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God Isn't Stupid...

One thing that really bothers me about certain people, is their need to refute God's existence with each new discovery that man makes.

I have everything figured out about how this works:


Step 1. Generally well-known uber-genius scientist (ex. Stephen Hawking) says something like "the universe is made of nothing."
Step 2. Media, in an effort to sell more subscriptions, releases an article with a headline similar to the following: "Scientists Disprove God's Existence." 
Step 3. Pseudo-scientist/anti-religious nuts clog all media threads with anti-religious comments.
Step 4. Richard Dawkins writes a book full of rants based on his limited (and flawed) knowledge about God and religion. 
Step 5. I go to a bookstore, see Richard Dawkins' new book in the science section. I proceed to drop it into the crevice between the bookshelves, flip it over to the cover can't be seen, put another book in front of it, or place it in its proper section (like the "ranting lunatic" section).
Before we continue...my own rant...WHY DO THEY ALWAYS PUT HIS CRAZY RANTS IN THE SCIENCE SECTION?!?! 
Step 6. Buzz dies down.
Step 7. For new discovery, repeat steps 1-6.

So many people just can't grasp the idea that God is a genius. I'm talking about the militant atheists as well as the nutty Phelps folk.

Nutty Phelps folk- (noun) members of WBC or similar sect who are CLUELESS when it comes to God and what the bible really says...even though they strive to live by literal translations of maybe 15 passages at most. These 15 passages or so are followed because they support the hideous rantings of nutty (and hateful) leader. Instead of listening to God's words and commandments, they make hideously colored signs and ignore Christ's command to "love one another" as they picket the funerals of our fallen heroes. They're also they type of people who really make all the sane Christians out there look very bad.

What these people don't seem to understand is that God is so far beyond our limited understanding. When God made the world, he didn't just throw it all together. God is way too much of a genius to ever do something like that. No, when He made the world...He already had all sorts of laws and processes to govern it. There were no accidents here. By the time He created the world, He had already figured out everything from gravity to cell division and evolution. People just don't get this for some reason and both the nutty Phelps folk and the militant atheist crowd are guilty of trying to understand God's infinite glory by putting Him into a box defined by our limited understanding as humans...

...which reminds me of a pretty great St. Augustine story that circulated Europe during the middle ages....a story my dad has told and retold many times through the years.

One day St Augustine, while thinking about the Trinity, saw a little boy on the beach. This boy was trying to put all of the ocean's water into a tiny hole he had dug in the sand. He ran back and forth carrying water from the ocean to pour into the hole. Saint Augustine goes up to the boy and asks what he's doing. The boy explains that he is emptying the entire ocean into the hole. Saint Augustine then attempts to explain the impossibility of the boy's task. The boy, however, counters by telling Saint Augustine that he will sooner empty the entire ocean into the hole than Saint Augustine will ever fully grasp the whole mystery of the Trinity. To make a long story short, the boy who schools Saint Augustine turns out to be an angel and Saint Augustine learns his lesson.  
 Even people in the middle ages understood God better than we did...just by understanding the limitation of our own knowledge!

God's plan is so vast and, at the same time, so intricate that it's impossible to grasp it in its entirety.  We may "get" a few parts of it. We may be inspired by a mere glimpse of understanding here and there...but these "eureka!" moments are nothing compared to "all that is seen and unseen." We cannot truly comprehend all of it. We are so limited in our understanding even when it comes to simple things like basic chemistry or algebra....so how the heck are we supposed to understand God completely?!?!

No one has the right to say "Evolution can't exist because God made the world." The mechanisms for evolution were already present when he created DNA, cells, and living organisms. When God created man, he didn't just take a bunch of clay, mold it together, and leave it at that! He made everything from the atoms up. He made the DNA that allowed for our different traits and everyday cellular functions. He made the  neurons that allowed us to think for ourselves and take advantage of free will. He made complex systems we are only beginning to learn about today...protein signalling transduction, transcription, translation, etc. etc. etc. He thought of ALL of this and MORE before we ever came to exist. I know I don't have the words to describe just how incredible this really is. However, I can assure you that if you believe in God and you start learning about these processes...you will be rendered speechless. I cannot tell you how many times I sat in class thinking, "Wow, God is a genius."

