There are many groups of people which claim that there is a disconnect between science and religion. I do not however see any disconnect – I will start from a scientist’s point of view.
Albert Einstein did not believe in God. However, attributing to quantum mechanics he did say “God does not play dice.” He was refuting the quantum theory (which is based on chance). We can “normalize” that to mean that even if God exists, He is not actively involved in running the world (does not interfere with what is happening according to His laws). The same thought is expressed by the tenth Guru in Jaap Sahib: aalisiay karm, aadirsay dharam which means “O Lord, You do not need to make any special efforts to do what You want to do”.
Science has made much advances, and will continue to do so. However, its a challenge as of today to define exactly when the universe was created: scientists believe that its impossible to find out what existed or happened before the big bang. Also, its not known how the universe will end: depending on the total mass of the universe, one of the following three things will happen:
- The universe will continue to expand for ever, like it does today
- The universe will, at a certain time, stop expanding and start contracting
- The universe will continue to expand and contract as in the above two options, but infinitely for ever
Which one of these will actually happen can be predicted if we knew the total mass of the universe, however – we currently don’t.
Exact same thoughts are echoed by the Guru:
- About never being able to find out when the universe was created:
ਥਿਤਿ ਵਾਰੁ ਨਾ ਜੋਗੀ ਜਾਣੈ ਰੁਤਿ ਮਾਹੁ ਨਾ ਕੋਈ ॥
ਜਾ ਕਰਤਾ ਸਿਰਠੀ ਕਉ ਸਾਜੇ ਆਪੇ ਜਾਣੈ ਸੋਈ ॥
Neither the yogi nor any one else knows the lunar day, week day season and the month. The Creator who creates the world, He Himself Knows (the time).
About never being able to find out the total mass of universe:
ਕੇਤੀ ਦਾਤਿ ਜਾਣੈ ਕੌਣੁ ਕੂਤੁ ॥
How much the Creator has Created, who can know?
- About the fact that the universe has been created many times (each time a new expansion after the previous contraction):
ਕਈ ਬਾਰ ਪਸਰਿਓ ਪਾਸਾਰ ॥
Many times, the universe has expanded by Him.
I also find it more than a coincidence that while scientists call the moment of creation big-bang (having to do with sound), the Guru has the following to say:
ਕੀਤਾ ਪਸਾਉ ਏਕੋ ਕਵਾਉ ॥
You created the vast expanse of the Universe with One Word
which has also to do with the uttering of a sound.
Another similar thought from the Adi Granth:
ਤੁਮਰਾ ਲਖਾ ਨ ਜਾਇ ਪਸਾਰਾ ॥ ਕਿਹ ਬਿਧਿ ਸਜਾ ਪ੍ਰਥਮ ਸੰਸਾਰਾ ॥੩੯੩॥
The limits of Your creation cannot be known, nor how in the beginning You created the Universes.
Update Dec 30th 2009: I recollected another thought this morning:
ਪਹਿਲਾ ਪਾਣੀ ਜੀਉ ਹੈ ਜਿਤੁ ਹਰਿਆ ਸਭੁ ਕੋਇ ॥
First, there is life in the water, by which everything else is made green
Darwin’s theory was not promulgated until 1858, which agrees: life started in the sea.
Update from 8th Nov 2012: Perhaps I have missed one of the most important facts. Scientifically, for around 1 billion years after formation – the universe was filled with gases (Hydrogen and Helium). The Guru echoes the same:
ਅਰਬਦ ਨਰਬਦ ਧੁੰਧੂਕਾਰਾ ॥
अरबद नरबद धुंधूकारा ॥
For endless eons, the universe was only dark gases.
Update from 14th July 2015: This page is probably the most revisited post of this blog. Another evidence:
ਸਾਚੇ ਤੇ ਪਵਨਾ ਭਇਆ ਪਵਨੈ ਤੇ ਜਲੁ ਹੋਇ ॥
साचे ते पवना भइआ पवनै ते जलु होइ ॥
Sācẖe ṯe pavnā bẖaiā pavnai ṯe jal hoye.
From the True Lord originated the air, and from the air came water.
ਜਲ ਤੇ ਤ੍ਰਿਭਵਣੁ ਸਾਜਿਆ ਘਟਿ ਘਟਿ ਜੋਤਿ ਸਮੋਇ ॥
जल ते त्रिभवणु साजिआ घटि घटि जोति समोइ ॥
Jal ṯe ṯaribẖavaṇ sājiā gẖat gẖat joṯ samoe.
From water, He created the three worlds; in each and every heart He has infused His Light.
In 1780s, Cavendish found that water is made of Hydrogen and Oxygen, both constituents of air. Guru Nanak wrote this verse above prior to the year 1539.