Friday, January 16, 2009

On the Order and Rationality of Creation

St. Athanasius, Contra Gentes, §40
Who then is this, save the Father of Christ, most holy and above all created existence, Who like an excellent pilot, by His own Wisdom and His own Word, our Lord and Saviour Christ, steers and preserves and orders all things, and does as seems to Him best? But that is best which has been done, and which we see taking place, since that is what He wills; and this a man can hardly refuse to believe. For if the movement of creation were irrational, and the universe were borne along without plan, a man might fairly disbelieve what we say. But if it subsist in reason and wisdom and skill, and is perfectly ordered throughout, it follows that He that is over it and has ordered it is none other than the [reason or] Word of God. But by Word I mean, not that which is involved and inherent in all things created, which some are wont to call the seminal principle, which is without soul and has no power of reason or thought, but only works by external art, according to the skill of him that applies it, - nor such a word as belongs to rational beings and which consists of syllables, and hasjavascript:void(0) the air as its vehicle of expression, - but I mean the living and powerful Word of the good God, the God of the Universe, the very Word which is God.
Scientists often take for granted the fact that our world and our universe, while vast, are intelligible. Creation is ordered, and guided, and rational. It bears testimony to the One who created it, and by whatever means He did it.

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