Friday, July 5, 2013

Science, Stars and Awe

Does our knowledge about the world diminish or enhance our sense of awe?

Our ancient ancestors looked at the sky, and they wondered. They saw the stars marching, night after night, in endless, perfect balance. They watched the moon wax and wane with absolute, unerring precision, and they were awestruck. They looked up to the heavens, and they had absolutely no idea, not the first inkling of a clue, how it happened. How it all worked. And so, they composed poems and prayers to the One who made it all, who made it all possible. And they were breathless with Awe.

But, we're different. We have science, and so we understand things that they couldn't possibly. We know about gravity. We know about nuclear fusion, and luminosity, and the rotation of the Earth. Knowing all of that, and more, we can explain how a star's light comes to exist, and how it comes to us.

But, can we truly comprehend what it's like for light to be so bright that it can survive the trip of thousands of light years? Yes, we can measure, within millimeters, the distance to the moon. That only makes it even more wondrous that human beings have left their footprints in its dust.

The more we know, the more we are left breathless with Awe by what we see.

God grants us knowledge — knowledge of infinite variety and scope. Science. History. Music. Art. Philosophy. Everything that we know, everything that we learn, is a revelation. A revelation of greater truth. A revelation of the Awe-inspiring nature of our reality. A revelation of wonder. A revelation of the One.

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