Summary of the 6th Session:
This summary highlights points brought up in Prof. Paul Brockelman's second installment of "The Spiritual Signifigance of Contemporary Cosmology". This second installment attemps to draw parallels between creation mythology and Big Bang theory. In the process, we asked ourselves if this "New Cosmology" provides a deeper, more meaningful reality.
The session started with Prof. Brockelman stating the mistake of thinking the Big Bang confirms Genesis. He stressed that the Big Bang theory is a creation myth itself. Paul wanted to shy away from the "guy who threw the switch" mentality. The Big Bang theory describes a constantly evolving Universe, not just a starting point.
Modern, scientific cosmology can be viewed as an awe-inspiring narrative. It gives us a guided tour of the evoulution of our present-day Universe. Starting with an infinitesimal singularity and the explosive birth of the universe, the narrative guides us through the basic formations of matter (elementary particles) to the coalescing of stars into galaxies. From there, we can pinpoint the Earth evolving from the ethereal to the material. Complexities, all deriving from the initial singularity, manifest life; something NEW that had not existed before yet rooted to all that exists. We see the human race emerging. Culture emerges from our awareness. This culture guides us to present day, allowing us to derive the narrative which has just been told.
Prof. Brockelman continued his lecture by saying how the "New Cosmology", like creation mythology, is evolution in narrative form. It makes available to us a wider reality to which we belong. It models the universe as a single, meaningful whole. It's step by step evolution leads to human rootedness. As it induces wonder and awe, it also stimulates gratitude. It compels us to define a new, post-modern culture.
Prof. Brockelman put up a list, contrasting the views taken by "old-school" cosmologists with the views of which the New Cosmology presents:
This pretty much wrapped up the group. Not much discussion went on as I recall. A few words were said here and there, but only to strengthen that which Prof. Brockelman had said.