the words of an invisible god. Where the god and the findings of science differ, many of these people are inclined to believe the god. This is a dangerous misunderstanding of the nature of God.

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6.6: Theology: the science of everything

This essay suggests that there is a consistent alternative view to the Catholic dogma that God is a mysterious other known only to the Church. The data of theology are human experience, that is they lie in human consciousness and we have access to these data through the words and actions of their possessors.

At present, many people on the planet are having negative experiences, and in most cases this negativity is the result of the actions of the others, predominantly intimate partners, warlords, and all those others who get their pleasures by inflicting pain on others.

I feel that the Church is a major player in this task, disenfranchising the female half of the population, maintaining that we are sinners living in a broken world, denying current reality infavour of some future world and a host of other errors.

The alternative to an effective parliament, however, is civil war. At present religious forces are verging on civil war, and it is imperative that the Catholic Church, the wealthiest and most powerful religion on the planet, open itself to a reform which will unify the theological and religious forces on the Earth for the welfare of the planet.

Any universal theology and religion must be based on the realities of human life, not the fantasies of a lot of powerful old men. Galileo showed the way. Truth is stranger than fiction. Since Galileo's time we have learnt an enormous amount about ourselves and our Universe. The first part of this essay recalls some of this knowledge.

We have defined symmetry as something that stays the same while other things change. Human symmetry is the set of human properties and rights which remain unchanged as we move from person to person. The broadest scientific symmetry is a theory that applies to everything that exists. We propose that theology is just this theory, treating the whole Universe of observable reality from the big bang to this moment in each of our lives.

From the communication point of view, all our observations are communications between ourselves and the Universe and the messages are encoded in particles of various complexity ranging from photons and electrons to complex structures like ourselves. I am a signal propagating from my birth to my death, one of the vast traffic in human life running on the human part of the Universal network.

In this context, theology becomes the study of information flow in the divinity. It is based on the information that flows into and out of each of us. From this abstract theological point of view, we are all different but nevertheless identical particles in the world, and we must structure our societies both on human equality and fair trade with one another and our global environment.

A religion based on this theology does not need a remote central commanding authority. All the information needed for someone to fit in and have a good relationship with the divine whole is available locally, either by immediate experience or by messages through the network, like this little essay.

Theology is very practical. It shows us how to navigate through life. By studying the nature of the whole world, it gives us a global frame of reference to find our way, just as the stars show sailors which way to go in a trackless ocean.

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6.7: Symmetry, law and human rights

The Catholic history of salvation claims that we are fallen species, the harmony between body and spirit broken by an ancestral sin. We are now universally inclined toward evil, and must be controlled. This control cannot come from the unreliable people themselves,but must be imposed from above, in the name of God.

There is no evidence for such an original sin. What we do know is that we adapt to the environment in which we find ourselves. If we are treated badly we will probably react strongly. We are one of the billions of species selected by the divine Universe to enjoy a few million generations in the Sun, and we are as perfect as possible given the constraints of consistency.

Cosmological history describes the complexification of the world from the initial singularity to its current complexity. We measure the complexity of the system by counting its states, to yield a number we call entropy. The second law of thermodynamics tells us that on the whole entropy tends to increase. This increase is a numerical expression of the creative power of the Universe which we understand to be the development of more complex fixed points in the divine dynamics as we move into higher transfinite spaces.

We are among these fixed points. I was created about 70 years ago and will be annihilated within the next thirty years or so. In the interim I have had a life experience, the whole set of external influences that have shaped me. On this hypothesis, all these messages from my environment are revelations of God and my actions responses to these messages.

We understand the world to be governed by divine law, which is in effect the essence of God. Here, as noted above, we think in terms of symmetry. Symmetry is built into the layered structure of networks. The lower layers appear as symmetries in the higher layers. The most basic symmetry, present in every layer is conservation of energy.

Symmetry is closely related to abstraction and meaning. A species is a symmetry, and we can take advantage of this to talk about all them at once: ‘all Homo sapiens are mortal.’ We can point to different systems in our environment and classify them into human and not-human.

Symmetry also gives us control. Many societies are built on the shared understanding that we are all equal before the law so that legislators can bind everybody with a simple statement of law.

Computing processes are bound to the real world by meanings or correspondences. So the social security system processes each of us under a unique social security identity which connects the data in the system to the individual. Manipulations of this finite set of data effectively manipulates the transfinite state of each individual referenced.

The key to this control is the global ‘symmetry with respect to complexity’ exhibited by set theory. As Cantor found, the concept of set embraces sets of all finite, infinite and transfinite cardinal and ordinal numbers. Insofar as we can develop both quantum mechanics and the dynamics of mathematics from set theory, we should expect to find some similarities.

In particular, this leads to the idea that the human psychological phenomenon of insight and the quantum mechanical phenomena of measurement are instances of the same universal process. From this point of view, human intelligence is simply an instance of the creative process that makes the world what it is. This identification is made possible by the symmetry of networks with respect to complexity.

How do these ideas couple to the political tasks of human governance? What we are looking for is an implementation of divine providence designed to run in the human layer of the transfinite network. This process is already well under way. We have all the necessary technology to live sustainably on Earth, but the deployment of this technology is greatly hindered by political fragmentation of our species which can be traced back to religious and theological fragmentation.

The scientific method was first applied to politics by Aristotle, who is said to have collected the constitutions of hundreds of city states. This work has continued so that we have a relatively clear understanding of how to manage nations with respect to human rights, the rule of law, and sustainable exploitation of the resources necessary for our existence. In particular we are fully aware of the speed with which uncontrolled political, military and financial power and cults of personality can destroy a nation. Aristotle: Politics, Acemoglu & Robinson: Why Nations Fail

The problem is to work out ways to make a set of self interested agents work for their common good. The short answer is love one another, look out for one another, work for the collective well-being. The long answer is to implement this love in a way that respects human symmetry.

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6.8: Education and democracy

It is essential to the success of democratic government that the people who elect the government be guided by a true understanding of the nature of the world we live in. Education for democracy therefore, demands that people learn to seek the truth in the information made available to them by people sources acting for various financial interests. This suggests that education should be public and open to criticism.

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Further reading


Click on the "Amazon" link below each book entry to see details of a book (and possibly buy it!)

