Thermodynamics is the “science of the relationship between heat, work, temperature, and energy. In broad terms, thermodynamics deals with the transfer of energy from one place to another and from one form to another.” (1) Although it’s a physical theory, strictly speaking, it seems to apply to other systems as well, including social. At first glance it might not seem to have any relationship to the Baha’i notion of progressive revelation, but upon closer examination of its first two laws, we can see that it does. Read more
Some of the conflicted thinking about evolution in particular, and science in general, is a consequence of what logicians refer to as “category error”, which is treating two different things as though they were the same. A mundane example will help to illustrate the point. Read more
The Universal House of Justice, the authority in the Baha’i Faith to which all must turn, has stated:
“Just as there are laws governing our physical lives, requiring that we must supply our bodies with certain foods, maintain them within a certain range of temperatures, and so forth, if we wish to avoid physical disabilities, so also there are laws governing our spiritual lives. These laws are revealed to mankind in each age by the Manifestation of God, and obedience to them is of vital importance if each human being, and mankind in general, is to develop properly and harmoniously.” (From a letter of the Universal House of Justice to an individual believer; excerpts to all National Spiritual Assemblies, February 6, 1973: Messages from the Universal House of Justice, 1968-1973, pp. 105-106)
For those who believe that there is a God and that He does in some way relate to how the physical world operates there are two basic approaches for this process: Primary and Secondary Causation.
In Primary Causation things happen because He made them happen, directly, then and there. There are concerns to this: it means that one can never be sure that the way things operate yesterday even at the most basic level will be the way they happen tomorrow, it disempowers those seeking to understand and operate within the laws of the Universe (because there aren’t any in this scenario), placing people at the mercy of a capricious deity, and it gives a direct but brutal answer to the eternal question of “why does evil happen?” namely that “God did it – all of it”. Read more
The purpose of this forum is to explore the relationship between science and religion. Because the forum was initiated and is maintained by members of the Baha’i Faith, it is natural that it will reflect a Baha’i perspective, but that should not be taken to mean that contribution from any religion is discouraged. Far from it: the intent is to have open and productive dialogue. In order to discuss the relationship between science and religion, it is essential to have an accurate understanding of the fundamentals of both, and it is quite possible that there will be different, and at times incompatible, perspectives. Read more