Spirituality and Science

Science as a possible tool for scriptural understanding? Why not?

In another section of this site, it is revealed that we can use real world evidence to help us understand some of the mysterious-sounding stories of scripture. One example is using the Big Bang theory to understand Genesis chapter 1. Another is using cosmology to answer the question of whether or not there is actually a God, as shown earlier in this website. In other words, we can use scientific knowledge to understand scripture if it truly fits. But, one might ask; aren't science and spirituality mutually exclusive intellectual domains?

If we trace modern science back to its historical roots, we find it all probably began with Copernicus. He discovered that the Earth was in no way the physical center of the universe, in utter contradiction to what the Christian church was teaching. Copernicus used real-world observation and sound mathematical calculation to make his discovery. He used this evidence to try and correct an incorrect teaching of the church which was allegedly derived from traditional teachings. It should be noted that Kabbalism never taught the Earth to be the center of the universe, and Copernicus is believed to be perhaps the first scientific verification of Kabbalist teaching. Copernicus' research was eventually condemned, but not before it was circulated and received wide acclaim in Protestant Europe. This led to what Descartes called "The Copernican Revolution". Pre-enlightenment figures including Descartes, Galileo, Hon. Robert Boyle, Isaac Newton, Wilhelm Leibniz, and a host of others were actually trying to find out what else was being taught incorrectly, and rectify it. In the process, they used Alchemic experimentation methods, logical deduction, and some even used the teachings of Zohar to make the amazing discoveries that led directly to the Enlightenment itself. They all found what they were doing as a way to either verify or refute some of the ways scripture was being officially interpreted by the Church of Rome. In other words, the roots of science were tightly intertwined with spirituality.

For the next century and a half, the overlapping of science and spirituality continued. However, the discoveries being made in science strayed far from the traditional teachings of scripture itself, and immersed itself in trying to figure out how matter (physical substance) was constructed. Then, along came Immanuel Kant, who convincingly argued that the question of substance was purely the domain of science, and the question of God purely the domain of theology. Kant effectively began the separation of science and spirituality. About a half century later, the evolutionary theories of Darwin widened the gap. Darwin himself was hardly an atheist, but he wasn't a believer in organized religion either. He was a heretic, yes. But he also believed in God as the creator of the universe. He believed God created the universe, containing numerous natural laws (like gravity) that allowed the universe to evolve naturally. He believed evolution was God's way. This idea alienated nearly all of the various Christian churches in Europe and America. As a group they taught that Earth was but a few thousand years old, based on Bishop Ussher's theory, and what we now call Big Bang happened in just six earth days. Darwin said the earth was at least many millions of years old, and putting an actual number on Earth's age was meaningless. Of course, Darwin's flawed second theory, that humans are descended from Apes, got the majority of the popular press because of its sensational conclusion. Out of it all, Darwin was not merely condemned as heretic, but falsely accused of atheism! Regardless, Darwin's work effectively split science from religion once and for all. It should also be noted that Kabbalism had taught evolution to be God's way for this creation for nearly 4,000 years before Darwin; yet another verification of Kabbalistic tradition.

Now, more than 150 years later, the extreme limits of scientific research, the "cutting edge" stuff, is sounding more and more bizarre, even to the researchers, and seems to be moving closer and closer to the spiritual realm. The conclusion of most Cosmologists that this universe was certainly made, gives strong, startling evidence of the direction cutting edge research seems to be heading in. Of course, the century and a half since Darwin has literally cemented the chasm perceived to be the case between science and spirituality, at least in the minds of the public at large. Scientists doggedly refuse to address possible spiritual questions, and most theologians generally continue to shun scientific evidence because science is believed to be an atheist discipline. But, Kabbalism serves as a possible bridge to this irresponsible act. Irresponsible? Yes. It is irresponsible for theologians to reject sound evidence concerning God's creation that could resolve "mysteries" simply because it comes from science. Irresponsible for scientists to shun the possibility of spirituality even when it stares them squarely in the face. It is time for the rift between science and religion to cease, and Kabbalism may well be the best intellectual tool to do it with.

It should be mentioned Kabbalism is in no way associated with the modern notion of "intelligent design", which seems to have been created as an attempt to disprove Darwin. The whole idea of intelligence attributed to the divine is just flat contradictory. Believers in this theory clearly have an artificial definition of God, and confuse created attributes with divine attributes. Humans are intelligent because we need to learn everything we know. God knows everything, immediate and absolute. Intelligence is a measure of the human ability to learn. There is nothing for God to learn, for God‘s knowing is infinite. Intelligence is purely a quality of a mind that is created, and God cannot be both created and the Creator. That's a hopeless contradiction. When posed with this contradictory notion, intelligent design advocates argue that the meaning behind the phrase is to attribute  rational thought to a being that has no physical form. They continue that it is a natural way for the human mind to try and understand the mind of God. Whatever this invisible, non-physical mind is that intelligent design theorists are trying to understand, it cannot actually be God‘s mind. Rationality is an opinion…a mere belief…everyone has a different idea of what is rational and what is irrational. Rationality is nothing more than a machination of human judgment. The divine mind is infinitely perfect, and should never be attributed judgmental qualities. In fact, the "god" of intelligent design theory sounds remarkably like a man not of this earth. A non-corporeal extra-universal, if you will. Not only not of this Earth, but not of this universe! A man-like god, possessing advanced created mental qualities. If man-like, then this god must be itself created. A created being can no more be the creator than Van Gogh's Starry Night could have painted itself. As one can see, there are numerous insurmountable theosophical problems with intelligent design theory. God is infinitely knowing, which is infinitely beyond any alleged being possessing the quality of intelligence. Besides, a serious understanding of the progression of organic life seems to clearly demonstrate that evolution is God's intended process for our creation. Why make it more difficult and dogmatically mysterious than it has to be?


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2. Cooper, Rabbi David A.; God is a Verb : Kabbalah and the Practice of Mystical Judaism; Berkley Publishing Group of Penguin Putnam Inc., New York. 1997

3. Lovgren, Stefan; Evolution and Religion Can Coexist, Scientists Say; National Geographic News; 10/18/2004. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2004/10/1018_041018_science_religion.html

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6. Ginsburgh, Yitzchak; Where Kabbalism Kisses Science; Chabad.org Ideas and Beliefs. 2007 http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/3064/jewish/Where-Kabbalah-Kisses-Science.htm

7. Laitman, Rav Michael, PhD; Kabbalah, Science, and the Meaning of Life; Scribd. http://www.scribd.com/doc/11190374/Laitman-RM-Kabbalah-Science-And-the-Meaning-of-Life

8. White, Michael; Isaac Newton : The Last Sorcerer; Perseus Books, Reading, Massachusetts. 1997

9. Darwin, Charles; The Origin of Species; Oxford University Press, Walton Street, Oxford, England. 1996

10. Kant, Immanuel; Critique of Pure Reason; Trans. By Norman Kemp Smith; St. Martin’s Press. 1965 http://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/02/opinion/02iht-edwoodward.html

11. Woodward, Kenneth L.; Science and Religion Can Coexist; The New York Times. 10/2/2005  http://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/02/opinion/02iht-edwoodward.html