Acemoglu, Daron, and James Robinson, Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity and Poverty, Crown Business 2012 "Some time ago a little-known Scottish philosopher wrote a book on what makes nations succeed and what makes them fail. The Wealth of Nations is still being read today. With the same perspicacity and with the same broad historical perspective, Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson have retackled this same question for our own times. Two centuries from now our great-great- . . . -great grandchildren will be, similarly, reading Why Nations Fail." —George Akerlof, Nobel laureate in economics, 2001  
Axelrod, Robert, The Evolution of Cooperation, Basic Books, Reised Edition 2006 'The Evolution of Cooperation provides valuable insights into the age-old question of whether unforced cooperation is ever possible. Widely praised and much-discussed, this classic book explores how cooperation can emerge in a world of self-seeking egoists-whether superpowers, businesses, or individuals-when there is no central authority to police their actions. The problem of cooperation is central to many different fields. Robert Axelrod recounts the famous computer tournaments in which the “cooperative” program Tit for Tat recorded its stunning victories, explains its application to a broad spectrum of subjects, and suggests how readers can both apply cooperative principles to their own lives and teach cooperative principles to others.' 
Darwin, Charles, The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex, Penguin Classics 1871, 2004 'No book made a greater impact on the intellectual world of its first Victorian readers nor has had such an enduring influence on our thinking on science, literature, theology and philosophy. In The Descent of Man, Darwin addresses the crucial question of the origins, evolution and racial divergence of mankind, that he had deliberately left out of On the Origin of Species. And the evidence he presents forces us to question what it is that makes us uniquely human.' 
Darwin_1, Charles, and Greg Suriano (editor), The Origin of Species, Gramercy 1998 Introduction: 'In considering the Origin of Species, it is quite conceivable that a naturalist, reflecting on the mutual affinities of organic beings, on their embryological relations, their geographical distribution, geological succession, and other such facts, might come to the conclusion that each species has not been independently created, but has descended, like varieties, from other species.' 
Darwin_2, Charles, The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex, Penguin Classics 1871, 2004 'No book made a greater impact on the intellectual world of its first Victorian readers nor has had such an enduring influence on our thinking on science, literature, theology and philosophy. In The Descent of Man, Darwin addresses the crucial question of the origins, evolution and racial divergence of mankind, that he had deliberately left out of On the Origin of Species. And the evidence he presents forces us to question what it is that makes us uniquely human.' 
Diamond, Jared, Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed, Viking Adult 2004 'As suggested by its title, this book is about societal collapses - past, present and future - and the factors that cause human societies to fail. ... [Diamond's] primary mission is to determine the ecological, political and cultural conditions that lead to collapse and to contrast these with the conditions that favour success. ... Collapse is based on a series of detailed case studies. ... Diamond then provides a fuller exploration of the many rich parallels between these historic cases and select modern societies. ... What emerges most clearly from [his] analysis is the central role played by environmetnal decay in undermining human societies. ... In the end, [his] painstaking toil in the deep mines of history rewards him with sufficient nuggets of hope that he emerges 'cautiously optimistic' about the human prospect. ... The most important lesson to be drawn from Collapse is that resilient societies are nimble ones, capable of long term planning and of abandoning deeply entrenched but ultimately destructive core values and beliefs. This, in turn, requires a well informed public, inspired leadership and the political will to go against the established order of things. ... ' William Rees, Nature 433:15, 6 January 2005.  
Einstein, Albert, and Robert W Lawson (translator) Roger Penrose (Introduction), Robert Geroch (Commentary), David C Cassidy (Historical Essay) , Relativity: The Special and General Theory, Pi Press 2005 Preface: 'The present book is intended, as far as possible, to give an exact insight into the theory of relativity to those readers who, from a general scientific and philosophical point of view, are interested in the theory, but who are not conversant with the mathematical apparatus of theoretical physics. ... The author has spared himself no pains in his endeavour to present the main ideas in the simplest and most intelligible form, and on the whole, in the sequence and connection in which they actually originated.' page 3  
Feynman_1, Richard, QED: The Strange Story of Light and Matter, Princeton UP 1988 Jacket: 'Quantum electrodynamics - or QED for short - is the 'strange theory' that explains how light and electrons interact. Thanks to Richard Feynmann and his colleagues, it is also one of the rare parts of physics that is known for sure, a theory that has stood the test of time. . . . In this beautifully lucid set of lectures he provides a definitive introduction to QED.' 
Feynman_2, Richard, Feynman Lectures on Computation, Perseus Publishing 2007 Amazon Editorial Reviews Book Description 'The famous physicist's timeless lectures on the promise and limitations of computers When, in 1984-86, Richard P. Feynman gave his famous course on computation at the California Institute of Technology, he asked Tony Hey to adapt his lecture notes into a book. Although led by Feynman, the course also featured, as occasional guest speakers, some of the most brilliant men in science at that time, including Marvin Minsky, Charles Bennett, and John Hopfield. Although the lectures are now thirteen years old, most of the material is timeless and presents a "Feynmanesque" overview of many standard and some not-so-standard topics in computer science such as reversible logic gates and quantum computers.'  
Feynman_3, Richard, Feynman Lectures on Gravitation, Westview Press 2002 Amazon Editorial Reviews Book Description 'The Feynman Lectures on Gravitation are based on notes prepared during a course on gravitational physics that Richard Feynman taught at Caltech during the 1962-63 academic year. For several years prior to these lectures, Feynman thought long and hard about the fundamental problems in gravitational physics, yet he published very little. These lectures represent a useful record of his viewpoints and some of his insights into gravity and its application to cosmology, superstars, wormholes, and gravitational waves at that particular time. The lectures also contain a number of fascinating digressions and asides on the foundations of physics and other issues. Characteristically, Feynman took an untraditional non-geometric approach to gravitation and general relativity based on the underlying quantum aspects of gravity. Hence, these lectures contain a unique pedagogical account of the development of Einstein's general theory of relativity as the inevitable result of the demand for a self-consistent theory of a massless spin-2 field (the graviton) coupled to the energy-momentum tensor of matter. This approach also demonstrates the intimate and fundamental connection between gauge invariance and the principle of equivalence.' 
Hawking, Steven W, and G F R Ellis, The Large Scale Structure of Space-Time , Cambridge UP 1975 Preface: Einstein's General Theory of Relativity . . . leads to two remarkable predictions about the universe: first that the final fate of massive stars is to collapse behind an event horizon to form a 'black hole' which will contain a singularity; and secondly that there is a singularity in our past which constitutes, in some sense, a beginning to our universe. Our discussion is principally aimed at developing these two results.' 
Kolmogorov, A N, and Nathan Morrison (Translator) (With an added bibliography by A T Bharucha-Reid), Foundations of the Theory of Probability, Chelsea 1956 Preface: 'The purpose of this monograph is to give an axiomatic foundation for the theory of probability. . . . This task would have been a rather hopeless one before the introduction of Lebesgue's theories of measure and integration. However, after Lebesgue's publication of his investigations, the analogies between measure of a set and mathematical expectation of a random variable became apparent. These analogies allowed of further extensions; thus, for example, various properties of independent random variables were seen to be in complete analogy with the corresponding properties of orthogonal functions . . .' 
Lonergan, Bernard J F, and Robert M. Doran, Frederick E. Crowe (eds), Verbum : Word and Idea in Aquinas (Collected Works of Bernard Lonergan volume 2), University of Toronto Press 1997 Jacket: 'Verbum is a product of Lonergan's eleven years of study of the thought of Thomas Aquinas. The work is considered by many to be a breakthrough in the history of Lonergan's theology ... . Here he interprets aspects in the writing of Aquinas relevant to trinitarian theory and, as in most of Lonergan's work, one of the principal aims is to assist the reader in the search to understand the workings of the human mind.' 
