Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Science and Religion are not necessarily contradictory!

I have always felt that Science and Religion compliment each other.  But it has always seemed that I live in a very small world of people who do so.

When I tell people that I can accept the idea of Evolution and the concept of Creation at the same time, I was always at risk of offending almost everyone around me.  The Scientists would look at Creation and say, "Balk, we don't need a God to explain how the universe came into existence.  God is only a part of those weak minds and poor souls who need something to believe in, because they can't accept reality."  And Churchites would look at Evolution, and say, "But, Genesis says that it was done in a week.  And Genesis says that God created us.  We are not evolved from Monkeys!"

I would try to keep my believes about both to myself, until I knew what type of person I was talking to.  It seemed to me that Genesis is a spiritual account of the Creation.  It tells the record of the people.  It was not meant to be an instruction manual on how to create or even a scientific pamphlet explaining what was done.  Rather it was meant to inspire God's Children to believe on His word and to worship Him and only Him.

The theory of Evolution does not rule out the hand of God, or rule out some intelligent designer ordering everything the way He wanted it to be.  Rather it is a theory that tries to explain natural facts about our world.

Now, the Theory of Evolution is a theory, and like all other scientific facts it can not be accepted as law until proven.  There are many scientific theories, like String Theory,  and others that are internally consistent, but haven't been proven.  That is the way science works.  Scientists find something in their world that they can't explain and try to explain it.  If the explanation seems to hold up against other findings, then it is a theory.  Other scientists will continue to examine the world around them, and occasionally a previous theory is replaced by a more modern theory.  And sometimes theories actually get proven and become Laws, like Newton's Laws of Motion.  But even these Laws of Motion were in time found not to explain everything, and we had to account for Einstein's Theory of Relativity.  Science changes over time, and gradually as a community we come closer and closer to explaining our world.

Now, as a Theory, Evolution makes lots of sense.  It explains what we have observed perfectly and no contradictions have thus far come into light.  Therefore, I have accepted it, and try to understand it.

I see God when I am doing mathematics and everything becomes beautiful.  I see God when I am observing the heavens (Astronomy is a weird science.  It is the only science that doesn't really have the ability for experimentation, because the distances involved are so big.  Rather it is a science of observation).  I see God when a ball drops to the ground and it's motion is perfectly described by Physics.  I see God when Chemicals react precisely with other Chemicals.  I have seen God during a tensile test, when I stretching steel to see when it would break.  The perfect descriptions of our world, that we call Science are also the building blocks of my testimony.

Now it seems that I am not alone in my quest to understand both Science and God at the same time, without contradicting myself.  Here is an interesting article about others and how they view the world in which they live.

Proof of God in a Photon

I think it is interesting that Galileo was the first to really separate Religion and Science.  He was trying to protect Science from an over-powerful church.  Now, the times have changed.  It seems that most churchs are now trying to protect Religion from an over-powerful scientific community.

Why is it that Science and God can't both explain our universe?  They aren't two separate ideas fighting for the right to exist.  Rather they are two different sides of the same coin.

Once I saw that, I see God in my science classes and science in my religious studies.  They are both good!

What would I give to know God?

King Lamoni said that he would give all his kingdom and all his sins to know God. It made me wonder if I would also be willing to give it all. In this video, we are taught that wickedness will bombard us. It will be all around us and everywhere.
 
I recently posted about how wonderful living in the information age is. It is wonderful to live in a world where I can literally carry around all of the standard works and an entire library as well as access to knowledge like never before on the internet.

However, this wonderful blessing sometimes becomes a stinging sword as well. With so much information available everywhere and always, I find myself distracted by things that don't really matter. Am I willing to give it up to know God? Can I tune into the right channel and listen to the Spirit?

I hope so. I pray for the strength to be able to do so.

With all of the distractions around me, I want to be able to always find time each day to contemplate my relationship with God, and how I can improve it.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Tender Mercy # 2853 (Just kidding, I never really counted, but I am sure that it is a really high number!)

I lost my cellphone. This is not something new, I seem to misplace it all the time. But after a call to , I almost always find it. But today I called it, and heard nothing. I looked around and moved things. Maybe it was hiding under something, but still I heard nothing. I even walked over to the Engineering Building, which was the last place I used it, and still I couldn't find it. My phone was as lost as it could be.

I ran some errands, did some homework, and came home. As I was leaving my bedroom to do something (can't remember what, it obviously wasn't important), my phone was sitting on the hallway floor right next to my bedroom, just waiting for me. I can't figure out how it got there. The only thing I can figure is that the Lord place it there for me (or somebody placed under the guidance of the hand of the Lord). I love tender mercies!

Monday, December 5, 2011

The Information Age

We live in a world with so much knowledge and so much information available almost instantly.  Just think of it.  In five minutes you can figure out how to make a cheesecake, calculate the square root of 5879232, check the top stories in the news, and communicate with your family and friends.  Never before has this been possible.  

My generation rarely goes to the library for research. I mean, why go to a building to research what you can find quicker and easier in your own bedroom.  The access that we have to knowledge is remarkable.  I have been thinking about how wonderful this easy access to information is, since I have gotten my iPad.  I can literally look up anything I want almost anywhere.  

The invention of the printing press changed the world, and made access to information easier for the masses.  A similar change is taking place right now.  With the invention of portable tablets and smartphones, information is available to everyone at a rate that never before anyone could have imagined.  

No longer does every family have a Bible, and every town have a library, but soon.  Every person will have the complete standard works, past and current church magazines, church handbooks, Preach My Gospel, the hymnbook, manuals, and any other gospel tool available to them at almost all times.  Not only that, but each person will be able to carry a personal library and access to a global database of information with them at all times.

We have the ability to learn and study as never before.  As the First Presidency mentioned during their Christmas Devotional, they are giving a free gift to everyone in the form of Bible Videos.  They didn't mention (or I didn't hear it) that they are also developing a mobile app that appears to let you read and study the scriptures in an interactive, dive into the pages sort of way.  The app isn't available for download, but some of the screenshots showed me how remarkable the world I live in is (both in the physical, as I have mentioned before in my love of the great creations, but also in the digital or cyberspace).  

I have so many tools and so many resources available to me literally at the touch of a fingertip.  I am so thankful to be living in a time when I can learn anything I want to know and see anything I want to see almost instantly.  

But sometimes, I wonder if I don't take proper advantage of the resources available to me.  Sometimes something becomes so easy, that I often find myself saying, I don't need to do that today, when I can do it whenever and wherever I want.  

I want to change that and use the remarkable resources that have been given to me and this generation to keep the promises I made to myself before I left the Spirit World (alright, so I don't remember what they are, but I am sure that I am the type of person who would have made promises to myself in the preexistence).  I want to better the kingdom of God and do what God expects me to do.  

I need to realize when something is easy, I should do it more often instead of less often!
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