Pondering Life…with Pious Bob

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Science is moving
closer to God
 

 We have Holy Scripture and church doctrine that help us to understand the existence of and our relationship with God. Jesus, as God’s Word, took God’s message to a new level. Even with scripture and church doctrine, we can enhance our understanding and relationship with God in other ways as well.
We can get a glimpse of God in the beauty of nature that is around us and we can get an understanding of our universe through science that seems to support our faith more as new discoveries are made. Seeing God’s gifts of plants, animals, land, sea and ourselves can help confirm our faith. Understanding the universe better supports our faith and describes what a magnificent plan and gift God has given us.
Chet Raymo, a noted writer, scientist, educator and naturalist, decided in his early twenties, to explore more of nature on earth and ponder the new discoveries in science relating to not only our earth, but to our universe. He is Professor Emeritus of Physics and Astronomy at Stonehill College, in Easton, Massachusetts. His weekly newspaper column, Science Musings, appeared in the Boston Globe for 20 years. In Raymo’s studies of the universe, he said, “In science I discovered a universe of wonderful dimension, complexity and beauty. It was a universe that folded inward to embrace the helical dance of [our] DNA, and outward to enclose the enigmatic quasars and spiraling galaxies.” Raymo goes on to say, “The questions I then asked were these:
What is the relevance of traditional religion in the world described by contemporary science? Is scientific knowledge a satisfactory ground for the religious experience?
Can the language of traditional religion constitute an appropriately modern language of praise?
In one period of his life, Raymo spent eight consecutive summers on the peninsula of Dingle in southwestern Ireland. This piece of land was full of signs of creation in the rocks, flora and fauna. Dingle’s unpredictable weather and difficulty in entry has kept out industry and sightseers.
In his book, “Honey from Stone – A Naturalists Search for God”, Raymo explains his search for a connection with God through nature. His book title is taken from a quote by St. Bernard of Clairvaux: “More things are learnt in the woods than from books; trees and rocks will teach you things not to be heard elsewhere. You will see for yourselves that honey may be gathered from stones and oil from the hardest rock……”
In addition to his reconnections with nature, Raymo makes a comparison involving earth and the super nova’s, quasars/black Holes, galaxies and stars in general.
For instance, a quasar is a very distant semi-star powered by a black hole with a mass two billion times that of the sun. Quasars are believed to be powered by swallowing up other mass in the universe. A super-massive black hole would have to consume the material equivalent of 10 stars per year.
The brightest known quasars devour 1000 solar masses of material every year. The largest known is estimated to consume matter equivalent to 600 earths per minute. There is a very distant quasar powered by a black hole with a mass two billion times that of the sun. That is humbling information for us tiny earthlings.
Raymo compares these black holes with the DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid) of all living things on Earth as it encodes the genetic instructions used in the development and functioning of all known living organisms and many viruses. In making the connection between far away stars and our own DNA, Raymo talks about our kinship. This kinship is confirmed in the public television series, Cosmos, first presented in 1980.
In this series, it is demonstrated that the elements created and contained in star dust are the same as the elements in our personal DNA codes. Our bones, tissue, muscles contain these “star dust” elements. For instance, when a super nova millions of miles from earth explodes at the end of its existence, the dust that is created and spread through the universe contains the elements we are made of.
We Christians believe science can only tell us what it discovers about the earth made by our Creator God. Science helps us understand just how great God’s gifts to us really are.
The descriptions of Creation in the Bible tell us what science is just finding out. Science is not needed to prove what is already known to us. It only serves as detail concerning what God has already told us: “Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return” (Genesis 3:19).

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