faith & science

Rolf-Dieter Heuer is the director of the European Organization for Nuclear Research and oversees the CERN laboratories in Switzerland.

The European: Do you think it is conceivable that we will eventually learn something about before the Big Bang?

Heuer: I doubt it.

The European: How do you make sense of that paradox? You want to expand the realm of knowledge but at some point, there is a definite boundary that you cannot cross. Do you simply have to accept the fact that nothing was prior to the Big Bang?

Heuer: I wasn’t saying there was nothing, I am saying that we don’t know anything about what was before – if there was a before. But here we are crossing the boundary between knowledge and belief. I think many famous scientists have struggled with this question and people today also struggle with it.

The European: So at the very borders of human knowledge, science and belief tend to converge?

Heuer: In the scientific community we don’t tend to discuss such things too often. But the more we investigate the early universe, the more people are trying to connect science to philosophy. That is a good thing. Since we are struggling with the limits of knowledge, maybe philosophy or theology struggle also with our research. I think it is important that we open a constructive dialogue. We are currently planning seminars and workshops to do exactly that. My hope is that we can reach a common understanding of what we are talking about.

via The European Magazine.