Lonergan, Bernard J F, Insight : A Study of Human Understanding (Collected Works of Bernard Lonergan : Volume 3), University of Toronto Press 1992 '. . . Bernard Lonergan's masterwork. Its aim is nothing less than insight into insight itself, an understanding of understanding' 
Miles, Jack, God: A Biography, Vintage Books 1996 Jacket: 'Jack Miles's remarkable work examines the hero of the Old Testament . . . from his first appearance as Creator to his last as Ancient of Days. . . . We see God torn by conflicting urges. To his own sorrow, he is by turns destructive and creative, vain and modest, subtle and naive, ruthless and tender, lawful and lawless, powerful yet powerless, omniscient and blind.' 
Neuenschwander, Dwight E, Emmy Noether's Wonderful Theorem, Johns Hopkins University Press 2011 Jacket: A beautiful piece of mathematics, Noether's therem touches on every aspect of physics. Emmy Noether proved her theorem in 1915 and published it in 1918. This profound concept demonstrates the connection between conservation laws and symmetries. For instance, the theorem shows that a system invariant under translations of time, space or rotation will obey the laws of conservation of energy, linear momentum or angular momentum respectively. This exciting result offers a rich unifying principle for all of physics.' 
Pritchard, James B (ed) , Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament, Princeton UP 1969 'This anthology brought together the most important historical, legal, mythological, liturgical, and secular texts of the ancient Near East, with the purpose of providing a rich contextual base for understanding the people, cultures, and literature of the Old Testament. A scholar of religious thought and biblical archaeology, James Pritchard recruited the foremost linguists, historians, and archaeologists to select and translate the texts. The goal, in his words, was "a better understanding of the likenesses and differences which existed between Israel and the surrounding cultures." ' 
Streater, Raymond F, and Arthur S Wightman, PCT, Spin, Statistics and All That, Princeton University Press 2000 Amazon product description: 'PCT, Spin and Statistics, and All That is the classic summary of and introduction to the achievements of Axiomatic Quantum Field Theory. This theory gives precise mathematical responses to questions like: What is a quantized field? What are the physically indispensable attributes of a quantized field? Furthermore, Axiomatic Field Theory shows that a number of physically important predictions of quantum field theory are mathematical consequences of the axioms. Here Raymond Streater and Arthur Wightman treat only results that can be rigorously proved, and these are presented in an elegant style that makes them available to a broad range of physics and theoretical mathematics.' 
Wiener, Norbert, Cybernetics or control and communication in the animal and the machine, MIT Press 1996 The classic founding text of cybernetics. 
Actus et potentia - Wikipedia, Actus et potentia - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, 'The terms actus and potentia were used by the scholastics to translate Aristotle's use of the terms energeia or entelecheia, and dynamis. There is no single word in English that would be an exact rendering of either. Act, action, actuality, perfection, and determination express the various meanings of actus; potency, potentiality, power, and capacity, those of potentia.' back
Alan Turing, On Computable Numbers, with an application to the Entscheidungsproblem, 'The "computable" numbers may be described briefly as the real numbers whose expressions as a decimal are calculable by some finite means. Although the subject of this paper is ostensibly the computable numbers, it is almost equally easy to define and investigate computable functions of an integral variable of a real or computable variable, computable predicates and so forth. . . . ' back
Albert Einstein, On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies, An english translation of the paper that founded Special relativity. 'Examples of this sort, [in the contemporary application of Maxwell's electrodynamics to moving bodies] together with the unsuccessful attempts to discover any motion of the earth relatively to the ``light medium,'' suggest that the phenomena of electrodynamics as well as of mechanics possess no properties corresponding to the idea of absolute rest. They suggest rather that, as has already been shown to the first order of small quantities, the same laws of electrodynamics and optics will be valid for all frames of reference for which the equations of mechanics hold good.' back
Albertus Magnus - Wikipedia, Albertus Magnus - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, 'Albertus Magnus, O.P. (before 1200 – November 15, 1280), also known as Albert the Great and Albert of Cologne, is a Catholic saint. He was a German Dominican friar and a Catholic bishop. He was known during his lifetime as doctor universalis and doctor expertus and, late in his life, the term magnus was appended to his name. Scholars such as James A. Weisheipl and Joachim R. Söder have referred to him as the greatest German philosopher and theologian of the Middle Ages. The Catholic Church honours him as a Doctor of the Church, one of only 35 so honoured.' back
Anthropic principle - Wikipedia, Anthropic principle - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, 'The anthropic principle (from Greek anthropos, meaning "human") is the philosophical consideration that observations of the universe must be compatible with the conscious and sapient life that observes it. Some proponents of the anthropic principle reason that it explains why the universe has the age and the fundamental physical constants necessary to accommodate conscious life. As a result, they believe it is unremarkable that the universe's fundamental constants happen to fall within the narrow range thought to be compatible with life.' back
Anthropocene - Wikipedia, Anthropocene - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, 'The Anthropocene is a proposed epoch dating from the commencement of significant human impact on the Earth's geology and ecosystems, including, but not limited to, anthropogenic climate change. As of August 2016, neither the International Commission on Stratigraphy nor the International Union of Geological Sciences has yet officially approved the term as a recognized subdivision of geological time, although the Working Group on the Anthropocene (WGA) voted to formally designate the epoch Anthropocene and presented the recommendation to the International Geological Congress on 29 August 2016.' back
Apophatic theology - Wikipedia, Apophatic theology - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, 'Apophatic theology (from Greek ἀπόφασις from ἀπόφημι - apophēmi, "to deny")—also known as negative theology or via negativa (Latin for "negative way")—is a theology that attempts to describe God, the Divine Good, by negation, to speak only in terms of what may not be said about the perfect goodness that is God. It stands in contrast with cataphatic theology.' back
Aquinas Summa: II, II, 4, 1, Is this a fitting definition of faith: "Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things that appear not?" (Hebrews I:11), 'I answer that, Though some say that the above words of the Apostle are not a definition of faith, yet if we consider the matter aright, this definition overlooks none of the points in reference to which faith can be defined, albeit the words themselves are not arranged in the form of a definition, just as the philosophers touch on the principles of the syllogism, without employing the syllogistic form.' back
Aquinas, Summa: I, 15, 3, Are there ideas of all things that God knows?, 'I answer that, As ideas, according to Plato, are principles of the knowledge of things and of their generation, an idea has this twofold office, as it exists in the mind of God. So far as the idea is the principle of the making of things, it may be called an "exemplar," and belongs to practical knowledge. But so far as it is a principle of knowledge, it is properly called a "type," and may belong to speculative knowledge also. As an exemplar, therefore, it has respect to everything made by God in any period of time; whereas as a principle of knowledge it has respect to all things known by God, even though they never come to be in time; and to all things that He knows according to their proper type, in so far as they are known by Him in a speculative manner. ' back
Aristotle, The Internet Classics Archive | Politics by Aristotle, 'Every state is a community of some kind, and every community is established with a view to some good; for mankind always act in order to obtain that which they think good. But, if all communities aim at some good, the state or political community, which is the highest of all, and which embraces all the rest, aims at good in a greater degree than any other, and at the highest good. . . . Hence it is evident that the state is a creation of nature, and that man is by nature a political animal.' back
Aristotle_2, Metaphysics, Book XII, vii, 'But since there is something which moves while itself unmoved, existing actually, this can in no way be otherwise than as it is. For motion in space is the first of the kinds of change, and motion in a circle the first kind of spatial motion; and this the first mover produces. The first mover, then, exists of necessity; and in so far as it exists by necessity, its mode of being is good, and it is in this sense a first principle.' 1072b3 sqq back
