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don’t believe what you’re talking about!”
audience went dead still at this sudden interruption. Then all heads turned
toward the speaker, an attractive young woman of 30 to 32, I gauged, standing in
a pew about two-thirds the way back in the church.
believe these things you’re talking about. About us being God’s children and God
loving us. And Having a God-nature of our own. And prayer. And life after death.
“And I don’t
believe there is a God!” She was visibly shaken by her own audacity, but driven
by an inner desperation. She stood there a moment longer, all the time on the
edge of tears, then sat down.
the heads turned back to me, the guest speaker brought in for a special lecture
on prayer. What would I do with this? Had she insulted me? Would I be angry with
her, or – even worse – condescending? What would I do with the rest of the
lecture? I was only about eighteen minutes into it, with most of the evening yet
could reply the man beside her stood quietly and said, “You must excuse my wife.
We lost our little girl three weeks ago. She was run over, in the street, in
front of our home.” He sat down.
Mentally I reached inward and upward for directions on how best to handle this.
The reply came, quietly: “You must give her reason to believe again that there
is a God.” As people who live close to spirit know, this kind of guidance can
come veritably within “the wink of an eye,” much more quickly than it takes to
tell. The spiritual computer, too, can be unbelievably immediate.
guide did not need to add that this assurance of God’s existence must be more
than simply the “have faith” of the bible-quoting approach. I could not fall
back on religious authority and dogma to help this woman. This is what had
failed her. Her traditional religious faith had collapsed under the burden of
her loss. She wanted, she needed, a reason strong enough to support her through
the emotional devastation of her suffering and grief, a reason that would stand
up in this science-oriented age as a fact.
Begin With God
us change our plan for tonight,” I said quietly in that hushed church. “There is
a prior question to prayer. That first question is precisely the one this woman
has asked: Is there a God? And many of us here, not only she, have asked that
question at one time or another in our lives.”
I was ready.
My training and experience as a scientist, and then my training and experience
as a minister, had come together in my years of Religious Research. I could
“give a reason for the faith within me” as the bible enjoins us – and now in
modern terms, not available before the development of science. Science is not
the death-knell of religion. Just the opposite! Science enables us to put our
spiritual faith upon the foundation of factual knowledge, a foundation stronger
than ever before. We are now “Adding Facts to Faith.”
The God of
religion is the God of science, too. Let me share with you, as I did so
unexpectedly with that audience years ago, the case science builds for God. This
is the beginning point for these Religious Research lessons in the modern
knowledge of God, ourselves, and the world in which we live.
In the Beginning, God
I will say one thing, the same thing, in three
languages. The first time is in its own original language (phonetically spelled
here). The second, you will recognize. The third may surprise
“B’ray-sheeth ba-rah Eloheem ayth ha-shay-maym wa-ayth ha-aretz.” That is
in the Hebrew language.
beginning God created the Heavens and the Earth.” That is the same verse in
English. You recognize it as the opening verse, the very first words, of both
the Hebrew Scriptures and the Christian Bible.
“This is a
cause-and-effect universe.” That is the same thing in the language of science.
Nothing just happens by chance. Everything that is, has been brought into being
somehow. There is a cause, an adequate cause, back of every
evaluating its own findings in all the fields it has researched, comes to one
basic conclusion: This world and all within it was brought into being and unto
its present condition not by chance, not by whimsy, not by chaos, but by cause. The cause that produces anything
must be adequate to bring about that cause. The cause to produce an earth, a
solar system, a universe, must be big enough, powerful enough, of a nature
capable enough to do it.
The existence of a creation requires – and thus indicates, reveals,
evidences, shows the existence of – a Creator. Thus science leads us squarely to
God. The scientific study of the world we live in leads us inescapably to the
fact there must be someone or something that brought it into being. Back of
every thing there must be a cause that produced that thing. Back of it all there
must be a creative force and intelligence that produced it all. “This is a
cause-and-effect universe.” “In the beginning, God created the Heavens and the
There are some who raise an interesting question
here. I remember lecturing for a group at Cal Tech and one professor asked, “But
how do you know the Creator was God?” He had missed the point. The scripture
writers of all religions, not just the Judeo-Christian, were saying that whoever
or whatever did create this
universe, that is God. They were not claiming this function for God out of a
number of claimants! They were sensibly tracing things back as far as they could
go – to the very beginning of all things – and saying that that
universe-producing cause there at the very beginning, Whoever or Whatever, let’s
give it the name “God.” God is simply the name they used for the Creator.
Creator is the first name for God in all of man’s religions.
