Friday, March 12, 2010

Penguins and the Big Bang

I have become a neophyte science geek. When I started my journey away from Adventism I didn't realize I would become a nerd. Initially all my thinking was wrapped up around moral and spiritual questions. As I became more comfortable in my own semi-buddhist agnostic skin an unintended side-effect took place.

I blame it on The March of the Penguins. I saw this movie with my Kindergarteners. Without my creationist goggles on I really started to marvel at how the penguins came to be. I researched penguins for quite awhile afterwards. Then I started researching amphibians for a thematic unit. I must have watched thisvideo of the Surinam Toad over and over again. Sooo gross but soooo cool!

Next I blame auto-tune. For some reason I was watching videos that had been auto-tuned and I came across this one with Carl Sagan and Stephen Hawking. Funny but strangely moving. Then i started reading about the vastness of space and the galaxies and the big bang.

Radio Lab has been providing with a good crash course in current and curious scientific thinking.

Basically I am awakening to life. Before I was afraid to look at these things to closely because I heard it could make you loose your faith. Now I want to learn everything I can. I am even thinking about taking more science classes after my master's degree.

I have always been a little socially awkward, but I was never really into science. Now I might finally be a card carrying member of the nerd brigade. But that is okay. I'm loving it!

On a side note...
I think it's sad that the God we see in the Bible feels the need to bully Job with His superiority, rather than answering his questions. (ie Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell me, if you know so much.)


perpetualstudent said...

I have always been interested in science, except for biology. Once I accepted the scientific consensus on the origin of species, I found biology incredibly interesting. While I was a creationist, I saw biology as just memorization of facts and nothing really seemed to fit together. Once I understood evolution it all clicked. As Dobzhanski said, "Nothing in Biology makes sense except in the light of Evolution."

Axiom said...

Yay Science! :)

Stephen said...

In the first chapter of Christopher Hitchens' "god is not Great," he writes: "This is more than enough mystery and marvel for any mammal to be getting along with: the most educated person in the world now has to admit-I shall not say confess-that he or she knows less and less but at least less and less about more and more."

That idea is certainly one reason I walked away from Fundamentalism-the claim that you can know everything, instead of embracing the mystery of life-but it is also a reason I haven't walked away from religion totally. The world is bigger and more magnificent than we can comprehend, and one can see a divine being behind it all without having to define up front what that being's role is in the world.

Cassandra said...

That toad video is REALLY cool. Gross, but cool.

"Before I was afraid to look at these things to closely because I heard it could make you loose your faith."

I wish people wouldn't say that. I don't believe there's any truth to it. While I do think there are some things we are warned to stay away from (witchcraft, sorcery, etc.), I think we should learn more about the world we live in. To me, seeing the vastness of space and the complexity of life pushes me toward God. The more I read and the more I learn about life, the more amazed I am at God's creation.

From a creationist standpoint, God was really creative when He created that toad. He didn't have to give the mother the ability to protect her babies, especially in this manner.

From an evolutionary standpoint, the toad evolved into this specific creature so that more toads would survive to pass on the mother's genes.

The major problem I have with the Big Bang and evolution is that it's so cold. There's no emotion behind it. No reason for existence. Why did humans "develop" into the dominant species of life? Where will we go from here, if life is all about chance?

Anyways, just some thoughts. :)

Ann said...

Thanks for all the responses.
@Cassandra. I am not learning about evolution/astrophysics etc because I am on some kind of mad quest to disprove the existence of God. I really just find science fascinating. I also don't deny that something we might call God or divine intelligence could be real but I don't think our traditional understanding of a Big Guy in the Sky is correct. I wonder if the intelligence we call God isn't someone rooted into the very atomic fabric of our being.