Tag Archives: science

Don’t Put Limits on God

It’s natural that our comprehension of God is limited by our imagination. That’s why scientists get rankled at the notion that science takes the wonder out of the world. An astronomer spends her life wrapping her mind around the biggest, and wondrous, concepts in the universe, a biologist spends his life wrapping his mind around the most intricate, and wondrous, details of the universe, and so on.

Often, scientists are agnostic. Their concept of the natural world is so amazing, the supernatural holds no attraction for them.

But many of these intellectual types do have spiritual, and even religious, beliefs. And, as a result of the mind-expanding concepts they deal with on a daily basis, their concept of God (by any name) is HUGE. They are mystified by the conflicts about keeping Christ in Christmas, keeping God in schools, whether or not God blesses America, who gets married, and whether our national pledge also affirms God. And that’s the American perspective. They are equally mystified that God cares whether men wear beards, women drive, or a religious figure is depicted in a picture.

From that perspective, God doesn’t have a country. He doesn’t even have a planet. Earth is a mote of dust in a mote of dust in a mote of dust in a mote of dust in God’s full creation. He doesn’t have a holiday…in fact the whole of human history is an eye-blink in His creation. God is present in school and Christmas and a foxhole because God is everywhere and everywhen to an unfathomable degree, not because of national policy.

You don’t have to be a scientist yourself to understand this, but anyone reading this has a responsibility to keep a proper sense of perspective. If you really realize the grandeur of His creation, you can’t help but glimpse that these conflicts are insignificant. Irrelevant. Petty. Needlessly fearful.

If you’re worried about whether God is in…anything…you’ve forgotten Who you’re talking about.

Still think God cares about who the US president is? ...what's printed on US currency? ...what's on the lawn at city hall?

Fun science fact about the sky

Fun science fact about the sky: did you know that it has several huge galaxies in it? I don’t mean the universe, everybody knows there are zillions (that’s a technical term) of galaxies out there.  I mean the sky. The Andromeda Galaxy, which is the one that stands in for our own galaxy in probably every “You are here” T-shirt and poster you’ve ever seen, covers 190′ x 60′ of sky. What does that mean? Well the moon covers about 30′ of sky, so…

Andromeda Galaxy with moon inset to show relative size

You just can’t see it like that because it’s too dim! But I still love mentally picturing it.

The scene at the end of The Empire Strikes Back is actually similar to our own sky – it’s just that the galaxy they’re looking at would also be too dim to show up like that, even from a spacecraft:

C-3PO, R2D2, Luke, and Leia looking out the window of a spacecraft at a galaxy at the end of The Empire Strikes Back.

…but we don’t understand tides

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about how we live in the future. And I commented, as an aside, that in light of the truly amazing degree to which we have been able to figure out the universe, it boggles the mind that there are people who are apparently impervious to that understanding. Worse, they base their whole belief systems on that ignorance.

Case in point:

  1. Transit of Venus photographed by Solar Dynamics ObservatoryThings like this truly amazing video appear, not on some obscure scientific website, but on Time’s Newsfeed.
  2. Bill O’Reilly recently said  that we haven’t figured out what causes the tide to go in and out with great regularity.

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