Atomic clock - Wikipedia, Atomic clock - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, 'An atomic clock is a clock device that uses an electronic transition frequency in the microwave, optical, or ultraviolet region of the electromagnetic spectrum of atoms as a frequency standard for its timekeeping element.' back
Australian Bureau of Meteorology, State of the Climate 2016, 'This fourth, biennial State of the Climate report draws on the latest monitoring, science and projection information to describe variability and changes in Australia's climate, and how it is likely to change in the future. Observations and climate modelling paint a consistent picture of ongoing, long-term climate change interacting with underlying natural variability.' back
Bandwidth (computing) - Wikipedia, Bandwidth (computing) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, 'In computer networking and computer science, bandwidth, network bandwidth, data bandwidth, or digital bandwidth is a measure of available or consumed data communication resources expressed in bits/second or multiples of it (kilobits/s, megabits/s etc.).
Note that in textbooks on wireless communications, modem data transmission, digital communications, electronics, etc., bandwidth refers to analog signal bandwidth measured in hertz—the original meaning of the term. Some computer networking authors prefer less ambiguous terms such as bit rate, channel capacity and throughput rather than bandwidth in bit/s, to avoid this confusion. back
Book of Deuteronomy - Wikipedia, Book of Deuteronomy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, 'The Book of Deuteronomy . . . is the fifth book of the Torah (a section of the Hebrew Bible) and the Christian Old Testament. . . . The English title "Deuteronomy" comes from the Greek deuteronomion, meaning "second law", taken from the Septuagint's (Greek) phrase to duteronomion touto, "this second law", in Deuteronomy 17:18. This Greek phrase is itself a mistranslation of the Hebrew mishneh haTorah hazoth, "a copy of this law".' back
Born rule - Wikipedia, Born rule - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, 'The Born rule (also called the Born law, Born's rule, or Born's law) is a law of quantum mechanics which gives the probability that a measurement on a quantum system will yield a given result. It is named after its originator, the physicist Max Born. The Born rule is one of the key principles of the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics. There have been many attempts to derive the Born rule from the other assumptions of quantum mechanics, with inconclusive results. . . . The Born rule states that if an observable corresponding to a Hermitian operator A with discrete spectrum is measured in a system with normalized wave function (see bra-ket notation), then the measured result will be one of the eigenvalues λ of A, and the probability of measuring a given eigenvalue λi will equal <ψ|Pi|ψ> where Pi is the projection onto the eigenspace of A corresponding to λi'. back
Catholic Catechism p1, s2, c2, a7, I. He will come again in glory, '677: The Church will enter the glory of the kingdom only through this final Passover, when she will follow her Lord in his death and Resurrection. The kingdom will be fulfilled, then, not by a historic triumph of the Church through a progressive ascendancy, but only by God's victory over the final unleashing of evil, which will cause his Bride to come down from heaven. God's triumph over the revolt of evil will take the form of the Last Judgment after the final cosmic upheaval of this passing world.' back
Catholic Catechism: I, s2, c1, a1, p6, II. Body and soul but truly one, '366 The Church teaches that every spiritual soul is created immediately by God - it is not "produced" by the parents - and also that it is immortal: it does not perish when it separates from the body at death, and it will be reunited with the body at the final Resurrection.' back
Catholic Church - Wikipedia, Roman Catholic Church - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, 'The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian Church, with more than 1.29 billion members worldwide. As one of the oldest religious institutions in the world, it has played a prominent role in the history and development of Western civilisation. Headed by the Bishop of Rome, known as the Pope, the church's doctrines are summarised in the Nicene Creed. Its central administration, the Holy See, is in the Vatican City, enclaved within Rome, Italy.' back
Chronology of the universe - Wikipedia, Chronology of the universe - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, 'The chronology of the universe describes the history and future of the universe according to Big Bang cosmology, the prevailing scientific model of how the universe developed over time from the Planck epoch, using the cosmological time parameter of comoving coordinates. The metric expansion of space is estimated to have begun 13.8 billion years ago.' back
Claude Shannon, Communication in the Presence of Noise, 'A method is developed for representing any communication system geometrically. Messages and the corresponding signals are points in two “function spaces,” and the modulation process is a mapping of one space into the other. Using this representation, a number of results in communication theory are deduced concerning expansion and compression of bandwidth and the threshold effect. Formulas are found for the maximum rate of transmission of binary digits over a system when the signal is perturbed by various types of noise. Some of the properties of “ideal” systems which transmit at this maximum rate are discussed. The equivalent number of binary digits per second for certain information sources is calculated.' back
Climate change - Wikipedia, Climate change - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, 'The most general definition of climate change is a change in the statistical properties of the climate system when considered over long periods of time, regardless of cause. Accordingly, fluctuations over periods shorter than a few decades, such as El Niño, do not represent climate change. The term sometimes is used to refer specifically to climate change caused by human activity, as opposed to changes in climate that may have resulted as part of Earth's natural processes. In this latter sense, used especially in the context of environmental policy, the term climate change today is synonymous with anthropogenic global warming. Within scientific journals, however, global warming refers to surface temperature increases, while climate change includes global warming and everything else that increasing greenhouse gas amounts will affect.' back
Code of Canon Law, 252, The formation of clerics, 'Can. 252 §1. Theological instruction is to be imparted in the light of faith and under the leadership of the magisterium in such a way that the students understand the entire Catholic doctrine grounded in divine revelation, gain nourishment for their own spiritual life, and are able properly to announce and safeguard it in the exercise of the ministry. §2. Students are to be instructed in sacred scripture with special diligence in such a way that they acquire a comprehensive view of the whole of sacred scripture. §3. There are to be classes in dogmatic theology, always grounded in the written word of God together with sacred tradition; through these, students are to learn to penetrate more intimately the mysteries of salvation, especially with St. Thomas as a teacher. There are also to be classes in moral and pastoral theology, canon law, liturgy, ecclesiastical history, and other auxiliary and special disciplines, according to the norm of the prescripts of the program of priestly formation.' back
Conservation of energy - Wikipedia, Conservation of energy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, 'In physics, the law of conservation of energy states that the total energy of an isolated system cannot change—it is said to be conserved over time. Energy can be neither created nor destroyed, but can change form, for instance chemical energy can be converted to kinetic energy in the explosion of a stick of dynamite. back
Control of fire by early humans - Wikipedia, Control of fire by early humans - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, 'Claims for the earliest definitive evidence of control of fire by a member of Homo range from 0.2 to 1.7 million years ago (Mya). Evidence for the controlled use of fire by Homo erectus, beginning some 600,000 years ago, has wide scholarly support. Evidence of widespread control of fire by anatomically modern humans dates to approximately 125,000 years ago.' back
Cosmic microwave background - Wikipedia, Cosmic microwave background - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, 'The cosmic microwave background (CMB) is the thermal radiation left over from the time of recombination in Big Bang cosmology. . . . The CMB is a snapshot of the oldest light in our Universe, imprinted on the sky when the Universe was just 380,000 years old. It shows tiny temperature fluctuations that correspond to regions of slightly different densities, representing the seeds of all future structure: the stars and galaxies of today.' back
Cosmology - Wikipedia, Cosmology - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, 'Cosmology (from the Greek κόσμος, kosmos "world" and -λογία, -logia "study of"), is the study of the origin, evolution, and eventual fate of the universe. Physical cosmology is the scholarly and scientific study of the origin, evolution, large-scale structures and dynamics, and ultimate fate of the universe, as well as the scientific laws that govern these realities. Religious or mythological cosmology is a body of beliefs based on mythological, religious, and esoteric literature and traditions of creation and eschatology.' back
