She Blinded Me with Science!
(A totally rad song, and a British saying which means to “deliberately confuse someone by giving the impression of highly complex knowledge”.) (Wikipedia)
Anyway, on to the post…
It’s no newsflash that our bodies consist of mostly water; or that we are made of cells, organs, and also some bones, and so on. But there is a new, trending decree emanating from the media channels. It’s the deduction that not only are our bodies a non-mystical concoction of things, but also are our thoughts and emotions. In fact, anything of us and beyond is a very unromantic composition of chemicals. Outside of that? Nothingness.
Of course, it caused quite a stir within certain religious communities. “Blasphemy!” cry the deeply offended. “Heresy!”
But eventually, after the sensationalism of the claims and all of the knee-jerk reactions are given their due process, there is space to wonder: Is this discovery really a threat or a game-changer? After all, the Bible itself had us down as merely dust, long before we even knew what a chemical was. I for one, felt a little like I had just been upgraded. Chemicals seem more interesting than dust. I pick that one—the chemical, please.
For reasons that I am empathetic to, science and religion often repel one another. I thrive on the hope that I am somehow special, and science seems to have a way of inferring that I am not. I also have the desire to for concrete accuracy and steadfast definitions, yet that possibility is voided out in the nonphysical realm which tends to materialize via a sixth sense or intuition. Instead of being two sides of the same coin, they are sometimes regarded as unrelated currency.
Science comes from the Latin root “sciens” word which means “know”. If defined in the way that gets a scientists approval, science is “A particular discipline or branch of learning related to the natural world, especially one dealing with measurable or systematic principles, experiments, and observation rather than feelings or natural ability” (thank you Wiktionary and Merriam-Webster).
This is to say that science is a tremendous asset to those who believe God is in and through all things—even things in the natural world.
For me, as someone who believes that God creates all things in His image, science exposes who God is. Even as I type, science is discovering paradox, systems, rebirth, and further mystery. Scientists are madly calculating the size of an infinite-yet-growing universe, and studying pictures of lasting fusions made possible by devastating collisions. And in all the ways it explains the universe, science makes God seem bigger, more complex and yet more “touchable” to me than by merely studying the Bible alone.
Science has an influence on what we know or believe and how we understand a thing to be. One thing science can’t do, though, is affect the reality of whether or not a thing actually exists. So, as someone who believes in the Creator-God, I don’t look to science to prove His existence, I look to science to tell me about Him.
I’m not holding my breath for the day when spiritual fabric can be plucked and catalogued. In fact, we would likely be “blinded by the Divine” if it were to speak in its own tongue.
Some of us are farsighted, some are nearsighted, some are linear-sighted and so on. And in order to corroborate something, or to gain a more holistic understanding of a thing, it is beneficial to listen to all different perspectives.
If the whole of humanity only regarded the Bible at face value—as a literal translation based on our current understanding—would we have been compelled to find out how old the universe really is? Or would we even consider studying about our humble relationship with all things?
God is commissioning brilliant and insatiably curious minds to investigate His creation. He’s given them sight for what can be calculated. What a wonderful thing to illustrate the majesty of God quite unintentionally, by studying the boundless, natural creation! Much better that, than to rely on a scientist who confines the universe within the scaffolding of a textbook understanding of God.
I affirm you, Science. You uncover. You reveal. You teach me the Creator’s language. When you speak, I feel as if I’m listening to Truth in prose.
You’ve rescued us from the delusion that everything revolves around us. You’re opening my mind to consider the wonder that a day in the life of the eternal God might actually be a billion years or more.
I believe in science and I believe in the Bible, I just don’t believe in man’s ability to interpret either, perfectly.
I’ll sign off with this: Just the other day, in a conversation with my unreligious, vocational scientist-friend, I was informed that all things in their uninspired or natural state are chaotic. Once an atom or a body or any object of study becomes isolated or dead, it falls apart—it decays.
The subject came up, because my friend’s coworker has a very intelligent child who claimed their messy room was an unavoidable reality, and he was simply surrendering to the laws of the universe.
My scientist friend left with these parting words: “The point of life is the point in which there is order, sustainability and purpose.”
…And I thought “Well, I couldn’t have said it better myself.”
For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made…