Galileo has been sent a letter explaining that all is forgiven and that he was right all along (well yes that’s Catholicism for you, its only 500 years too late). Also evolution is asserted to be factual, and of course the Big Bang really happened. So where, from the viewpoint of the Catholic church, does God fit in? Well, apparently the answer is … (yep, you can see this one coming can’t you) … “God did it”.
The news here is that yesterday the Pope announced all this (click here). There is no mystery here, they have always believed this, nothing has actually changed. No, instead the real mystery is why this is actually news at all, but since they have brought the topic up, then lets mull over it for a few moments.
In essence, they accept that the scientific explanation for the existence of the universe, the big bang, is factually correct. Little things like solid evidence that point to this make it a tad tricky to dismiss, so they don’t. Instead they simply wrap God around the entire package and declare “God Did it”. Now this approach has a rather major flaw that has been air-brushed out with the usual religious hand-waving shoe-shuffle dance that only the truly religious can pull off.
The facts are (as we currently understand them) the universe has no creator. There is of course plenty of speculation about cycles of universes and multi-verses … but lets put that to one side and focus on the logical flaw here.
- Belief demands that the Universe (or multi-verse) cannot have just happened, it must have had a creator, and that creator was God
- “Ah”, say the skeptics, “Who then created God”?
- “God was not created”, they reply, “He always existed, God is eternal and outside of time”.
Oh… hang on a moment now … did you see what happened there? The believers have a special exception rule for God, and they claim he had no beginning and exists outside of time. Since they cannot accept that the universe just happened, they have simply invented another layer, called it God, and instead applied the “just is” rule to this made-up God instead. I guess I don’t need to point out some of the other little flaws here such as a complete lack of any evidence for this claim.
The fact that the pope has stated it does not give this claim any authority … you have the exact same degree of authority as the pope has (you just don’t have lots folks who believe that, thats the only difference).
So what is really going on here is that mainstream Catholicism appear to believe in what can be best described as the “God of the Gaps”. This means that they accept science, and everything it tells us about the universe and the world around us, but at the boundary when we hit the unknown, they simply slot God into the gap. This of course then leads us to the (tongue-in-cheek) observation that God is apparently shrinking because the gaps are getting smaller.
Sigh! … its all very much akin the Carl Segans invisible green dragon in my garage.