After listening to Sean Carroll’s TED talk on the origins and humankind – listening because I have a natural curiosity about what scientists CAN tell us about God’s created universe, I encounter at the start of the morning propers, Psalm 102 and by the power of the Holy Spirit, I stop reading to integrate Carroll’s talk with the psalmist’s petition.
First, it occurs to me that nothing in the way the psalmist describes the world competes with the priniciple of entropy Carroll relies upon to answer the question, where did we come from and where are we going.
It took me awhile to understand ‘entropy’ – had to replay that part of the talk a few times, actually. But at the end of the day, the visual of a timeless, infinite universe(s) encapsulated in something that has boundaries (heaven and earth?), where energy is at one time spread out evenly, at others times compressed – at one time arranged so that life can come forth, at other times so dark nothing but huge gaps – dark space – who’s energy helps propel our universe and its existing life forms, faster and faster away from point A, to infinity, expanding all the while. I’m not sure Carroll would say I’ve connected all the dots in the way he explained, but this is how I heard it and then I re-meet Psalm 102 and I am awed by the poet’s description of ‘the world’ – the way s/he has connected the dots and how these words expand, support, confirm what Carroll was saying.
Take a listen to the 15 minute talk. Then read the psalm. It is about 15 minutes, packs a punch and is worth a listen-to.
Is this verse not consistent with the explanation Carroll gives about entropy, the question about how the eternalness of the universe suggests that the Big Bang theory is wrong – that we didn’t emerge out of nothing?
25 Long ago you laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. 26 They will perish, but you endure; they will all wear out like a garment. You change them like clothing, and they pass away; 27 but you are the same, and your years have no end.
Maybe not. Maybe you don’t see the connection or share an appreciation for what the scientific world offers a Christian reading His Word.
So, here’s what else I wonder… I wonder if scientifically inclined world views ever hear a sermon, read a homily (or a FB post!) and see Scripture and Science – not just Faith or Belief and Science – but actual Scripture – not only not refuting what they have concluded about the universe (or multiverses) and the origins of life, but also illuminating and expanding their understandings? I wonder how scientific world-view people accept, hear, investigate, read, wonder, think about Scripture. To a person of faith, it is – along with Creation – our research. But it seems to me that most serious scientists lump sum conclude that Scripture is nothing more than an undocumented storybook.
Which leads me to the final bunny trail, today. The TED Talks…I have followed them almost from the beginning, the concept was genius – giving a platform to new ideas, “Ideas Worth Spreading.” At the start the talks were organized into only three areas: Technology, Entertainment, and Design. Since then, the list has expanded significantly to include everything from Business to – stop – wait for it – Science with nothing in between that explicitly categorizes ideas about Faith, Scripture, Belief, Doctrine, Church, etc. This is not to say the TED talks haven’t offered events and talks on God – Billy Graham has a few such talks posted, as does Karen Armstrong – BUT it is to say that the folks at TED and most who attend, listen, avail themselves on the net of all the new and exciting ideas and research floating around the world – are unlikely to hear a sermon, or read a social media reflection or post on scripture, that informs and expands THEIR understanding of this awesome Creation.
And I wonder about that. Isn’t Scripture, at the least, a proven document of an idea that spread – permeated this world, like no other? Why? How? Hmm.