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God and Complexity by Brett Keane



One of the newest branches of study is the science of complexity. Some call it a scientific revolution in the making. Complexity theory deals with study of how simple elements in nature spontaneously organize into complicated structures, ranging from galaxies and ecosystems to the human brain.
As physicist M. Mitchell Waldrop, author of the book Complexity puts it, nature has an “incessant compulsion for self organization.” It is as though the universe has a yearningfor order. Order means rational and intelligent structure.
While complexity theory poses a challenge for a science that embraces a materialist philosophy that rules out purpose in nature, it offers very little knowledge about how the natural world can help us discern the glory of God.
Scientist/theologian Emanuel Swedenborg may well have provided the theological dynamics behind nature’s endeavor to grow structure spontaneously. He stated that “endeavor” was a spiritual force and not a force that could be ascribed to inert matter.
Even more profound, Swedenborg claimed that order, structure and complexity glorified God’s Divine Love and Divine Wisdom.
How?
If we contemplate organized structure, we will observe that all complexity consists of two opposing and ridiculously improbable functions supporting each other—differentiationand unity.
Complexity evolves into new orders of structure, as new things become both increasingly distinct and increasingly unified. Differentiation and unity exalt each other. Put another way, complexity involves subordination and coordination of successive (differentiated) process that gives birth to the dynamics of simultaneity (uniformity). All group structures (systems) consist of successive events creating wholes.
Swedenborg showed that this scheme displayed God’s divine nature and character because Truth distinguishes and Love unites. So nature’s endeavor towards self-organization is creation becoming a more perfect image of the Creator. Even the human mind follows this design because the human intellect both discerns information (thinks) and unifies what it values (loves) into real structure called a belief system or worldview.
This is where religion enters the picture of complexity theory. Swedenborg goes even further by stating that the purpose of religion is to allow for the human heart and mind to self-organize into non-physical bio-complexity capable of living in a spiritual realm (heaven). When we adopt Gods tenets of truth and love into our lives, we create spiritual bio-structure. This new structure serves as a spiritual body for the soul and survives the death of the physical body.
Swedenborg’s spiritual complexity theory takes the trajectory of evolution all the way to the spiritual world (sorry Darwin). God’s PURPOSE in creation is to create a heaven from the human race. Human evolution exalts God’s Love and Truth by creating angelic bio-structure.
This is just one of the challenging issues I address in my upcoming book Proving God in my humble attempt to unify science with theology.

Brett Keane
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