This evening, we here in McPherson, KS had a special visit from an associate of the ministry Reasons to Believe. Reasons to Believe is an apologetics ministry specializing in astronomy and cosmology. I personally benefited from Reasons to Believe years ago as a high school student who was struggling with God's existence. I read a book by Hugh Ross entitled The Fingerprint of God which, for me, was the breaking point in my atheo/agnosticism. After finishing Ross' book, I felt compelled to hold to a generic belief in some kind of God (what kind of god or which god was something I dealt with later).
As I was saying, a fellow named John (his last name eludes me; sorry, John!) who is a doctoral student from Chicago came and talked for over two hours, answering questions any in attendance might have regarding the Old Earth/Day-Age perspectives on Genesis. I greatly enjoyed his discussion as I have always, from day one, tended towards the old-earth view. It's just always made sense to me and seems to most comport with the facts as best as we can know them. Anyway, this is all peripheral.
One person in attendance asked about String Theory, and he explained what String Theory [ST] is (he does not, incidentally, hold to ST). He sort of - in passing - referred to ST as an attempt by physicists to understand the universe as a simplistic place rather than a place governed by multiple complex laws. Somehow, the purpose of ST is to take the many complex laws (gravity, for example) of the universe and boil them all down to this one basic component: vibrating strings. Now, I am not really interested in ST so much as I am in the purpose of formulating of ST.
You see, as he was discussing this idea that Physicists regard the many laws of the universe as a problem it made me think of the implication of laws - namely that there must be a Creator. Why is it that in classical theology, we regard God's simplicity as utterly non-negotiable? It is because the implication of a complex (rather than Simple) god with many parts is that he would have his own creator. Is not ST doing the same thing that Aquinas and the classical theologians were doing? In both ST and classical theology, the ultimate source and reason for the universe's existence must be perfect and simple. Both are searching for an elegant and simple foundation for everything that is. For the String Theorist, the strings are the simplest, most perfect foundation of the universe. For the Classical Christian (or at least the Thomist) the perfectly Simple God is the perfect foundation of the universe.
Perhaps what I am really driving at is that I see ST as a backdoor answer to the complex laws of the universe without necessitating a God who must be that universe's foundation. So yeah... the parallel between the Thomist and the String Theorist really stuck out to me tonight. You all may or may not have thoughts about what I've said here. Actually, since most who read this blog tend towards the presuppositional perspective, I could totally see everyone accusing me of being a classical apologist. [For the record, I'm for practicality. I use presuppositional apologetics, but I also use classical apologetics if it gets the job done.]