Deuteronomy 6:1-9, Love your God, '4 Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 5 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.' back
Development of the Hebrew Bible canon - Wikpedia, Development of the Hebrew Bible canon - Wikpedia, the free encyclopedia, 'Rabbinic Judaism recognizes the 24 books of the Masoretic Text, commonly called the Tanakh or Hebrew Bible, as authoritative. Modern scholarship suggests that the most recently written are the books of Jonah, Lamentations, and Daniel, all of which may have been composed as late as the second century BCE.' back
Differential geometry - Wikipedia, Differential geometry - Wikipedia,the free encyclopedia, 'Differential geometry is a mathematical discipline that uses the techniques of differential calculus and integral calculus, as well as linear algebra and multilinear algebra, to study problems in geometry. The theory of plane and space curves and of surfaces in the three-dimensional Euclidean space formed the basis for development of differential geometry during the 18th century and the 19th century. Since the late 19th century, differential geometry has grown into a field concerned more generally with the geometric structures on differentiable manifolds.' back
Dirac equation - Wikipedia, Dirac equation - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, 'In particle physics, the Dirac equation is a relativistic wave equation derived by British physicist Paul Dirac in 1928. In its free form, or including electromagnetic interactions, it describes all spin-1⁄2 massive particles such as electrons and quarks, for which parity is a symmetry, and is consistent with both the principles of quantum mechanics and the theory of special relativity, and was the first theory to account fully for special relativity in the context of quantum mechanics. It accounted for the fine details of the hydrogen spectrum in a completely rigorous way.' back
Ecological footprint - Wikipedia, Ecological footprint - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, 'An ecological footprint is a measure of human impact on Earth's ecosystems. It's typically measured in area of wilderness or amount of natural capital consumed each year. A common way of estimating footprint is, the area of wilderness of both land and sea needed to supply resources to a human population; This includes the area of wilderness needed to assimilate human waste. At a global scale, it is used to estimate how rapidly we are depleting natural capital. The Global Footprint Network calculates the global ecological footprint from UN and other data. They estimate that as of 2007 our planet has been using natural capital 1.6 times as fast as nature can renew it.]' back
Edmund Burke, Civil liberty, ' "Men are qualified for civil liberty, in exact proportion to their disposition to put moral chains upon their own appetites; in proportion as their love of justice is above their rapacity; in proportion as their soundness and sobriety of understanding is above their vanity and presumption; in proportion as they are more disposed to listen to the counsels of the wise and good, in preference to the flattery of knaves." ' back
Eigenvalues and eigenvectors - Wikipedia, Eigenvalues and eigenvectors - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, 'An eigenvector of a square matrix A is a non-zero vector vthat, when the matrix multiplies yields a constant multiple of v, the latter multiplier being commonly denoted by λ. That is: Av = λv' back
Electromagnetism - Wikipedia, Electromagnetism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, 'Electromagnetism is a branch of physics involving the study of the electromagnetic force, a type of physical interaction that occurs between electrically charged particles. The electromagnetic force usually exhibits electromagnetic fields such as electric fields, magnetic fields, and light and is one of the four fundamental interactions (commonly called forces) in nature. ' back
Eugene Wigner, The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences, 'The first point is that the enormous usefulness of mathematics in the natural sciences is something bordering on the mysterious and that there is no rational explanation for it. Second, it is just this uncanny usefulness of mathematical concepts that raises the question of the uniqueness of our physical theories.' back
Feedback - Wikipedia, Feedback - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, 'Feedback occurs when outputs of a system are routed back as inputs as part of a chain of cause-and-effect that forms a circuit or loop.[2] The system can then be said to feed back into itself. The notion of cause-and-effect has to be handled carefully when applied to feedback systems: "Simple causal reasoning about a feedback system is difficult because the first system influences the second and second system influences the first, leading to a circular argument. This makes reasoning based upon cause and effect tricky, and it is necessary to analyze the system as a whole." ' back
Fixed point theorem - Wikipedia, Fixed point theorem - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, 'In mathematics, a fixed point theorem is a result saying that a function F will have at least one fixed point (a point x for which F(x) = x), under some conditions on F that can be stated in general terms. Results of this kind are amongst the most generally useful in mathematics. The Banach fixed point theorem gives a general criterion guaranteeing that, if it is satisfied, the procedure of iterating a function yields a fixed point. By contrast, the Brouwer fixed point theorem is a non-constructive result: it says that any continuous function from the closed unit ball in n-dimensional Euclidean space to itself must have a fixed point, but it doesn't describe how to find the fixed point (See also Sperner's lemma).' back
Flood myth - Wikipedia, Flood myth - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, 'A flood myth or deluge myth is a narrative in which a great flood, usually sent by a deity or deities, destroys civilization, often in an act of divine retribution. Parallels are often drawn between the flood waters of these myths and the primeval waters found in certain creation myths, as the flood waters are described as a measure for the cleansing of humanity, in preparation for rebirth. Most flood myths also contain a culture hero, who "represents the human craving for life". ' back
Fred Pearce, Global Extinction Rates: Why Do Estimates Vary So Widely?, 'Most ecologists believe that we are in the midst of the sixth mass extinction. Humanity’s impact on nature, they say, is now comparable to the five previous catastrophic events over the past 600 million years, during which up to 95 percent of the planet’s species disappeared. We may very well be. But recent studies have cited extinction rates that are extremely fuzzy and vary wildly.' back
Galileo affair - Wikipedia, Galileo affair - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, 'The Galileo affair was a sequence of events, beginning around 1610, during which Galileo Galilei came into conflict with both the Catholic Church, for his support of Copernican astronomy, and secular philosophers, for his criticism of Aristotelianism.' back
Gene-centered view of evolution - Wikipedia, Gene-centered view of evolution - Wikipedia, the free encylopedia, 'The gene-centered view of evolution, gene's eye view, gene selection theory, or selfish gene theory holds that adaptive evolution occurs through the differential survival of competing genes, increasing the allele frequency of those alleles whose phenotypic trait effects successfully promote their own propagation, . . . ' back
Genesis, Genesis, from the Holy Bible, King James Version, '1: In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. 2: And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. 3: And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.' back
Genesis 11:1-9, The 'Tower of Babel', '6 And the Lord said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. 7 Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech. 8 So the Lord scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city.' back
Genesis 41:1-39, Pharoah's Dreams, '28 “It is just as I said to Pharaoh: God has shown Pharaoh what he is about to do. 29 Seven years of great abundance are coming throughout the land of Egypt, 30 but seven years of famine will follow them.. . . Let Pharaoh appoint commissioners over the land to take a fifth of the harvest of Egypt during the seven years of abundance. 36 This food should be held in reserve for the country, to be used during the seven years of famine that will come upon Egypt, so that the country may not be ruined by the famine.” ' back
Green Politics - Wikipedia, Green Politics - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, 'Green politics (also known as ecopolitics) is a political ideology that aims to create an ecologically sustainable society rooted in environmentalism, nonviolence, social justice, and grassroots democracy. It began taking shape in the western world in the 1970s; since then Green parties have developed and established themselves in many countries around the globe, and have achieved some electoral success.' back
Hebrew Bible - Wikipedia, Hebrew Bible - Wikipedia, The Hebrew Bible . . . is a term referring to the books of the Jewish Bible as originally written mostly in Biblical Hebrew with some Biblical Aramaic. The term closely corresponds to contents of the Jewish Tanakh and the Protestant Old Testament (see also Judeo-Christian) but does not include the deuterocanonical portions of the Roman Catholic or the Anagignoskomena portions of the Eastern Orthodox Old Testaments. The term does not imply naming, numbering or ordering of books, which varies (see also Biblical canon).' back
