Strange Bedfellows: Spirituality and Science

The thoughts of some scientists and theologians

Science without religion is lame. Religion without science is blind.” Albert Einstein

My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble mind.” Albert Einstein

“The notion that science and spirituality are somehow mutually exclusive does a disservice to both.” Carl Sagan

“Science is not only compatible with spirituality; it is a profound source of spirituality. When we recognize our place in an immensity of light years and in the passage of ages, when we grasp the intricacy, beauty and subtlety of life, then that soaring feeling, that sense of elation and humility combined, is surely spiritual.” Carl Sagan

“The universe is a single atom: the convergence of science and spirituality.” Dalai Lama

“Love is the affinity which links and draws together the elements of the world… Love, in fact, is the agent of universal synthesis.” Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Vatican Council II said we have to read the signs of the times.  Today’s physicists have given us a new sign that is as shocking as Galileo’s claim that the earth revolves around the sun.  This breakthrough will have a major influence on our theology and especially on our everyday spirituality. 

“[T]he principles of thermodynamics have been in existence since the creation of the universe” (Cengel and Boles, 2002, p. 2, emp. added). 

“When understood properly, the Laws of Thermodynamics apply directly to the creation/evolution controversy in precisely the same way they apply in the above examples to the work of engineers. In fact, these foundational truths utilized daily by the engineering world, have eternally significant, spiritual implications in that they prove that God exists. How so?”

“If there is no God, the existence of the Universe must be explained without Him. The Big Bang theory claims that all matter in the Universe initially was condensed in a sphere the size of a period at the end of this sentence (see Thompson, et al., 2003, 23[5]:32-34,36-47). However, this theory offers no explanation for the origin of that sphere. The only logical possibilities for its existence are that it popped into existence out of nothing (spontaneous generation), it always existed, or it was created.”

“Evolutionists claim that science and the idea of God are irreconcilable. “Only one of them can be the truth,” they say, “and you cannot prove there is a God.” However, the Laws of Thermodynamics, which science itself recognizes in its explanations of the phenomena in the Universe, were designed by the Chief Engineer.”

The author of the four quotes above is Jeff Miller, Ph.D. You can read his entire article at

Lord Kelvin, the man often called the Father of Thermodynamics because of his articulation of the Second Law of Thermodynamics in 1849, said:

I cannot admit that, with regard to the origin of life, science neither affirms nor denies Creative Power. Science positively affirms Creative Power. It is not in dead matter that we live and move and have our being [Acts 17:28—JM], but in the creating and directing Power which science compels us to accept as an article of belief…. There is nothing between absolute scientific belief in a Creative Power, and the acceptance of the theory of a fortuitous concourse of atoms…. Forty years ago I asked Liebig, walking somewhere in the country if he believed that the grass and flowers that we saw around us grew by mere chemical forces. He answered, “No, no more than I could believe that a book of botany describing them could grow by mere chemical forces”…. Do not be afraid of being free thinkers! If you think strongly enough you will be forced by science to the belief in God, which is the foundation of all religion. You will find science not antagonistic but helpful to religion (as quoted in Smith, 1981, pp. 307-308, emp. added).

 Until now, physicists understood the universe, including earth and ourselves, to be made up of physical, material beings.  In their terms, everything and everyone is made of atoms.  And atoms are made up of little balls called sub-atomic particles.

Today’s physicists have discovered that atoms are not material!  They are not made of material particles.  They are made of energy.  “Atoms make up everything we’re familiar with in our world: electrons bound to atomic nuclei. The ways atoms bind together and electrons move to various energy levels absorb and release energy, accounting for most of the transitions we see. But there are other forms of energy in there, too, and if we can safely harness them, it will change everything. ” Ethan Siegel For more go to:

Energy is usually described as the ability to do work, or to be something. Energy is potential, or possibility.  Energy  is not yet something material.  Energy moves in waves.  So energy is immaterial waves of possibility, i.e., of possible material things and people.

The entire universe and everything and everyone in it is made of energy.  Since energy is not material, everything is immaterial.  Immaterial energy moves in immaterial “energy waves.”  The universe is a made of up an infinite number of waves of possibility.

The universe expresses itself in the form of immaterial, living, conscious beings, e.g., immaterial insects, animals, ourselves.  Therefore, the universe itself must be living and conscious.  In fact, the universe is  living  consciousness!   

The universe is living awareness, universal being awake! We live in a universe that we are aware of, and that is aware of us!  

This new consciousness gives us a new way to try to understand who God is.  But first we must understand that God is Absolute Mystery.  Mystery in this context is not ignorance, as in a Detective Novel in which we slowly find out who the murderer was.  Mystery, as it applies to God, is Reality that is so great that it is inexhaustible.  This means that the more we understand about God, the more there will be to understand, without end.

So our understanding of who God is is and always will be a human construct, limited by our human nature.  That said, we can now say that since we are space/time, living, conscious images and likenesses of God, we can say that God is Eternal-Infinite Living Consciousness or Awareness.  More fully, we can say that:

     God is Eternal-Infinite, Living, Creative, Saving and World-Sanctifying and Evolving, Loving Consciousness/Awareness.
It will greatly help us in understanding who God is if we put aside our images of God as Someone, e.g., an old man with a white beard,  “up there” or “out there.”  It gets worse when we try to imagine God as up there and everywhere down here at the same time. 

     With this new understanding, we can image God as filling the universe and earth with Living, Creative, Saving and World-Sanctifying and Evolving Love-Consciousness.  This may take some time but it will be well-worth the effort, for the sake of our ongoing spiritual maturity and our Christ-like efforts in and for today’s society.  

God’s Eternal-Infinite Love-Consciousness is what Jesus took to himself at the instant of his conception in Mary’s womb.  If we want to “see” the divine Love-Consciousness, we can look at Jesus.  
      (Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.  John 14:9)

 How do we get from being immaterial waves of possibility, to being three dimensional, solid figures living in a three dimensional, solid world?
Here’s what the physicists tell us:  Using its infinite possibilities, the living-conscious universe creates individual, immaterial possibilities, e.g., immaterial galaxies with their immaterial stars and planets, our immaterial moon and earth with its immaterial soil, water, air, fish, animals, and immaterial selves.  All are immaterial possibilities.

We ourselves are a spirit, i.e., an immaterial soul with an immaterial brain and immaterial body with immaterial senses.  The universe puts the possible idea of a material earth and our material selves into our mind.  Our immaterial mind shows these possibilities to our immaterial brain.  Our immaterial brain excites our immaterial senses to sense these immaterial possibilities as if they are three dimensional, material objects in a three dimensional world and universe.  

     We are living, conscious, free, active participants in the conscious universe.  We use our consciousness to create the three dimensional world and universe we live in!  (For the scientifically minded, we create a hologram.)

     As images and likenesses of God, we are called and empowered to act like God and care for the world that we create by bringing it the peace, justice and love of Christ.  We are here to help “Thy Kingdom Come…on Earth.”

by Anthony Massimini, Ph.D with Ernie Sherretta, D.Min.

About Dr. Ernie Sherretta, D. Min.

Retired Director of Religious Education for the Catholic Church since 2014, granted a B.A. in Philosophy from St. Charles Seminary, an M.A. in Religious Studies from St. Charles Seminary, an M.A. in Counseling Psychology from Immaculata University, and a Doctor of Ministry from the Lutheran Theological Seminary. Spiritual Well-Being Counselor
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