Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Science and the Ultimate Hope
We live in a unique time and yet simultaneously at a time that's not so unique.
I'm grateful for the Web and for science and for the deeper and more informed levels of exposure and communication man is able to have now. Yet, as I stop and reflect on where all this has taken us, it's clear that while the advancements that have been made by humanity are great, and the matters that we now consider are greater than in times past; we find the ultimate questions, the ultimate concerns, the ultimate issues, the ultimate problems, and the ultimate sources man can look to for hope and rest have not changed.
Consider that in centuries past, while man's struggles may have been to put food on the table and whether it was going to rain or not, or what a war or a nuclear weapon might do,etc. (through which man came to understand his weakness and vulnerability), though we now know of things like the "death star galaxy" and discuss issues like global warming (and what a 2.4-6.4 degree increase in mean temperature might mean to our world) and superhurricanes and think about how tampering with hurricanes will have affect on other things environmentally, and otherwise; ...are not the questions and ultimate issues the same regardless of the progress we make and the discoveries we find? Be it in centuries past, or in the present, and I confidently suspect the same in the future, the questions will be of the nature - "Is man and his advancements such that we should think we are in control and will be in control?", ...OR "Does not the more that we learn and are exposed to remind us of how small, fragile and susceptible we really are? (... that we in one sense are literally "hanging by a thread")" (The biblical position I believe puts it best when it suggests we are both small and fragile and yet our quests and dominion are meaningful and important)
Another matter of interest is that though today we continue to discover more and more about the universe and it's intricacies and how these things could or do relate to humanity and our security and future existence, it's not that these same issues were not present in centuries past, though the people did not even know of them or give them consideration. Just think how much more is out there in the way of knowledge and reality that we do not know of, but are just as real and applicable.
It strikes me that those today who put their ultimate hope in science have failed to see that greater discoveries in science, while on the one hand may result in some puffing themselves up and thinking how great and powerful and almighty man is, also simultantaneously continue to show us how small, fragile and susceptible man both is and continues to be.
As I think of the illustration of man "hanging by a thread" (though I realize at the same time we're perfectly stable according to and to the extent of the promises and providence of God); I'm reminded of another who has pointed out that it's as if man is hanging by a thread ... Jonathan Edwards and his sermon "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God"... a sermon worth reading and considering by all! Perhaps, some in considering that science and advancement, while useful, also exposes how vulnerable man is physically, might also consider and take to heart this same truth on a spiritual level. Be it physically, or spiritually, our hope, foundation and security rests only in Christ.