Science fascinates me.
I’m not sure which I love more; the answers we’ve got or the remaining questions we hope to answer. Science is such an important thing to support. It has given us so much.
We humans should value science as an invaluable tool in life. But how does this tool work? Are there ways in which we can mis-use the powerful tool of science?
I’m reminded of a quote from the film Jurassic Park. Dr. Ian Malcolm: “Yeah, but your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should.”
Even without modern science all it does for us, humans already have ability to do all kinds of things that non-humans can’t. Modern science has given us (among other things) even more ability to do even more kinds of things. We can communicate in all kinds of ways (like blogging!). We can split atoms. We can make it rain. We can change our gender. We can make pills that (theoretically, at least!) make us feel better. We have lots of ability.
Interestingly, in spite of how much ability and options we have, humans are often unsatisfied with how their lives are. Walk into any popular book store and you won’t have to look too far to find all manner of books offering ‘the Secret’ (pun intended) to a happy, convenient, fulfilled life. I’m disappointed to see that many Christian authors (or is it more the publishers?) have picked up on this kind of ‘self-help’ approach (i.e. the best-seller ‘Your Best Life Now’).
What am I getting at?
Well, I guess I’m thinking (as least) two things…
First, I’m thinking about how great science is and how much it can help us. Secondly, I’m thinking about how scientific knowledge and advanced technology doesn’t seem to always make us feel fulfilled.
I mean, on one hand, I’m so grateful for scientific knowledge! I love learning new facts about all kinds of things, and sometimes – even often – these facts can help me live better. I recently went to the dentist, and the facts he shared with me (including brushing and flossing techniques!) will really help me take better care of my teeth and gums!
But on the other hand, many facts don’t seem to help us as much. My knowledge of the spin-rate of a distant pulsar (while undeniably interesting and helpful in regard to knowing and appreciating a detail of how the universe functions) doesn’t help me to be patient with others or to spend less money on clothes I don’t need. Whether I think of my wife as 1) a collection body parts (brain, arms, heart, fingers, etc.), 2) a collection of many living cells (hair cells, skin cells, muscle cells, etc.) or 3) as a collection of atomic particles, I’ve still got to figure out how to love her and be faithful to her.
We might liken the tool of scientific knowledge to transportation methods. More and more scientific knowledge could be analogous to faster and more efficient ways of getting around. (no analogies are perfect, are they?) The value of science (and transportation) is not to be neglected, but perhaps we should all remember that while science reveals a lot of detail about time, space and matter, it doesn’t tell us what to do with them. The car gets you from ‘a’ to ‘b’, but can’t tell you where you should be going (or when to come back, for that matter!).
Treasure it. Use it well.
Changing your Life? Learning to Love? Looking for Fulfillment?
Now that’s something quite different…