On the other hand, I just don't understand the need to remove God from the story whenever we discover a new black hole or some new dust particle in some galaxy found in the East Jabip section of the universe. Imagine we just "discovered" that the laws governing the universe have no room for God within them. Okay. Well, then I suppose (assuming we even know how these laws work), we know how the universe was created. However, we don't know the "why." We don't know the purpose of it all. What we know is a series of events (which are all due to chance if you don't believe) that ultimately led us to what we are today. We could build on these series of events, tear them apart, tweak them, or make up new ones. However, no matter what we do, we will never understand the "why" about creation.

In my mind, the "why" is the important part. Everything else is just a detail. Yes, you just discovered the planet is billions of years old as opposed to 6000. This shouldn't matter when it comes to whether or not you believe in God. Who cares how old the world is and who cares how long we've been on this planet. If God created us as hairy cavemen...so be it. It just shows you that He loved us from the start, even if it took us a while to develop the concept of showers and antibacterial hand lotion. If you truly look at and dissect our humble beginnings, you truly come to appreciate just how much God loves....and all the potential he saw in us from day 1. He saw potential in us...even before we realized our own potential. That's how much we mean to him and how much He cares for us.

If God loved the world well enough to start from atom-sized scratch...enough to see our potential from the very  humble beginning...how much greater is His love for us through the ages than it would have been if he just created us as we are now (talking into Bluetooths with Starbucks in hand, as opposed to in a cave drawing bison). As for 7 days...what is 7 days to God? What is time to God? Can we really deem ourselves knowledgeable enough to truly understand all there is to know about God in order to put a time constraint on Him and His works? NO!

On a similar note, just because we discover a new astrophysical law, it doesn't mean we can use this law to keep God in some box...or disprove His existence. There is far more to God than this natural world will reveal to us. There is so much to Him that we will never understand. Therefore it is senseless to even attempt turning God into a part of some equation or chemical process.

There's two sides to this argument and I can't stand either of the extremes.

I can't stand the people that limit God's infinitude and omnipotence by telling God what He can or cannot do. Imagine criticizing creation by telling God that evolution can't exist because it doesn't fit to our limited understanding. Imagine telling God that the world has to be 6000 years old just because we have a specific concept of time and lineages the God has to work around. Imagine telling God that He has to hate every one of His children except for a select few that follow the words of a particular pastor. Do  these people think that God is incapable of thought? Do they think God is too stupid to figure things out for Himself? I don't know about you all, but I think God knows what He's doing and I do not question His intelligence. Yet, these people do exactly that when they put all of creation into a box that is our limited understanding. We will never know everything there is to know about God and His plans....we just have to accept this.

When the Soviets sent Yuri Gagarin to space, 50 years ago...the world thought it was a big deal. In fact, it was a pretty defining moment in human history. Of course, some people just had to tarnish the event in their own special way. Some "sources" claimed that Yuri said "I don't see any God up here" during his flight. Turns out, Gagarin never said this and actually happened to be a pretty devout member of the Orthodox Church....but do you see how these "sources" operate? Yes, humans make all sorts of awesome discoveries and every time we do, some nut has to take this discovery and turn it into an "anti-religion" or "anti-God" argument. If you don't see God on earth, you won't see God in space. If you aren't awed by God's handiwork by watching a sunrise, you won't be awed by the stars in the farthest reaches of the universe. If you don't feel God's love when you do something as simple as take a walk in the woods, you won't feel God's love by solving the most complicated mysteries of the universe. God isn't going to reward us with his glorious presence just because we sent a guy into space....so stop challenging Him to do so. If you don't believe in Him, let it go. Don't tarnish science with your rubbish...what you've done to your reputation is enough.

