I believe in magic. I believe in fairy dust and love potions. I believe that stuffed animals have feelings and that when I go to sleep at night, they wake up and dance to the sound of my dreams. I believe that if I could just close my eyes tight enough…and concentrate hard enough… I could see all the way though my eye lids. I believe that flowers smile, that trees sigh, and that the stars wink. I believe that this world is full of things that we can’t explain and I believe that the fact that we can explain as much as we can…is in itself…magical.
I consider myself to be a scientist. I read science, talk science, and teach science…I breathe science. But what is it about science that intrigues me so much? What is it that inspires me? Is it really the quest for answers…the quest for truth? Or is it…the quest for magic…the quest for amazement. Because no matter how much I understand something at the molecular or the cellular level, the truth is, I’m still always amazed. I’m amazed that I am very distantly related to a banana. I am amazed that over the course of billions of years, the genetic traits from our common ancestors were randomly mutated…to the banana and my benefit…until some of those traits were passed all the way to me. I’m amazed that the acoustic vibrations of my voice can be transformed into electrical currents that can travel through tiny telephone wires all the way to the other side of the country…to someone else’s ear…where those electrical pulses are converted once again back into the sound of my voice. To me…this is magic. And don’t even get me started with cell phones.
I’m amazed that everything works, and just knows how to work in such a way that can make it…well…work. That apples taste like apples. That a rock feels like a rock. And that a mossy tree smells like…what else but a mossy tree. Do I believe that there is some guiding force that makes things taste the way that do? Not necessarily, in fact, I’ve been accused of being an atheist…a science loving, bible hating, naysayer of God, Jesus, Heaven, and Hell…atheist. I have found myself in a world where science and faith clash. Not only can they not see eye to eye, but they won’t even look at each other. What if for one second we stop pointing out our differences and we look for the similarities. We all know that the existence of life is amazing and beautiful…and whether you believe it was created over the course of six days or billions of years…by intelligent design or natural selection…it’s still magical. If we focus on all wonder that surrounds us and we share this to our children…if we spread a passion for that which inspires us and we foster the curiosity to seek our own answers to our own questions… I believe that we can put aside our differences and remember all that we have in common… the same genes, the same blood…the same…magic.