I am fascinated with the phenomenon where some of my scientist friends have no belief in anything other than something that can be proven with facts. In many respects it is the alter ego of religion, where one walks about in faith, which is simply, the belief in the unseen or unknown.
Sitting in church on Sunday, confused by the german language I didn’t understand, I took the time to attempt to bring the scale of 15 billion years of time that man is aware of, with the few trillion stars and billions of galaxies we are aware of. Then combine it with the math of all the grains of sand on the beach of earth, and put it into perspective. When I got to the thought that that there are more atoms in a grain of sand than both stars and grains of sand, I smiled and probably thought, “ok god, please help me understand and forgive me for more “why?” questions – but ‘why exactly is man so screwed up?’”
We have been around for about 10,000 years, as we know it on this planet. in that time, say, a few thousand years, we have gone from the belief that the world is flat to the earth is the center of the universe, to the sun is the center, to “oops, look at ALL the galaxies out there!” Yet, on earth, man keeps conveniently killing himself off, not heeding the logic that says, war is insane, but usually blaming religion.
Perhaps modern man is applauding himself for how wise and smart he has become in our computer age. Man has created more things in the past 200 years than in the previous 10,000. But I ask, is man really getting any smarter?
What I think has happened is there is an inherent curiosity in man that has him go look and try to understand and see more. This is what is happening today with science. We aren’t really discovering so much as we are seeing and uncovering that which has always been there. In the news, we like to applaud ourselves as thinking we discovered something. But the logic is that we might be the first of our species to see what was always there and be smart enough to figure out new ways to use it for the benefit of our lives and time on this planet.
One of the more interesting cups of coffee I ever enjoyed was outside Geneva, Illinois. I was there to attend a wedding, yet, did not realize Fermi labs is located there. A polish mathematician/physicist was as out of place as I was and we talked about life and ideas in physics. Aside from really trying to grasp what the man was talking about, I did get the idea of smashing particles together and that sometimes one is really only seeing the shadows of what happened, or the paths.
Today in cern there is the search for the god particle. I am not a learned physicist, but my wager is that whenever they discover the god particle, they will see in the data that, “nope, this is not the smallest particle that brings out the building blocks of the universe…there is actually more.”
I am not sure how big of a super-collider would be needed to see the "more" then, but like an onion, man and his curiosity will unwrap the elements of what he can see layer by layer. In the theoretical sense call it mulit-dimensional mathematics, we can model the “what if’s” of logic until a day when perhaps we get to see what is really there.
Until then, my question to the scientist is, “if man is so smart, why he is he so slow to learn about treating his fellow man well?” Wouldn’t that be the logical thing to do? Particularly since we can actually see the facts. It isn’t just theory.
May your day allow you to see more, be they just the facts, or the faith that there is more. :o)