This Creator-aspect of God is further emphasized in the Judeo-Christian
religion by the particular name “Jehovah.” Actually, the pronunciation of that
particular name, following the ancient Hebrew, would be “Yahweh.” This name for
God is the basic Hebrew word “yah,” meaning being, doubled for emphasis. The God
name Yah-Yah, or Yahweh, or Jehovah, is an emphatic “Being-Being” – that which
exists, even that which causes to exist, the very source of beingness or
existence. Or as we would say, Creator.
Already this business of God is getting simpler, isn’t it? The existence
of God is more reasonable when we understand what is first meant by that word.
The Creator – That, or He, or She, or It, Whoever or Whatever brought this
universe into being – is what is meant by “God.” That word “God” is simply the
word, the title, the appellation, the language designation, used to refer to the
Creator – just as other things are named apples, rivers, trees, airplanes, pigs
or peanuts. Use some other word than God if you wish – “First Cause,” “Ground of
Existence,” “Great Spirit,” “the Big Boss,” or whatever. Names are only
convenient, recognized ways of referring to the reality behind the
Now let us turn to science and its approach to God. Here we recognize
immediately – and regretfully – that many professional “scientists” stop far
short of recognizing God, any god or Creator. All their research, all their
study, all their evidence, shouts out unanimously to them that this universe
they spend their lives studying must come from a Universe-Maker. But they
sidestep admitting this, saying it lies outside their field and in the field of
This is a copout. This is avoiding the issue. This is a self-imposed
stopping point (or ego-point) beyond which they soon must go. True, (1) Religion
is and always has been that field of human thought and investigation which deals
with God, the Creator -–using such tools and concepts of inquiry and
understanding as were available in each culture and stage of civilization. True,
(2) Religion as now expressed expresses largely through old doctrines and
dogmas, and subjective experiences of worship, enlightenment, etc., whereas
Science is that method (very new in human experience) which deals with the
objective facts, the real truth, the universe-maker’s truth of the universe.
True also, (3) Science, with its emphasis in these, its early years, upon
material physical research – of which there is still so very much to do – has
not yet evolved the tools and procedures for scientific research of the
non-material (spiritual) realm. Religious Research is still the lone pioneer
organization in this field. And true, (4) Religion is still needlessly,
bewilderedly, shamefully ignorant of the methods and approach of science, which
is man’s best tool yet for discovering objective truth, real truth, the truth of
a thing within itself – in short, the Creator’s truth rather than man’s opinions
and speculations. But these are simply initial obstacles to be overcome, and
actually of not much difficulty or consequence.
During the seven years 1964-71, I made my residence
at our then Religious Research Center in Princeton, New Jersey. Here I attended
most of the fascinating Physics Seminars held at Princeton University, prominent
the world over for its eminence in the field of Physics (the Einstein and
Oppenheimer heritage). With my background in physics and chemistry I had talked
my way in and was welcomed at these Seminars. (They had precious few ministers,
or even other professors, who understood the fascinating things they were
doing.) I heard the outstanding physics professors of Princeton – Dr. Robert H.
Dicke, Dr. John Wheeler – and the brilliant graduate students they attracted to
the school. And I heard visiting professor-researchers, among them several
world-renowned Nobel Laureate physicists.
One of these Nobelists, I believe from Sweden, came close to this
science-religion meeting point of creation-Creator, developing briefly in his
talk the necessity for science to recognize that there does exist a
Universe-Maker (a Creator) simply because there is a universe, a creation. He
said, "This world around us and the universe of the skies did not just happen."
But there he stopped, saying, “But that is the field of religion, and beyond my
Well, it will be “beyond the competence” of scientists and religionists
alike until there are scientists – skilled and persistent users of the
scientific tools and methods – in the field of religion, which is the field of
knowledge of the spiritual (non-physical) components of Man and the
And what fascinating, ultra-important, eye-opening, truth-expanding,
life-enriching discoveries will then be made, adding immeasurably and in most
important areas to our knowing the world/universe in which we live and our
resultant knowledge of ourselves, when this best method man has ever had for
getting truth – scientific research – is used in the most important of all man’s
fields of knowledge, the field of our spiritual (non-material) nature and the
spiritual (non-material) components of life, humanity, and the universe! This is
not impossible. This is no impassable gulf between science and religion, any
more than there is between flying and oceans. They are two different categories.
Science is a method of getting information. Religion is a field of knowledge.
Scientific (objective, factual) knowledge of the spiritual (non-material,
non-physical) components of man and the universe can be gotten by mankind. In a small
way, in the now-famous prayer-plant research we of Religious Research conducted,
we showed it can be done. We did it.
