Re “Studying time’s mysteries, and the multiverse,” June 28
Sean M. Carroll states that “it used to be, a thousand years ago, that if you wanted to explain why the moon moved through the sky, you needed to invoke God.”
In fact, a thousand years ago, Ptolemy’s system of the universe was widely accepted in Christian Europe, Christian Byzantium and in the Muslim world. However mistaken that system was, it was based on observation and mathematics and did not involve God mechanically moving the moon through the sky.
The tendency to insert God into the gaps left by inadequate observation and faulty mathematics was introduced by scientists of the 17th and 18th centuries, not by religious teachers. We have been burdened by this misunderstanding ever since.
Traditional Christian doctrine has no problem with using science to explain how the phenomena of the universe work together. What it does teach, however, is that everything, even the most well-understood aspects of the world, exist because of the creative act of God, and that knowledge of this creative act derives from the self-revelation of God.