God in the Waves and God in Love
Process Theology Meets Science Mike
"I keep finding God in the waves—the waves of the Pacific, the waves of gravity,
the waves of electromagnetic energy, and the waves that move through our brains...
I can tell you these beautiful, miraculous things, and they will tell you absolutely nothing
about how it feels to be a dad who loves his daughter and is grateful for her trust."
-- Science Mike
Mike McHargue (better known as Science Mike) is an author, podcaster, and speaker who travels the world helping people understand the science of life's most profound experiences. His bestselling debut book, Finding God in the Waves, has helped thousands understand faith in the 21st century.
Points of Contact between
Science Mike and Process Theology
Science Mike undertakes a journey from atheism
to his own belief in (what can seem to be) two Gods.
Minimally, for him, God is natural forces creating and
sustaining the universe. Maximally, God is Love.
Science Mike believes in the maximal as well as the minimal,
but thinks that science supports only the minimal view.
Process Theology can help bolster his case and show how
the two sides come together in a single way of thinking
that is scientifically plausible and existentially meaningful.
God is a principle of order and novelty at work
throughout the universe (Mike's minimal)
and God is the eternal Companion who shares
in all the suffering and joy (Mike's maximal).
Both make sense if, as process theologians propose,
the universe is an evolving network of energy
with mind-like properties at every level,
including the ultimate level,
which is the unity of the universe.
In process theology God is this unity,
understood as the Mind of the universe.
God is to the world as our minds are to our brains:
the embodied Mind in whose life the universe unfolds.
The unfolding universe - the waves of the Pacific, the waves
of electromagnetic energy, the wave of a daughter to her father --
all the beauty, to be sure, but also all the sadness and suffering,
including the brokenness and the failed relationships.
are God's body. There is a reciprocal relationship
between God and the universe, God and the waves.
Process theologians add that Mike's love for his daughter
provides an analogy for understanding the God who is Love.
As Mike loves his daughter, so process theologians propose,
the embodied Mind of the universe - God - loves the world.
God is not a bully in the sky or a king on a throne.
God is not the Angry God but rather the Nurturing God.
Along with Science Mike, process theologians
in the Christian way believe that
God is the Abba of Jesus.
Getting to know Process Theology
some links from JJB
Getting to know Science Mike
I help people make peace between science and their faith.Everything I do is about helping the spiritually homeless and frustrated find peace. I'm a former Baptist and a former atheist, so I really understand the tension people feel between science and God.
God is AT LEAST the natural forces that created and sustain the Universe as experienced via a psychosocial model in human brains that naturally emerges from innate biases. EVEN IF that is a comprehensive definition for God, the pursuit of this personal, subjective experience can provide meaning, peace, and empathy for others.
Jim Holtom: Wondering if the lack of personification is on purpose? Although the title says 'He' the article tends to propose God as a force, item, something, or just a belief; etc but says nothing in regards to a person, just an observation.
Science Mike: The lack of personification is on purpose. My axioms are a fence against doubt, and by doubt I mean a rational deconstruction of faith. It's a way to prove to myself that following "God" is not a fool's errand, but based on evidence. The existential searching and analysis associated with doubt mainly happens in our prefrontal cortex, which is a part of the brain responsible for analytical thinking, among other things.
Our brains change our memories and ideas every time we access them. People who experience doubt tend to devote most of their mental energies about God toward rational analysis, which slowly erodes the emotional and experiential parts of that person's model of God in their brains.
That means my axiomatic definition of God only includes elements I can defend scientifically. So, while I certainly experience a personal God, I can't prove this scientifically. My experiences with God reflect a personal God, but I can't back that claim with science.
-- Science Mike's Blog: July 5, 2014
God in the Waves and God in Love
I keep finding God in the waves—the waves of the Pacific, the waves of gravity, the waves of electromagnetic energy, and the waves that move through our brains. I find God in the sound waves of ancient hymns, of children laughing, and in the quiet sobbing of those who say under impossible assault, “I can’t breathe.” This is, of course, all wildly unscientific, wildly imprecise. It has to be. I can describe in precise scientific terms what happens when my young daughter grabs my hand without a word before crossing a street. I can tell you about electron boundaries and how, although no real contact occurs, photons and other particles act as force carriers between incalculable atoms. A click of the microscope up, and I can tell you how I’m a collection of cells, and my daughter is a collection of cells, and when our hands touch, electrochemical signals travel along nerves up my arm, over to my spine, and then right up to my brain, where an electrical storm ricochets through billions of neurons, which in turn produce an incredible chemical soup. I can tell you these beautiful, miraculous things, and they will tell you absolutely nothing about how it feels to be a dad who loves his daughter and is grateful for her trust. Though science can deepen an appreciation for this fact, it can’t convey the overwhelming beauty of that moment. Only a poet or a painter can do the work of sharing this truest of all things. Love.
-- Excerpt from Finding God in the Waves: How I Lost My Faith and Found it Again through Science
Five Good Books
Science Mike's journey from atheism to faith leaves him with two Gods: (1) God as a cosmic force in the cosmos and (2) God as a loving presence. Of course, he does not think of them as two Gods, but rather as one God with two aspects. He believes that only God the cosmic force is demonstrable from a scientific perspective, whereas God the loving presence makes sense from personal experience, but not from a "logical" and "rational" perspective. From the perspective of process theology both perspectives make sense logically and rationally. Science Mike does not appeal to the books below in Finding God in the Waves, but they might help bolster his case for both Gods.
The Personal God
God within and beyond
Science Mike's Talk at Google
Potential Fruits of a Dialogue
#1: Process Theology can help Science Mike bring his two Gods together.
#2: Science Mike can help Process Theologians better
recognize the wisdom of Apophaticism.
#3. Together they can help people find God in an
age of science and a collective yearning
for justice, joy, and beauty.
Jesse Turri's Question to Science Mike
I'd like to hear what you think about process theology/philo. Seems like you'd resonate with folks like John Cobb et al.
Science Mike on Apophaticism
How Process Theology