History of Palestine - Wikipedia, History of Palestine - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, back
History of writing - Wikipedia, History of writing - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, 'The history of writing traces the development of expressing language by letters or other marks and also the study and description of these developments. . . . ' back
Human impact on the environment - Wikipedia, Human impact on the environment - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, 'Human impact on the environment or anthropogenic impact on the environment includes impacts on biophysical environments, biodiversity, and other resources. The term anthropogenic designates an effect or object resulting from human activity.' back
Civilization and Its Discontents - Wikipedia, Civilization and Its Discontents - Wikipedia, the fre encyclopedia, Civilization and Its Discontents is a book by Sigmund Freud. Written in 1929, and first published in German in 1930 as Das Unbehagen in der Kultur ("The Uneasiness in Civilization"). It is considered one of Freud's most important and widely read works. . . In this seminal book, Sigmund Freud enumerates what he sees as the fundamental tensions between civilization and the individual. The primary friction, he asserts, stems from the individual's quest for instinctive freedom and civilization's contrary demand for conformity and repression of instincts.' back
In Memoriam A.H.H. - Wikipedia, In Memoriam A.H.H. - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, '"In Memoriam A.H.H." is a poem by the British poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson, completed in 1849. It is a requiem for the poet's beloved Cambridge friend Arthur Henry Hallam, who died suddenly of a cerebral haemorrhage in Vienna in 1833. . . . . It is widely considered to be one of the great poems of the 19th century.
Canto 56: Who trusted God was love indeed And love Creation's final law Tho' Nature, red in tooth and claw With ravine, shriek'd against his creed ' back
James Risen and Tom Risen, Donald Trump Does His Best Joe McCarthy Impression, '.. . Republican nominee for president spoke to a crowd of roughly 4,000. “There’s something going on that’s really, really bad,” he said. “And we better get smart, and we better get tough, or we’re not going to have much of a country left, O.K.?”
It was a dark speech that harkened back to the most fearful tones of Joe McCarthy. Drumming up fears about the Islamic State, which he said was “spreading like wildfire,” Mr. Trump said that if he was elected, he would bring back the use of torture techniques like waterboarding in the interrogations of terrorism suspects. ' back
John 13:33-35, Love one another, 33 “My children, I will be with you only a little longer. You will look for me, and just as I told the Jews, so I tell you now: Where I am going, you cannot come. 34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” back
John 15:13, Greater love has no one, 'My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.' back
John Paul II_2, Code of Canon Law, 'To our venerable brothers, cardinals, archbishops, bishops, priests, deacons and to the other members of the people of God, John Paul, bishop, servant of the servants of God as a perpetual record. During the course of the centuries the Catholic Church has been accustomed to reform and renew the laws of canonical discipline so that in constant fidelity to its divine founder, they may be better adapted to the saving mission entrusted to it. Prompted by this same purpose and fulfilling at last the expectations of the whole Catholic world, I order today, January 25, 1983, the promulgation of the revised Code of Canon Law. back
John Paul II_3, Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, 22 May 1994, '4. Although the teaching that priestly ordination is to be reserved to men alone has been preserved by the constant and universal Tradition of the Church and firmly taught by the Magisterium in its more recent documents, at the present time in some places it is nonetheless considered still open to debate, or the Church's judgment that women are not to be admitted to ordination is considered to have a merely disciplinary force. Wherefore, in order that all doubt may be removed regarding a matter of great importance, a matter which pertains to the Church's divine constitution itself, in virtue of my ministry of confirming the brethren (cf. Lk 22:32) I declare that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church's faithful.' back
John Paul II: Fides et Ratio, On the relationship between faith and reason. , para 2: 'The Church is no stranger to this journey of discovery, nor could she ever be. From the moment when, through the Paschal Mystery, she received the gift of the ultimate truth about human life, the Church has made her pilgrim way along the paths of the world to proclaim that Jesus Christ is “the way, and the truth, and the life” (Jn 14:6).' back
Joseph Sollier: Redemption, Redemption | Catholic Encyclopedia, 'The restoration of man from the bondage of sin to the liberty of the children of God through the satisfactions and merits of Christ.' back
Joshua: 10:12-13, Joshua 10: 12-13, '12At that time Joshua spoke to the LORD in the day when the LORD gave the Amorites over to the sons of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel,
Sun, stand still at Gibeon,and moon, in the Valley of Aijalon.” 13 And the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, until the nation took vengeance on their enemies.' back
Just war theory - Wikipedia, Just war theory - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, 'Just war theory (Latin: jus bellum iustum) is a doctrine, also referred to as a tradition, of military ethics studied by theologians, ethicists, policy makers, and military leaders. The purpose of the doctrine is to ensure war is morally justifiable through a series of criteria, all of which must be met for a war to be considered just. The criteria are split into two groups: "right to go to war" (jus ad bellum) and "right conduct in war" (jus in bello).' back
Light cone - Wikipedia, Light cone - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, 'A Light cone is the path that a flash of light, emanating from a single event E (localized to a single point in space and a single moment in time) and traveling in all directions, would take through spacetime. Imagine the light confined to a two-dimensional plane, the light from the flash spreads out in a circle after the event E occurs—and when graphed the growing circle with the vertical axis of the graph representing time, the result is a cone, known as the future light cone (some animated diagrams depicting this concept can be seen here.) ' back
Lorentz transformation - Wikipedia, Lorentz transformation - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, 'In physics, the Lorentz transformation or Lorentz-Fitzgerald transformation describes how, according to the theory of special relativity, two observers' varying measurements of space and time can be converted into each other's frames of reference. It is named after the Dutch physicist Hendrik Lorentz. It reflects the surprising fact that observers moving at different velocities may measure different distances, elapsed times, and even different orderings of events.' back
Luke 10:25-37, Parable of the Good Samaritan, '29 . . . he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 30 In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. . . . 36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbuor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” 37 [He] replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.” ' back
Malthusianism - Wikipedia, Malthusianism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, 'Malthusianism is a school of ideas derived from the political/economic thought of the Reverend Thomas Robert Malthus, as laid out in his 1798 writings, An Essay on the Principle of Population, which describes how unchecked population growth is exponential while the growth of the food supply was expected to be arithmetical.' back
Mark 12:30-31, Love the Lord your God , '30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”' back
Matthew 23, A warning against hypocrisy, '. . . 27 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. 28 In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness. . . . ' back
Meliorism - Wikipedia, Meliorism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, 'Meliorism is an idea in metaphysical thinking holding that progress is a real concept leading to an improvement of the world. It holds that humans can, through their interference with processes that would otherwise be natural, produce an outcome which is an improvement over the aforementioned natural one. Meliorism, as a conception of the person and society, is at the foundation of contemporary liberal democracy and human rights and is a basic component of liberalism.' back
Modernism (Roman Catholicism) - Wikipedia, Modernism (Roman Catholicism) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, 'Modernism refers to theological opinions expressed during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, but with influence reaching into the 21st century, which are characterized by a break with the past. Catholic modernists form an amorphous group. The term "modernist" appears in Pope Pius X's 1907 encyclical Pascendi Dominici gregis.' back
