Thursday, May 14, 2009

Human Knowledge

Scientists are funny. They're always throwing around numbers too big to fathom and spewing units of time too long to comprehend. They speak as if their meager calculations and estimates are fact; 450 million years this, 150 thousand light years that. How petty and insignificant is the dawn of man compared to the vast and timeless universe. Even the simplest cell is far beyond the limits of human ingenuity. A very basic yeast cell contains as many components as a Boeing 777. Even if we could fit a Boeing 777 into a microscopic cell, we could never convince it to replicate itself and multiply as all cells do. Yet people devote their lives in some fatalistic attempt to understand it all, and once they settle on their answers they quickly start to lobby for their beliefs. This peculiar condition is not found in any other living creature. It is inherently human.

The fact is we can scientifically prove very little of anything, yet we still search desperately for the absolutes. It's odd that in the face of such staggering confusion every human being longs to know ultimate truth. It is almost as if we have this ancient memory of a time when we understood the truth, but now there is just a void where it once was. It is as if we're all desperately trying to fill truths void with principles, morals, science, religion and meaning. We long for something we've never experienced, but for some reason our hearts still cry out to know these great mysteries. Unfortunately, human instinct counts for very little in human science.

To me, at least cerebrally, the human need for truth and justice could be used as evidence of some inkling of the existence of ultimate truth (and with ultimate anything, there is an ultimate source). Could the source of our desires be from an ultimate designer? Some bearer of truth seeding our lives with a longing to know "it"? Would that be too far off base for any mainstream scientists to imagine? I may have limited scientific knowledge, but to me the idea that our universe was created by an intelligent force seems as reasonable an occurrence as anything that happens on the molecular level. With all we do not know, why is it so hard for the science community to theorize about the possibility of intelligent design? Is it because the whole idea would put Darwinian science books out of date? Possibly. Personally, the belief that this majestic, infinite, intricate, artful and completely functioning universe is a fluke accident requires much more faith, and seems much less probable than the belief in the existence of a creator. Considering that 99% of the species that have lived on our own tiny planet remain undiscovered, who are we to rule out any theories of things unseen? Are we not to trust our instincts, our notions or our convictions? Are we only to rely on the sense of sight? Even so, if you look around you'll find confusing and fascinating things that can only truly be explained with intelligent design. Modern science refers to this idea as a costly cop-out and one that would hinder the industry. It flies in the face of conventional science. It might ruin the common requirement for hard evidence in any field (when in reality certain theories are taken quite simply as fact on a regular basis already). I refer to the idea of a creator as a peaceful submission to a much more probable explanation based on both things seen and felt. On top of the hard evidence within creation, shouldn't we also hypothesize using our instincts and our nature? I suppose the evidence within ones life will never count for much in a textbook, but to me "the proof is in the pudding," so to speak. Darwin's evolution just doesn't answer enough questions, not even for science.

Why else do we cling so desperately to our metaphysical principles? Why else do we care? We all want to know the truth, and when we think we find it through science or faith or both, we tend to parade it around. Deep down we know that every human longs for it. We all want validation. We want the majority to agree with us so we can have assurance that what we believe is true. In this sense, everyone develops a sort of religion. Even atheists will try to convert and indoctrinate followers, sometimes more diligently than any church. I think our need for validation is based out of the fear that perhaps we're wrong. As much as we like to give lip service to the idea of everyone being right in their own way, there is something in our nature that screams, "There is only one truth and many lies!" It seems burned into our genetics. Once we've claimed the "truth" we try to fix everyone else's "lies." Maybe there is truth. Maybe there is a piece missing that perfectly fits that void in your life. I say maybe, but for me it is fact.

