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Ett numinöst och programmerat kosmos: Religion och naturvetenskap i Peter Nilsons Projekt Nyaga
Uppsala University, Humanistisk-samhällsvetenskapliga vetenskapsområdet, Faculty of Arts, Department of History of Science and Ideas. Avdelningen för vetenskapshistoria.
2004 (Swedish)In: Lychnos: Årsbok för idé- och lärdomshistoria, ISSN 0076-1648, 69-97 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A numinous and programmed cosmos: Religion and science in Peter Nilson’s Projekt Nyaga. By Mathias Persson. The purpose of the thesis has been to demonstrate one instance of interaction between popular science and science fiction. This demonstration has focused on the Swedish writer Peter Nilson, whose science fiction novels Nyaga and Rymdväktaren in many respects allude to his numerous essays on humanity and the universe. The thesis identifies four themes of a numinous character in the novels – one technological (omniscient super quantum computers), one mathematical or virtual (computer simulations of God), one evolutionary (god-like aliens), and one theistic (the design argument). When taken together, these not only indicate a harmonious relationship between science and religion, but between Nilson’s popular science and science fiction books as well. The contours of the world-view conveyed in Nyaga and Rymdväktaren are also traceable in the essays, which points to a coherent and enduring conception of reality on behalf of the author. Even if Nilson’s adherence to the modern, cosmology-based design argument cannot be definitively proven, much of what he has written suggests his acceptance of a natural theology wherein the beauty, intricacy, and order of the cosmos combine to display the existence of a Grand Programmer. Hence, Nilson provides a computerisation of the universe insofar as he characterises it as a program or a programmed artefact, made intelligible and accessible primarily by sophisticated computers in the service of a reformed, technologically superior Catholic Church.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2004. 69-97 p.
Keyword [en]
Science fiction, religion och vetenskap, 1900-tal, Peter Nilson, populärvetenskap
National Category
History of Ideas
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-71784OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-71784DiVA: diva2:99695
Available from: 2005-05-12 Created: 2005-05-12 Last updated: 2011-01-12

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