Do you honestly think that any physical or intellectual discovery we make will impress God? No matter what we discover, but I don't think it's as big a deal to God as it is to some people out there. The greatest thing we could achieve before God's eyes would be loving Him with all our hearts and living a life that will one day make us worthy of attaining sainthood and earning a place in heaven. That's what really matters. Everything else is just another theory in a sea of potential thesis defense topics.

In any event, being one that believes in God having a sense of humor, I can imagine God chuckling a bit whenever we discover something He figured out way before the Big Bang.

Pax Vobiscum

16 comments:

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  7. They went great! Thank you for asking. Happy New Year to you as well!

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  12. Oh, but I did reply some time ago. Please check out this post:

    http://thecatholicsciencegeek.blogspot.com/2011/12/between-wasting-time-and-serving-god.html

    I think it pretty much answers every question you posed. Hope it clears a few things up.

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  13. Mr. DeLano,

    I hate to do this, but I am removing your comments from my blog and will remove any future comments. You can say whatever you want and attack as many people or beliefs as you see fit on your own blog...but I will not tolerate any of it here.

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  15. I know that this post is about three months old, but felt compelled to comment because it spoke to me. I have a lot of friends who are scientists and very few of them are religious. At all. To the point of almost being antagonistic towards religion. I recall a conversation I had with a boyfriend many, many, many years ago about the resistance of G-d. He was a PhD candidate in biology and an atheist (though still considered himself "ethnically Jewish" and as such, would participate in Jewish holidays to a certain extent, such as a Seder, because of the ethnic connection.) Anyhow, he felt that all the math and science he had learned proved there was no G-d because of the elegance of how well it all fit together. I said that to me, that proved the resistance of G-d. He said that if there were a G-d, then He could one day decide that 2+2 no longer equlaed four, and since 2+2 equaled four no matter what, well, QED. I responded that: A) G-d was not so capricious as to change on a whim, the basic laws of math and physics and biology that he had created; and B) We only know of 2+2 equlaing four because G-d had designed it that way and if G-d had designed it differently, we would not think of 2+2 equaling four. I made a point, because he got very mad at me...

    But it seems to me that he is typical of many people in science and mat so it was nice to come across hour blog. I met Francis Collins many, many years ago, and for some time I was beginning to think he was the only scientist who believed in G-d. But there are a few more besides him and you.

    The depressing thing is that in my field (Ancient and Biblical Hebrew), there are an awful lot ofscholars who are athiests. I feel they get into it to prove they are right. They are the ones who argue that since there is no independent archaeological evidenence to support it, most of the bible is just mythical. (Somehow, I would think if you are making up a "national hero" he would not be as flawed as King David.)

    I will enjoy catching up on your blog! And tip o' the hat to "The Scratching Post" from which I came across a link to your blog! And good luck on your studies!

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  16. Whoa! That is seriously one of the most beautiful and wonderful pieces of awe and wonder before the universe that I have ever seen.

    Science comes from that Latin word "scientia," meaning "knowledge." And all knowledge is finite, as well as subjective: and if this universe is as old as scientists suggest it is, then that only proves how far behind we are and how presumptuous it is to think we know everything. We only know what we have been able (or permitted) to perceive, which is in fact very, very limited, and even then, so many of us mistake this little part for the whole. So many of us critique the knowns, but forget to also critique the knower, who is imperfect and has imperfect knowledge. Carl Jung points out that even logic (the basis of science) is by no means the only way to approach life because we also have feeling to guide us, as well as other functions. We think we are lightyears ahead now, but we have still not even scratched the surface of everything; we have not even scratched the scratch of a scratch.

    But to look at the universe and the laws behind it with a sense of awe the way you do, to recognize man's limitations and see in the complexity of life something wondrous is really amazing. It reminds me of Plato and the music of the spheres. You are so onto something with all the points you made here.

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