Some of you know my back story. I had a real life-changing experience when I felt the love of Jesus. This had nothing to do with stacking up evidence or studying the possibilities of Jesus or God. I saw evidence in my life and my heart. I watched as I became someone completely unlike myself overnight (this is not to say I am no longer a pain in the ass, its just to say that now I know when and why I am being one). I changed very thoroughly from my encounter, and that cannot be explained by science in any way. So naturally, I'm quicker than your average person to believe in the unseen world. However, I've never been a natural at faith, so for my minds sake I've done plenty of scientific research on the matter. The truth is you don't have to be an idiot to believe in God. In fact many of the worlds most famous scientists believed in the possibility of God, including Newton, Galileo and Einstein. On the contrary, I would question the creativity, objectivity and thoroughness of anyone who completely rejects the idea of a higher power. Most of all, I would question their motives.


  1. Wow, super good. Love the ending especially.

  2. I agree...there are so many things in the nature that suggest the existance of a higher power, especially life. Looking at the human body from a scientific standpoint, I just can't believe that we're the byproduct of random chance. There are just too many parts, too many systems, too many processes that are just so perfectly designed and wouldn't work if just one or two conditions weren't right.

  3. ...and that is why I keep coming back to Him with my tail between my legs.

  4. I've undergone a complete transformation as you stated... I used to rely upon scientific realization but, as you said, numbers can only go so far. There's an interesting quote by Sir Fred Hoyle, who argued that the idea that life originated by random shuffling of molecules is "as ridiculous and improbable as the proposition that a tornado blowing through a junkyard may assemble a Boeing 747." Truthfully, I do believe in evolution, but I also believe that there is a Creator, who is God, who designed us this way.
    You've become such a good writer! Keep up the good work : )

  5. great thoughts. i agree- there's too great a complexity to assume that it was an accident, too small a chance it would have worked, and too much detailed beauty to have evolved from necessity alone.

    and whether it be the motives for faith in christian doctrine or athiestic doctrine, i believe they should always be questioned...

    don't get me wrong, i am a believer in god- and, for that matter, in christ- but the personal accounts and lifechanges (especially in oneself) are so easy to doubt and simply attribute to a wishful mind, the power of one's own brain, one's imagination, that at times it's very quickly discredited...


  6. True. I'm the worlds greatest skeptic, which is why I must rely on my instincts rather than discredit them. Most peoples minds are like mine, a good example would be Tom Hanks' character in Angels and Demons when he says something to the extent of, "I'm an academic, I believe in things I can understand. I can't understand God, so I haven't found faith in Him yet."

    I don't understand God... but I know He loves me, and that blows my mind. All I've understood are the fruits of my encounter with His love. None of us will ever fully understand even the idea of a creator, let alone the characteristics of a specific deity, but what we can understand is the overwhelming feeling of peace, freedom and sense of truth that comes with a real encounter with just an inkling of the love of Jesus. If you're interested in knowing more about that, a good place to start with are the four biographies of Jesus' life known as the Gospels.

  7. it's so hard to trust, to rely on those things... i'd say especially so for us skeptics :)

    but do you *know*? do any of us know? sometimes it's so frustrating, like it's hardly an option to live with such huge questions. it's completely mindboggling to me that i, we, would entrust our lives to someone... that doesn't seem is there at times, when you're overwhelmed with the apparent *absence* of that peace, freedom, sense of truth. what is the point to living dedicated to such doubts?

    yet i believe, living solely off his love, spreading the movement.

    faith is such a hard thing. blindness is -truely- such a blessing...

    i've been reading through matthew lately. i love that book. it's strange to me how well i agree with him [jesus], on certain parts especially. it seems to fit well with the christ i've come to know, yet somehow clashes with the christ portrayed often in pop christianity... it's really a rather funny thing to think about.


  8. You almost lost me there a few times, but your thinking runs very close to my thoughts on this subject. The bible states that God put "the knowledge of Himself" into His creation, man, so that he could never deny Him. Man can run, hide, try to walk away and choose to ignore, but deep down inside there is a vague knowledge, a yearning for something more.

  9. Happy Birthday man!, hey I was wondering, could you tell me what the song "Gravedigging" is about? it's a really great song, and I was thinking maybe you could shed a little light on it's meaning. I love the way your lyrics can mean many different things at once, but I'd really like to know the inspiration/meaning of this song.