I believe that the glory of god is revealed in the detection of subatomic neutrinos by physicists in an old gold mine in South Dakota. I believe in the gospels of Albert, Isaac and Charles. I imagine that the “ping” of a neutrino in the detector brings a brief light to the face of god.
The duality of light, the forces at the core of atoms, the shear genius of evolving cognitive thought out of molecules of carbon, nitrogen, oxygen and hydrogen, these things, the nitty-gritty of scientific query, solidify my faith in divinity.
Folks may say a reductionist approach to science, that is, the effort to explain the whole by the sum of its parts, leads to a gradual elimination of godly considerations. I contend the opposite is true. That humans evolved not just from primates but from a sea of turbulent molecules, adds to the evidence that god created everything, including the molecules. That the age of the world as billions of years old does not contradict the existence of god but supports the existence of a patient god. That the pigment in a sunflower reflects yellow light that appeals to bees, birds and artists like Van Gough suggests, to me, that beauty is divine.
It is unfortunate and unfair that science gets an anti-religious rap. Science, when it is done right and taught right, does not take the credit from god and does not define truth. Leeuwenhoek showed us a view of the cell, he did not create it. Galileo suggested a different view of the solar system, he did not invent it. Einstein said, “In our endeavor to understand reality we are somewhat like a man trying to understand the mechanisms of a closed watch… If he is ingenious, he may form some picture of a mechanism which could be responsible for the things he observes, but he may never be quite sure his picture is the only one which could explain his observations.”
Perhaps to me science is a window on the wonder of the universe. When I was a young woman studying neuroscience I was fascinated by the electrical signals that jump around the brain. I learned that these signals are made by the rushing of brain chemicals into and out of the cells of the nervous system. I learned that these signals when seen in the context of thousands of connected pathways create patterns of activity of enormous complexity. And I was awed by the knowledge that somehow these rushing chemicals, these electrical impulses, these multi-dimensional patterns create thoughts.
When I eagerly read of a scientific endeavor I don’t just want to know how something might work but I want another chance to look into the vision of God. Einstein and his fellows like Newton and Darwin should not be viewed as godless but as rabbis who interpret divine work.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.