New Commandment - Wikipedia, New Commandment - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, 'The New Commandment is a term used in Christianity to describe Jesus's commandment to "love one another" which, according to the Bible, was given as part of the final instructions to his disciples after the Last Supper had ended: John 13:34: A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” ' back
Nicene Creed - Wikipedia, Nicene Creed - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, 'The Nicene Creed (Greek: Σύμβολον τῆς Νίκαιας, Latin: Symbolum Nicaenum) is the profession of faith or creed that is most widely used in Christian liturgy. It forms the mainstream definition of Christianity for most Christians. It is called Nicene because, in its original form, it was adopted in the city of Nicaea (present day Iznik in Turkey) by the first ecumenical council, which met there in the year 325. The Nicene Creed has been normative for the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Church of the East, the Oriental Orthodox churches, the Anglican Communion, and the great majority of Protestant denominations.' back
Old Testament - Wikipedia, Old Testament - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, 'The Old Testament (abbreviated OT) is the first part of Christian Bibles based primarily upon the Hebrew Bible (or Tanakh), a collection of ancient religious writings by the Israelites believed by many Christians and religious Jews to be the sacred Word of God.' back
Particle Data Group. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, The Particle Adventure, The Particle Data Group of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory presents an award winning interactive tour of quarks, neutrinos, antimatter, extra dimensions, dark matter, accelerators and particle detectors. back
Paul, Romans 6:23, The wages of sin is death , '23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.' back
Physics Forums, The ratio of strength between elecromagnetic and gravitational force, 'Note that N1 (ratio of EM force to gravity) is not a universal number; it depends on the charges and masses of the bodies you use in the calculation. For an electron and proton the ratio is the famous 1039 that I will continue to call N1. But why assume these two particles in defining N1? The proton is not even fundamental. It is made of quarks. For two electrons, the ratio is 1047.' Reference back
Pius IX, The Syllabus of Errors Condemned by Pius IX, 'Venerable Brethren, you see clearly enough how sad and full of perils is the condition of Catholics in the regions of Europe which We have mentioned. . . .. Venerable Brothers, it is surprising that in our time such a great war is being waged against the Catholic Church. But anyone who knows the nature, desires and intentions of the sects, whether they be called masonic or bear another name, and compares them with the nature the systems and the vastness of the obstacles by which the Church has been assailed almost everywhere, cannot doubt that the present misfortune must mainly be imputed to the frauds and machinations of these sects. It is from them that the synagogue of Satan, which gathers its troops against the Church of Christ, takes its strength.' back
Pius IX: Quanta Cura, Encyclical Quanta Cura of Supreme Pontiff Pius IX, 'In tanta igitur depravatarum opinionum perversitate, Nos Apostolici Nostri officii memores, ac de sanctissima nostra religione, de sana doctrina, et animarum salute Nobis divinitus commissa, ac de ipsius humanæ societatis bono maxime solliciti, Apostolicam Nostram vocem iterum extollere existimavimus. Itaque omnes et singulas pravas opiniones ac doctrinas singillatim hisce Litteris commemoratas auctoritate Nostra Apostolica reprobamus, proscribimus atque damnamus, easque ab omnibus Catholicæ Ecclesiæ filiis, veluti reprobatas, proscriptas atque damnatas omnino haberi volumus et mandamus.' back
Pius X: On the doctrines of the modernists, Pascendi dominici gregis, '2. That We make no delay in this matter is rendered necessary especially by the fact that the partisans of error are to be sought not only among the Church's open enemies; they lie hid, a thing to be deeply deplored and feared, in her very bosom and heart, and are the more mischievous, the less conspicuously they appear. We allude, Venerable Brethren, to many who belong to the Catholic laity, nay, and this is far more lamentable, to the ranks of the priesthood itself, who, feigning a love for the Church, lacking the firm protection of philosophy and theology, nay more, thoroughly imbued with the poisonous doctrines taught by the enemies of the Church, and lost to all sense of modesty, vaunt themselves as reformers of the Church; and, forming more boldly into line of attack, assail all that is most sacred in the work of Christ, not sparing even the person of the Divine Redeemer, whom, with sacrilegious daring, they reduce to a simple, mere man.' back
Planck-Einstein relation - Wikipedia, Planck-Einstein relation - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, 'The Planck–Einstein relation. . . refers to a formula integral to quantum mechanics, which states that the energy of a photon (E) is proportional to its frequency (ν). E = hν. The constant of proportionality, h, is known as the Planck constant.' back
Pope John Paul II, The Catechism of the Catholic Church, The text of the Apostolic Constitution Fidei Depositum Prologue: '... 11 This catechism aims at presenting an organic synthesis of the essential and fundamental contents of Catholic doctrine, as regards both faith and morals, in the light of the Second Vatican Council and the whole of the Church's Tradition. Its principal sources are the SacredScriptures, the Fathers of the Church, the liturgy, and the Church's Magisterium. It is intended to serve "as a point of reference for thecatechisms or compendia that are composed in the various countries. ...' back
Pope Pius IX, Quanta Cura: Condemning Current Errors, '6. Amidst, therefore, such great perversity of depraved opinions, we, well remembering our Apostolic Office, and very greatly solicitous for our most holy Religion, for sound doctrine and the salvation of souls which is intrusted to us by God, and (solicitous also) for the welfare of human society itself, have thought it right again to raise up our Apostolic voice. Therefore, by our Apostolic authority, we reprobate, proscribe, and condemn all the singular and evil opinions and doctrines severally mentioned in this letter, and will and command that they be thoroughly held by all children of the Catholic Church as reprobated, proscribed and condemned.' back
Prisoner's dilemma - Wikipedia, Prisoner's dilemma - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, 'The prisoner's dilemma is a canonical example of a game analyzed in game theory that shows why two purely "rational" individuals might not cooperate, even if it appears that it is in their best interests[citation needed] to do so. It was originally framed by Merrill Flood and Melvin Dresher working at RAND in 1950. Albert W. Tucker formalized the game with prison sentence rewards and gave it the name "prisoner's dilemma" (Poundstone, 1992)' back
Quantum superposition - Wikipedia, Quantum superposition - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, 'Quantum superposition is the application of the superposition principle to quantum mechanics. The superposition principle is the addition of the amplitudes of waves from interference. In quantum mechanics it is the sum of wavefunction amplitudes, or state vectors. It occurs when an object simultaneously "possesses" two or more possible values for an observable quantity (e.g. the position or energy of a particle)' back
Renaud Joannes-Boyau, New Moroccan fossils suggest humans lived and evolved across Africa 100,000 years earlier than we thought, 'The earliest known existence of modern humans, or Homo sapiens, was previously dated to be around 200,000 years ago. It’s a view supported by genetic analysis and dated Homo sapiens fossils (Omo Kibish, estimated age 195,000 years, and Herto, estimated age 160,000 years), both found in modern-day Ethiopia, East Africa. But new research, published today in two Nature papers, offers a fresh perspective. The latest studies suggest that Homo sapiens spread across the entire African continent more than 100,000 years earlier than previously thought.' back
Scientific Community - Wikipedia, Scientific Community - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, 'The scientific community is a diverse network of interacting scientists. It includes many "sub-communities" working on particular scientific fields, and within particular institutions; interdisciplinary and cross-institutional activities are also significant. Objectivity is expected to be achieved by the scientific method. Peer review, through discussion and debate within journals and conferences, assists in this objectivity by maintaining the quality of research methodology and interpretation of results.' back
Sophie Jamieson, Fish become transgender from contraceptive pill chemicals being flushed down household drains, 'A fifth of male fish are now transgender because of chemicals from the contraceptive pill being flushed down household drains, a study by has suggested. Male river fish are displaying feminised traits and even producing eggs, the study found. Some have reduced sperm quality and display less aggressive and competitive behaviour, which makes them less likely to breed successfully. The chemicals causing these effects include ingredients in the contraceptive pill, by-products of cleaning agents, plastics and cosmetics, according to the findings.' back
