Discussing the origins of the universe

I learned from BBC today, that CERN has invited philosophers and theologians to debate the origins of the universe, following the discovery of the Higgs boson (or something of the sorts) a few months back.

Now, I can see how some philosophers can potentially contribute to certain questions regarding the origins of the universe (as well as origins of humanity, consciousness, morality etc.) No problems there. They can ask some good questions and pave the way for science to find the answers. They may even provide some quasi-answers as well I guess, depending on the subject.

But what on earth are theologians doing there? How can a theologian possibly contribute to this debate? Or any other debate for what matters. An expert in fantasies and fairy tales is still a useless bystander in anything that has to do with reality. As Thomas Paine put it:

The study of theology, as it stands in Christian churches, is the study of nothing; it is founded on nothing; it rests on no principles; it proceeds by no authorities; it has no data; it can demonstrate nothing; and it admits of no conclusion. Not anything can be studied as a science, without our being in possession of the principles upon which it is founded; and as this is the case with Christian theology, it is therefore the study of nothing

and that’s about it.

Moving on; I am not sure I’m liking this stance from CERN. Trying to find “common ground” with religion and theology is a pointless appeasement tactic in my view. It lends unwarranted credence and an undeserved forum on religious dogmatists that will obviously try to borrow some free shine from the scientists and philosophers around them. Not good stuff.

And CERN is making more enemies than friends this way. I mean, they forgot to invite astrologers, scientologists, reiki-masters, church of the Jedi representatives, and flying teapot worshippers. All of them with equally valid worldviews with theologists and equally able to contribute in the origins debate (that is, do nothing). So why the preference in the masters of this specific kind of nothingness is beyond me…