When the Hindu claims that a certain mountain range in India is actually a huge snake under the surface, science can falsify that. If the revealed portion of their religion demands that the snake hypothesis is true, then that "revelation" is false and the Hindu is in a dilemma if he wants to keep his view.
The Christian example of a 6,000-year universe is a case wherein the revealed portion of the religion does not demand a "young earth" view. Since the Hebrew language in Genesis allows (and seems to indicate in places) an old universe, the Christian can embrace that view in keeping with the evidence.
If tomorrow we discovered indisputably that the universe is only 6 to 10 - thousand years old (that ain't gonna happen), I would shrug my shoulders and say I guess the young-earth view was correct! It's not an essential of the Christian Faith but is a peripheral issue.
But in what way could the science you're talking about detect God himself? If God exists, he is immaterial, timeless, and spaceless, etc. Science is therefore limited to investigating vestiges or indications of God predicted by theism or the revealed portion of the religion(s), but then any speculations as to what can be inferred by scientific studies moves out of the realm of science per se, and into the realm of philosophy.
So what are some things that Christian Theism would affirm or predict according to both Natural Theology and Revealed Theology that science could investigate? Examples would be:
Secondly, even if certain scientific discoveries lead to considerations that God exists, it requires further philosophical/theological speculation as to which of the World Religions has the best candidate for God.
Finally, as a Christian Theist, I think scientific discovery will progressively confirm the following predictions:
When you mention “cosmological models that require an absolute beginning” (of the universe) would you consider Time and Space to be part of that Universe? That is to say would you consider that the “First Cause” only created matter and that Time and Space already existed independently of this “First Cause” or would you consider that “Everything” – Time, Space, Gravity, and various other forces and Matter began at the instant the Universe was created.
Yes. I would consider it the absolute beginning of time, space, matter, and energy. It is a contradiction to make the temporal statement, "there was time before time". There is no time before time.
If Time and Space were created at the “absolute beginning” it would imply that there was “Nothing” beforehand – what we can call an Absolute Vacuum. There would have been no Time in which any Cause could have occurred. The first moment of Time would have been at the beginning of the Universe.
Close, but Kant pointed out a distinction between something's being temporally prior and logically prior. If a cause and effect are simultaneous, the cause is logically prior to the effect but not temporally prior.
The example is one of a bowling ball sitting on a cushion from all eternity. If the two objects had been in that state eternally, then the indentation in the cushion would be caused by the bowling ball. So it would be the logical or efficient cause of the indentation. It would be the cause logically but not chronologically.
A Theist would say that a god created something from nothing. That infers god as a free agent had a choice to create or not to create this Universe. If this god choose neither, then one of them would occur without a cause. If he choose to create this Universe and this god is infinite then he must exist outside “Time” and is therefore not part of a Universe that began when Time began.
Yes, if a being created time, it would exist outside of time. Time is a measurement of change. An absolutely changeless state would be a timeless state. Time occurs at the moment things begin to change.
But there is nothing incoherent about God being timeless without the time/space/material universe yet entering into time upon its creation. Further, God can know all true propositions instantly and intuitively which would not require temporal terms like "hesitation" and "before" choosing between options (which would require time).
However the fact that the Universe exists, rather than does not exist, does not increase the probability that a god exists. It does not make its existence contingent on a god existing.
But it makes it's existence contingent upon something! And a conceptual analysis uncovers at least some of the characteristics of that something. It brought about time so it would timeless. It brought about space so it would be spaceless. It created matter so it would be immaterial, etc. One could then ask whether it were personal or impersonal.
Modern cosmologists say Hawking for example, loved as he is by Theists, suggests that it possible that something can be created from nothing. He makes a very good case for it. They do have very good Theories which are as good as proven and little doubt remains in the minds of those who take the time to understand them as to the veracity. No faith is required. Some recent experiments and observations have shown that “something can come from nothing”. Particles have been shown to suddenly appear and vanish inside “empty space”.
You know as well as I do that "empty space" ain't so empty! Neither is the Quantum Vacuum. But the premise is that "Something cannot come from nothing uncaused". "Nothing" cannot do anything! There is not even potential in nothing! There is not the potential for change in nothingness. Therefore, one is left with saying "nothing caused something" which is absurd. Nothing means "not anything". One cannot logically say, "Nothing caused particle X to move from state A to state B".
One cannot construe nothing as something. "Out of nothing" does not mean "taking a handful of nothing" and making something out of it! It just means that there was no thing and then there was something.
When people say that science can't deal with the existence of God because He is transcendent, immaterial, outside of time and space, I particularly like when an atheist states something like this:
Either God is fully transcendent, or a part of Him is or manifests (like the Holy Spirit) in our physical reality.
"In Christian theology, God has shown that big flashy miracles only go so far in convincing people. They can only serve as a general confirmation of a given revelation or teaching, but are limited in changing people's hearts. The Israelites quickly turned back away from God or just demanded more and bigger miracles. The religious leaders still denied Christ in spite of his miracles and attributed them to "Beelzebub"."
Isn't your God omnipotent, all knowing, yada yada...? Then how could his miracles be so little effective at convincing HIS OWN CREATION?
"Christ refused to do "parlor tricks". He took the deaf man away from the crowd so as not to make a spectacle of him. He told hypocritical religious leaders "only one sign will be given to you" (the resurrection)."
Humanity! You only have one shot at seeing Me. Never mind you are illiterate, are only a fraction of the human population and will transmit this in one of the most ambiguous pieces of literature ever written. Most of you won't see this miracle in any way, only read it in said book, but hey, if you don't believe it, your loss...
At this point, the only thing that I see perfect in God is His complete lack of logic...
And so yet again you just dodge the issue that most of us have with you - that you had no evidence to support the existence of a deity when you decided to start doing so. That you cite predictions that will provide evidence just reaffirms this - that you can't rely on evidence that currently exists.
Widespread/cross cultural belief in deities is a function of the human predilection of for conceiving models of the human mind. Even perfectly reasonable, modern people still fall prey to this fallacy. The fact that cultural god-concepts evolve with a cultures conceptualization of the cosmos is extremely strong evidence that their god-concept is a function of their minds - it's psychological, otherwise there would be some pervasive consistency to the concept.
You've already failed miserably arguing objective morality - so why bring it up unless you are here to debunk yourself. Even I could make a better argument for it, so it's obvious you are just blowing wind there. Your 'intricate designs' are continually being explained through evolution - so you are running out of room there as well. The previous statement also applies to the mind/brain connection and perhaps you should read a little V.S. Ramachandran on that one.
Even agreeing to terms of a finite number of events in our timespace, you don't get to just say, "What happened before that? Goddidit - never a miscommunication, you can't explain that," because that is no more valid than saying, "I did it, when I dreamt the universe into existence, but then I said, 'shhh' and put my finger to my upper lip, leaving all humans with a dent there so they would be unable to speak the truth of my creation for all their ages." You can certainly postulate that, but for intellectual honesty you still then need to look for evidence of it and there isn't any - other than that dent I put in the middle of your lip. Now bow down and worship me.
So why do you think your continued assertions of these fallacies are going to make any impact at all? Don't you get tired of being proven wrong over and over and over and over again. This makes the 9th time you've dodged providing the 'evidence' that you continually claim to have.
Heather, I think you would make a fine guest on the O'Reilly Factor or The Colbert Report