Strong interaction - Wikipedia, Strong interaction - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, 'The strong nuclear force holds most ordinary matter together because it confines quarks into hadron particles such as the proton and neutron. In addition, the strong force binds neutrons and protons to create atomic nuclei. Most of the mass of a common proton or neutron is the result of the strong force field energy; the individual quarks provide only about 1% of the mass of a proton.' back
Supererogation - Wikipedia, Supererogation - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, 'In the theology of the Roman Catholic Church, "works of supererogation" (also called "acts of supererogation") are those performed beyond what God requires. For example, in 1 Corinthians 7, Saint Paul says that while everyone is free to marry, it is better to refrain from marriage and remain celibate to better serve God. The Roman Catholic Church holds that the counsels of perfection are supererogatory acts, which specific Christians may engage in above their moral duties.' back
Ten Commandments - Wikipedia, Ten Commandments - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, 'The Ten Commandments, also known as the Decalogue (Greek: δεκάλογος), are a set of biblical principles relating to ethics and worship, which play a fundamental role in Judaism and most forms of Christianity. They include instructions to worship only God and to keep the Sabbath, and prohibitions against idolatry, blasphemy, murder, theft, and adultery. Different groups follow slightly different traditions for interpreting and numbering them.' back
Theory of Forms - Wikipedia, Theory of Forms - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, 'Plato's theory of Forms or theory of Ideas asserts that non-material abstract (but substantial) forms (or ideas), and not the material world of change known to us through sensation, possess the highest and most fundamental kind of reality. When used in this sense, the word form or idea is often capitalized. Plato speaks of these entities only through the characters (primarily Socrates) of his dialogues who sometimes suggest that these Forms are the only true objects of study that can provide us with genuine knowledge; thus even apart from the very controversial status of the theory, Plato's own views are much in doubt. Plato spoke of Forms in formulating a possible solution to the problem of universals.' back
Thomais Vlachogianni and Athanasios Valavanidis, Energy and Environment Impact on the Biosphere Energy Flow, Storage and Conversion in Human Civilization, 'The present review describes the role of different energy regimes throughout the human history and their environmental impact. The appearance of Homo sapiens and the development of primitive human civilization can be narrated by different energy regimes throughout the centuries.' [American Journal of Educational Research, 2013, 1, pp 68-78] back
Thomas Aquinas - Wikipedia, Thomas Aquinas - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, 'Thomas Aquinas, OP (1225 – 7 March 1274), also Thomas of Aquin or Aquino, was an Italian Dominican friar and priest and an immensely influential philosopher and theologian in the tradition of scholasticism, within which he is also known as the "Doctor Angelicus" and "Doctor Communis". "Aquinas" is from the county of Aquino, an area in which his family held land until 1137. He was born in Roccasecca, Italy. He was the foremost classical proponent of natural theology, and the father of Thomism. His influence on Western thought is considerable, and much of modern philosophy was conceived in development or opposition of his ideas, particularly in the areas of ethics, natural law, metaphysics, and political theory. Unlike many currents in the Church of the time. Thomas embraced several ideas put forward by Aristotle — whom he referred to as "the Philosopher" — and attempted to synthesize Aristotelian philosophy with the principles of Christianity.' back
Thomas Aquinas Summa Theologiae I, 18, 3, Is life properly attributed to God?, Life is in the highest degree properly in God. In proof of which it must be considered that since a thing is said to live in so far as it operates of itself and not as moved by another, the more perfectly this power is found in anything, the more perfect is the life of that thing. ' back
Timor mortis conturbat me - Wikipedia, Timor mortis conturbat me - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, 'Timor mortis conturbat me is a Latin phrase commonly found in late medieval Scottish and English poetry, translating to "fear of death disturbs me". The phrase comes from a responsory of the Catholic Office of the Dead, in the third Nocturn of Matins:[1] Peccantem me quotidie, et non poenitentem, timor mortis conturbat me. Quia in inferno nulla est redemptio, miserere mei, Deus, et salva me. "Sinning daily, and not repenting, the fear of death disturbs me. Because there is no redemption in Hell, have mercy on me, O God, and save me."' back
Tohu wa-bohu - Wikipedia, Tohu wa-bohu - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, 'Tohu wa bohu, or Tohu va vohu (תֹ֙הוּ֙ וָבֹ֔הוּ), is a Biblical Hebrew phrase found in the Book of Genesis 1:2 that describes the condition of the earth before God said, "Let there be light" (Gen. 1:3). Precise translation of the phrase is difficult, since it is a Hebrew wordplay, . . . Numerous interpretations of this phrase were made by various theological sources, though it is usually translated as "waste and void," "formless and empty," or "chaos and desolation." ' back
Tower of Babel - Wikipedia, Tower of Babel - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, 'The Tower of Babel . . . is a Near Eastern account recorded in the Book of Genesis. It is meant to explain why the world's peoples speak different languages. According to the story, a united humanity . . . agree to build a city and a tower tall enough to reach heaven. God, observing their city and tower, confounds their speech so that they can no longer understand each other, and scatters them around the world.' back
Uncertainty principle - Wikipedia, Uncertainty principle - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, 'In quantum mechanics, the uncertainty principle, also known as Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, is any of a variety of mathematical inequalities[1] asserting a fundamental limit to the precision with which certain pairs of physical properties of a particle, known as complementary variables, such as position x and momentum p, can be known.' back
United Nations, Official UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights Home Page, 'The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is a milestone document in the history of human rights. Drafted by representatives with different legal and cultural backgrounds from all regions of the world, the Declaration was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in Paris on 10 December 1948 General Assembly resolution 217 A (III) (French) (Spanish) as a common standard of achievements for all peoples and all nations. It sets out, for the first time, fundamental human rights to be universally protected.'' back
Weak interaction - Wikipedia, Weak interaction - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, 'In particle physics, the weak interaction (the weak force or weak nuclear force) is one of the four known fundamental interactions of nature, alongside the strong interaction, electromagnetism, and gravitation. The weak interaction is responsible for radioactive decay, which plays an essential role in nuclear fission.' back
Woes of the Pharisees - Wikipedia, Woes of the Pharisees - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, 'The Woes of the Pharisees is a list of criticisms by Jesus against scribes and Pharisees recorded in the Gospels of Luke 11:37-54 and Matthew 23:1-39. Mark 12:35-40 and Luke 20:45-47 also include warnings about scribes.' back
Wojciech Hubert Zurek, Quantum origin of quantum jumps: breaking of unitary symmetry induced by information transfer and the transition from quantum to classical, 'Submitted on 17 Mar 2007 (v1), last revised 18 Mar 2008 (this version, v3)) "Measurements transfer information about a system to the apparatus, and then further on -- to observers and (often inadvertently) to the environment. I show that even imperfect copying essential in such situations restricts possible unperturbed outcomes to an orthogonal subset of all possible states of the system, thus breaking the unitary symmetry of its Hilbert space implied by the quantum superposition principle. Preferred outcome states emerge as a result. They provide framework for the ``wavepacket collapse'', designating terminal points of quantum jumps, and defining the measured observable by specifying its eigenstates. In quantum Darwinism, they are the progenitors of multiple copies spread throughout the environment -- the fittest quantum states that not only survive decoherence, but subvert it into carrying information about them -- into becoming a witness.' back
World Wildlife Fund: Pollution, WWF: Threats: Pollution, 'Look at any ecosystem and there could be multiple forms of contamination—streams full of toxic chemicals from industrial processes, rivers overloaded with nutrients from farms, trash blowing away from landfills, city skies covered in smog. Even landscapes that appear pristine can experience the effects of pollution sources located hundreds or thousands of miles away.' back is maintained by The Theology Company Proprietary Limited ACN 097 887 075 ABN 74 097 887 075 Copyright 2000-2017 © Jeffrey Nicholls