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Michael Heller, Professor in the Faculty of Philosophy at the Pontifical Academy of Theology in Kracow, Poland, is a cosmologist and Catholic priest who has developed sharply focused and strikingly original concepts on the origin and cause of the universe.
Heller toiled for years beneath the stifling strictures of the Soviet era. He engages a wide range of sources in mathematics, philosophy, cosmology, and theology, allowing each field to share insights that may inform the others without any violence to their respective methodologies. With an academic and religious background that enables him to move comfortably and credibly within each of these domains, his extensive writings have evoked new and important consideration of some of humankind’s most profound concepts..
Does the universe need to have a cause? It is clear that causal explanations are a vital part of the scientific method. Various processes in the universe can be displayed as a succession of states in such a way that the preceding state is a cause of the succeeding one. If we look deeper at such processes, we see that there is always a dynamical law prescribing how one state should generate another state. But dynamical laws are expressed in the form of mathematical equations, and if we ask about the cause of the universe we should ask about a cause of mathematical laws. By doing so we are back in the Great Blueprint of God’s thinking the universe. The question on ultimate causality is translated into Leibniz’s question: “Why is there something rather than nothing?” When asking this question, we are not asking about a cause like all other causes. We are asking about the root of all possible causes.
Why the Big Bang is Not Creation
Priest-Cosmologist Wins $1.6 Million Templeton Prize
Michael Heller: A Thinker Who Bridges Science and Theology
Q&A: 2008 Templeton Prize Winner