During my college and seminary years the physicists and cosmologists were
divided, generally, by two theories of what the universe was like “in the
beginning” – by which they meant its state of being just after it had been
produced. One group believed that at that beginning point all matter had been
gathered into one incredibly dense ball. This then exploded in a cosmic “Big
Bang” which sent matter (still in a plasma stage) flying out in all directions
in space – perhaps creating space as it did so. Then out of this diffused
superhot gas, gradually and by different means – the super shockwaves from
Novas, exploding stars, being a recent suggestion as I write this (1980) – the
matter accumulated or agglomerated into the pattern we now have of solar
systems, galaxies, nebulae, and other celestial bodies and
The other theory then (my college and Seminary years were 1929-1936) was
of a “Solid State Universe,” and many fine astrophysicists and others thought
this probably so. This theory held that “in the beginning” – meaning its state
of being just after it had been produced – matter was distributed evenly through
space, at the rate of about one electron per cubic meter (roughly a cubic yard)
or space. Then by various means, perhaps by the bending of gravitational lines
wherever a piece of matter rested upon a gravitational line of force, the matter
collected into dust, suns, the stars, and other objects we now find in our
The argument between these two schools of scientists
was most stimulating and a lot of fun. Then a fact was discovered, at Princeton
and during my residence there (I was in on the earliest announcements of the
decisive discoveries), which has established now the “Big Bang” theory as being
probably the correct understanding.
The discovery first was made accidentally, as so many fundamental
discoveries are. Some Bell Telephone scientists of the very fine and large Bell
research laboratory at Princeton (not connected with the University – there are
many research centers in Princeton) had been assigned to research all possible
sources of static in telephone transmissions. These men discovered by
sophisticated research observation that there is a “residual hiss” – a
background radiation – everywhere they probed the skies! It took well-developed
instrumentation to find it, but everywhere they pointed their “horns” (and they
do actually look like the “horns” or speakers of early gramophones) – it was
there! This was a slight source of static on telephone transmission. But it was
a large piece of evidence science-wise.
Professor Robert H. Dicke and a team of bright young Ph.D. students under
him took up the matter and carried it farther, for its significance in physics.
I remember hearing reports coming in from a team they had sent high into the
winter Rockies of Colorado, among others. The theory into which this evidence
fit was that if there were an initial “Big Bang” (perhaps about 20 billion years
ago), there could be – there might be – still an “echo” of it throughout space,
theoretically figured as being a radiation level equal to that of a black body
at about two to five degrees absolute temperature (which would be about 448 to
451 degrees below zero by our usual Fahrenheit scale, very near to the absolute
zero of no molecular movement at all.) The evidence fit. The radiation they
found, everywhere in space and apparently throughout all of space, was of about
2.7 degrees magnitude, and supported the “Big Bang.” I had no part in this
research, of course. But I was in on the moment (or several years) of a major
scientific achievement, discovered incidentally by the careful observations and
measurements of the Bell Telephone researchers and then verified, established,
by one of the finest university physics groups in all the world.
But – from where does the matter they study come? Who or What created,
brought about, produced this universe of matter? And how? And why? And what is
mankind’s place in it? That question was never even asked.
result, of course, is that the students of these brilliant physicists graduate
feeling that there is no God, or that if there be a God, He/She/It/That is
somehow not really important and the world and universe can be adequately,
brilliantly understood and quite adequately, brilliantly explained with no
inclusion of any Creator of it all.
Even as the ministers of America today do not preach reincarnation from
their pulpits because they were not taught reincarnation in the seminaries (and
will preach reincarnation in their pulpits when reincarnation is taught them in
their seminaries), so the scientists of our day do not include God in their
thinking and living because their teachers did not include God. When the
teachers do include God, so will the students – in their teaching, in their
philosophy of life, in their living. Then our children will not find college, or
even high school, such a materialistic challenge to their faith (if they have a
When I look at my watch I know one thing for sure: It did not just happen. Back of it
somewhere, there is a watch-maker. I may not know the correct time, for the
watch may be wrong there. It may not even be the kind of watch it says, for
someone may have switched the works behind the face. But I do know one thing for
sure: That watch was purposefully, factually, blueprinted, thought out,
constructed, produced. Back of that watch there is a
And when I look at the world around me, the grass beneath my feet, the
skies and stars and sun and moon above, I know one thing for sure: It did not just happen. There are many
things I do not know about this universe, many things even the most advanced
scientists do not know yet. But one thing I know, and they could know if they
would: Back of it somewhere there is a
Universe-Maker. Science, not
religion, has taught me this, with hard facts, the sure foundation. For science,
everywhere it has observed and studied and researched this universe, discovers
it to be a cause and effect universe. Nothing comes from nothing. Everything and
anything comes from something, something adequate and aligned to bring it about.
