Sunday, October 9, 2011

Science Still Doesn't Have All the Answers

Scientists don’t have all the answers. But then, you knew that. Or you suspected it.
I love it when they admit that they were wrong. Were. Wrong. I love it when they begin to look foolish (think: Keystone Cops) as they fight among themselves about the validity of certain scientific “facts.”
However, what I love most is that they keep trying to get it right. And, I love it when they say they can’t explain some odd phenomenon. A little humility is so attractive.
Three recent events in the world of scientific research are instructive:
First: Daniel Shechtman received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry last week, for his discovery, nearly 30 years ago (1982), of “quasicrystals.” Shechtman is now 70 years old; he would have been about 40 when he made his initial discovery. In 1982, he was ridiculed and expelled from his research group because what he claimed he had found was “impossible,” and because he had thus brought “disgrace” on the team. The problem of quasicrystals is that they “break all the rules” of being a crystal.
For me, this is an illustration that God’s chemistry textbook actually has “all the rules,” including many rules which scientists haven’t discovered yet.
Second: A bunch of scientists received the Nobel Prize in Physics last week for deciding that the universe is actually expanding at an ever-faster rate. Now, as any kid could tell you, this is clearly impossible. Remember the laws of inertia and gravity? After the Big Bang, gravity would cause the outward expansion to eventually slow to a stop, and then everything might even reverse and collapse in upon itself. Since they really can’t explain what might be the cause of an ever-increasing speed of expansion, the scientists had to invent a new power: “dark energy.” They decided that this mysterious force, “dark energy”— which counteracts gravity, must make up more than 70% of the universe. 70%!!!
For me, this fits right into God’s plan and creations. God’s power—which fills the universe(!)— is 100%.
Third: Nothing can travel faster than the speed of light – right? Scientists in Italy and Switzerland are not so sure about that any more. It seems that neutrinos fired from Switzerland to Italy traveled 60 billionths of a second faster than light. Potentially this has huge implications not only for physicists, but for everyone.  For one thing, Einstein’s theory of special relativity goes out the window (I suspect there is something faster than a neutrino, and that was Einstein turning over in his grave at the news about the neutrinos). Charles Krauthammer remarked, “It has to be impossible because, if not, everything we know about the universe is wrong.”

Well, if everything scientists know about the universe is wrong, that just might turn out to be a real moment of truth for them ….
Meanwhile, I can smile gently because I know that God is real and that he is our Heavenly Father who loves us, and that our lives here are part of his magnificent plan for our happiness and eternal life.