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January 4, 2012 / compassioninpolitics

Quotes from “Mind of the Universe” by Mariano Arigas

“The new sciences (if we may call them that) focus our attention in a fresh way on the pervasive fact of patterning. In doing so they are dealing with something as fundamental as being itself, and not with just another gap that could conceivably be filled in by fresh scientific discoveries. After all, can we really separate the deep position of thing’s existence or ‘being’ from the fact of its patterning? For anything to exist at all would it not have to possess some degree of organizing structure? Without at least some internal ordering of its components could anything even have actuality? Our position, as articulated by Whitehead, is that things simply cannot exist without being ordered in a definite way. Indefiniteness would be equivalent to non-existence.”

John Haught, Science & Religion, p. 151

“Thus, the question scientists are asking today about why there is complexity in the universe is only a hair’s breath away from the theological question concerning why anything exists at all…The very possibility of doing science in the first place presupposes the fact of patterning as science’s field of exploration…science cannot by itself explain the naked fact of patterning. True, it is discovering complex designs that it never noticed before…But can scientists ask the very deep questions as to why there is any patterning at all and pretend that they are not thereby steering perilously close to metaphysics? And when they wonder why complex patterning has the features of discovery, emergence, adaptability, and interactivity, can there pursue such inquiry to the very end without making contact to theology?”

John Haught, Science & Religion, p. 151

“There is here no knockdown argument for design and purpose, but certainly there are strong hints of ultimate realities beyond the cosmos…One of the strongest hints, in our opinion, relates to the new understanding of the creativity of the cosmos, its capacity for so-called self organization…current science leads us to look for a new paradigm, a universe fraught with creativity in the direction of cooperative and organizational processes…there appears to be a continuity of organization into novel and increasingly complex structures and relationships throughout the spectrum of transition from stardust to thinking men…From a theological perspective it is indeed tempting to see this remarkable self-organizing tendency as an expression of the intimate nature of the Creator’s activity and identification with our universe.”

Evidence of Purpose: Scientists Discover the Creator, John Marks Templeton, p. 11-12

“Nature is nothing but the plan of some art, namely a divine one, put into things themselves, by which those things move towards a concrete end: as if the man who builds up a ship could give to the pieces of wood that they could move by themselves to produce the form of the ship.”
Thomas Acquinas, book 2, chapter 8, lectio 14, no. 268

* The above quotes can be found on pages 123, 155, and 156 of “The Mind of the Universe” by Mariano Arigas
** The author points out how this quote of Acquinas anticipates science’s recent discovery of self-organization.

———–
“The fact that this rich and complex variety emerges from the featureless inferno of the Big Bang, and does so as a consequence of laws of stunning simplicity and generality, indicates some sort of matching of means to end that has a distinct teleological flavor to it.

Davies, The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Science, p. 46

“Goal directed behavior (in the widest sense of the word) is extremely widespread in the organic world; for instance, most activity connected with migration, food-getting, courtship, ontogeny, and all phases of reproduction is characterized by such goal orientation. The occurrence of goal-directed processes is perhaps the most characteristic feature of the world of living organisms.”
Ernst Mayr, Towards a New Philosophy of Biology, p. 45

“Holism, functionality, and cooperativity are finalist dimensions because they imply that different components collaborate to reach a common goal. These dimension were present in the ancient teleological worldviews, because they were easily perceived in living beings. They suffered an eclipse when the mechanistic worldview, attaining greater importance than they had before. Indeed, we now understand them much better….We can conclude that, from the point of view of the present scientific worldview, the existence of teleological dimensions of the world–not only in the biological level, but also in the physiochemical–is plain fact. Until now the state of sciences did not provide sufficient grounds for it; only the scientific progress of the last decades of the twentieth century has made it possible to reach this vantage point.”
Mariano Arigas, “Mind of the Universe” p. 130

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