In the vast existence, the fact of beingness, of the universe (and us within
it), is the first inescapable, simple, profound, immovable proof of the Creator,
by human convention called “God.”
There is no watch without a
There is no universe without a
“Universe-Maker” is the first
name for God.
Thus, “In the beginning,
Begin with God.
Sometimes when I listen to a scientist I am reminded
of that definition of a specialist (most scientists are specialists; even the
generalists are specialized as generalists!):
“A specialist is someone who knows more and more about less and less
until he knows everything about nothing at all!”
How on earth can you understand earth (let alone the universe) if you
leave out the Creator of it all! True, to know about God – the nature, the
qualities, the purposes, the actions of the Creator – is a job for considerable
research and discovery in itself. Religion with its pre-scientific methods so
far has only scratched the surface and the material scientist has done nothing.
But all true knowledge of God (which can be had, through scientific research of
the spiritual as well as of the material realm) gives us such basic clues, such
organizing insights, to the universe and us in it.
If you want to discuss God with a science-minded friend, you might speak
first of the theory of creationism.
But understand what creationism really means. It is not the pitting of
old-fashioned interpretations of Genesis against Darwin and evolution. It is not
an emotional throwback to fundamentalist preaching. Even the term creationism
needs to be rescued from such well-meaning but stupid
The scientific theory of creationism is simply stated: The existence of
our universe necessarily implies the existence of Someone or Something that
brought it into being. It did not come into being by itself or without adequate
cause. The existence, the presence around us and before us, of creation,
evidences and requires the existence of a Source, a Creative Being or Force or
Something, a Creator.
The alternative to creationism, of course, is the theory of non-creationism. For the
theory of non-creationism, no scientist can advance any scientific argument at
all. Everywhere science has been able to explore this universe – in chemistry,
physics, astronomy, geology, geography, mathematics, biology, psychology,
oceanology, medicine, etc., etc. – science always has found no effect without a
Cause and effect extends from the workings of the tiny electrons (and the
still tinier quarks and gluons, and gravitational and electro-magnetic and the
weak and the strong forces, and whatever else may be found in man’s progressive
study of energies and matter) up to the largest extra-galactic nebulae and other
bodies and substances in the far skies. Even the phenomena called random, the
unpredictable behavior, are still caused by something. The electron which
momentarily flows against the general flow or power in a high voltage line may
not be identified before it does so, nor its course pre-charted, but there are
causes – adequate causes – for it behaving in this manner.
Before Science, God Was Optional
Before science, God was optional. Prophets could
reveal and thunder, priests could teach the ancient creeds proclaiming God. But
before science showed – proved – this to be a cause and effect universe,
necessitating a Creator, people could postulate whimsy, chaos and all sorts of
disorderly factors and phenomena in and causing our world. Science has
established as fact that all effects are produced by causes, that all causes
produce effects, and that the dynamic cause and effect equation is balanced
(causes equal effects) at all times.
Science makes God (Creator) required. Science makes it impossible for any
but the ignorant and the willful to not believe in God. Pre-scientific man (of
whom many yet remain!) could believe in chance rather than in a Creator. Science
leads man back to First Cause. Before science, God was optional and the job of
religion was harder. Since science, God is essential and the work of religion
can progress faster and farther than ever before – when finally it gets
Science has even put chance into the straight jacket of a mathematical
formula called the law of combinations
and permutations. It is this science-established natural law which enabled
Esther Foster, a mathematician then working with Dr. J. B. Rhine in the Duke
University Para-psychology Laboratory (Durham, North Carolina, U. S. A.), to
calculate during my 1953 visit there that the chance of our getting purely by
chance the results of a particular one of our positive-negative prayer-plant
experiments, was only one chance in two
Science has truly proved that this is not a universe
ruled by chance. And it is not a universe created by chance. In this universe
only nothing comes from nothing, and everything comes from something. This is
the first great proof science brings for the existence of God.
We Begin With God Because—
--Because God, the Creator, Whoever or Whatever
That/It/She/He may be, whatever name you may use – is by scientific definition our First
Cause. Names and terminologies may vary, and mankind’s total understanding of
God is still woefully inadequate and probably impossible. Religious Research, we
hope, is bringing some additional and new light to our human understanding of
the Creator. And we begin right here: The Source of the universe and of our
selves. God is the beginning point of understanding the universe and ourselves
because God is the beginning point of the existence of the universe, and of you
The universe and we within it owe our existence to the Creator. And in
turn we are the scientific evidence, the proof, of the Creator’s
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