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What is God?

22 January, 2007

“Time is part of the physical universe. Einstein showed us that. Time is not a backdrop. Space and time together don’t form an arena in which the universe happens … they’re part of the cast: space and time can change and move.

“What this means is that if we want to talk about God, we’ve got to talk about a being that is outside of time, and if what we’re after is an explanation for the universe, then that universe includes time and space.

So the explanation for the universe must lie within something that transcends time and space.

While that makes a physicist feel very comfortable, it’s not much comfort for those people who want a god who can dip into the running of the universe from time to time.

The timeless god I’m describing must be contrasted witht he old-fashioned God – a superbeing who sits there for all eternity and who, at some particular moment decides ‘I’ll have a universe’ and then presses a button and: bang! – the universe appears. And then maybe from time to time this superbeing prods the universe by moving atoms around.

I find this old-fashioned, but still popular, concept of God offensive both scientifically and theologically.”

Paul Davies

(taken from Belief)

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