Science can say nothing about God’s existence

From: David Nugent, Ghyll Road, Leeds.

Mr Quarrie (Yorkshire Post, June 10) draws a false assumption from the discovery of the so-called Higgs boson.

This discovery has taken a long time. In other words it has taken place in time.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

When Mr Quarrie refers to a God who has “made” the world, he is using the terminology of time. Words such as “made”, “created” and “evolved” suggest a process in time. God, of course is outside time, and it would be better to say that God willed rather than created.

Whether or not we measure this in time as six seconds, six days or six million years refers to time. God’s willing something into being did not take time; it was outside time. How that then develops in time is a different matter and it is on this that the recent discovery throws light.

Nor can we use scientific discovery or human language to prove or disprove the existence of God. An infinite God is beyond finite words and methods. Mr Quarrie seems to have forgotten (only temporarily, I hope) the distinction between the essence and energies of God. I advise him to reread such as Basil the Great and Gregory Palamos.

A Russian Orthodox theologian once said: “The Protestant was and is a crypto-Papist,” meaning that both sides in the Reformation dispute were using the same method of argument.

One might parody this and say “The creationist was and is 
a crypto-evolutionist” or vice versa.

Both present their arguments in terms of time, in the case of the latter correctly referring to a process in time but in that of the former using terminology inappropriate to the eternal.

Finally, to which religious wars, as distinct from those where religion has been and is being abused for political purpose, does Mr Quarrie refer?