I mentioned briefly in a previous post that at one point I wanted to become a physicist and work for NASA, and how some of that desire was motivated by money. To be fair to myself, though, I did have, and still have, a genuine enthusiasm and curiosity about space, the universe, and the scientific laws and concepts that describe our existence.
Although I did not end up pursuing science in college, I still have a deep affection for it. I think it is genuinely wonderful and crazy that numbers exist, that math can describe so precisely millions of complex processes that take place every day, and that we are continually moving forward in our knowledge of how life in our universe works. I enjoy hearing about new discoveries in physics, especially in regards to space and cosmology, and I like to think about how these discoveries intersect with our understanding of God.
Since I've had more time lately, I looked up a PBS series that I had watched part of in the fall, and finished it this week. Now I am going back and watching the whole thing again. It is NOVA's The Fabric of the Cosmos, based on a book with the same title by physicist Brian Greene, who also hosts the program. The series is still available to view online right now, and it is honestly one of the best science series I have ever watched - not only is it well-produced, Greene does a great job of explaining really complex theories and ideas in ways that I think are very understandable. This doesn't mean that you will necessarily be able to wrap your mind around everything he's saying, but at least you will get the gist of what he is describing. This is something that is incredibly hard to do with this branch of science, but Greene has done it exceptionally well.
The series talks about a lot of exciting theories and developments in physics, some of them recent, that turn how we think about ordinary life upside down - how space isn't really empty; how time and space interact; how our universe may be just one of many other universes; the existence of something called dark matter and how it affects all the other matter in the universe; and some other mind-blowing theories that scientists believe may be confirmed in the next 100 years or so (I think probably less, in my own opinion, barring any major catastrophes). Watching this reminded me of why I enjoyed studying physics so much back in high school, and makes me want to jump back in again.
I know my nerd is totally showing and some of you may have lost interest by now. Here's my point: I believe that studying the nature of our universe is one valid way to gain a deeper understanding of the nature of God. Christians too often get hung up on evolution, which is sad, because there are so many other aspects of science that are valuable and beautiful, and we shouldn't be afraid that somehow science is one day going to disprove God or that exploring the deeper things of science will necessarily draw us away from Him. I think that some scientists do get turned away from God, but the same thing happens sometimes to Christians who study theology. Science and religion have more in common with each other than either discipline would like to admit. In science, as in theology, no one can look into the depths without being challenged to the very core. Also, I do not believe that one can be studied without having to deal with the other at some point along the way.
I'm not saying everyone should start studying physics, or watch the Science channel all the time. I am saying that I think science is something too often discarded because we get offended by one thing or another, but that it actually may end up reflecting more of God than we thought possible, so perhaps it's good to see what's going on in science at least once in a while.
I could go on and on, and I'm sure I'll write more about this subject again, perhaps soon, as I have a lot of thoughts buzzing around in my head that need to be processed somehow.
All that to say -- "Hey, I watched an amazing video! Here's what it got me thinking about. Maybe you would like to watch it, too!" If you do watch it, please leave a comment about what you thought.