I remember the story of a scientist talking to God.
Image courtesy – 3dprint.com
God is sitting in Heaven when a scientist says to Him,
“Lord, we don’t need you anymore. Science has finally figured out a way to create life out of nothing. In other words, we can now do what you did in the beginning.”
“Oh, is that so?” asks God.
“Well,” says the scientist, “we can take dust and form it into the likeness of You and breathe life into it, thus creating man.”
“Well, that’s interesting. Show me.”
So the scientist bends down to the earth and starts to mold the soil.
“Oh no, no, no…” interrupts God, “Get your own dust.”
In this post I would like to share few thoughts on this phrase – God creates and Science discovers. I think it’s true.
Before I explain, let me tell you that I am not against science but a science student and I love science. This post is not for a debate, but to share few of my thoughts on Creation and Discovery. Even if you are a person who does not believe in creation or God, you may still find something useful in this post. Hope you will enjoy reading and remember to share your views in the comment section!
Difference between Discover and Create
Let me start with the definition of the word Create and Discover.
According to oxford dictionary, to create means, to bring (something) into existence.
If I take the definition from the Bible, to create means to to bring (something) into existence from nothing. Abraham believed in the God who brings the dead back to life and who creates new things out of nothing. (Romans 4:17b)
And to discover means, to find some information about something.
Discovery and Invention
Now let’s come to the phrase Science discovers. All the scientific inventions are some sort of discovery, isn’t it?
If we take the example of invention of computer, no scientist ever created a computer, did they? (based on the definition above, i.e. to bring (something) into existence from nothing)
But what the scientists did is this- they discovered the required components of the computer and invented the machine using technology. For instance, they discovered something called electrons. They didn’t create electrons out of nothing but discovered them in an atom, which already existed. If you are a science student you may understand what I am trying to explain. Then scientists discovered that when the electrons flow, it causes an electric field which is called electricity. Again that’s not a creation but a discovery. Then they found out that electrical energy can be stored in a substance which is called capacitor. Again capacitor is not a creation but a discovery and invention. And it went on to lot many discoveries.
Finally in 1940’s, after lot of research and hard work, the first hand made computer ENIAC came into existence. (combination of 17,468 vacuum tubes, 7200 crystal diodes, 1500 relays, 70,000 resistors, 10,000 capacitors and approximately 5,000,000 hand-soldered joints Ref: Wikipedia). This first computer was invented with the help of all these items which already existed. The technology was invented due to the researches done by the scientists over the past centuries.
Therefore, none of the above discoveries or inventions were created out of nothing but with the help of existing things and using the technology. Same is the case with any other invention of this world – machines, computers, buildings, electricity, vehicles, etc. Even the variety of food we eat, all are a combination of what grows on plants and trees, and from animals.
Everything is a discovery or an invention but NOT a creation as per the definition above.
There is beauty and a wonderful design in nature
Now let’s come to the next phrase God creates.
Some call it as nature which gave us all! Whatever it may be, we have to agree upon the fact that this world and the nature has a beautiful and perfect design. The only possible argument may be whether there exists a person called God who created all these or whether all things were already in place since thousands of years. Since this post is not to discuss about the existence of God, I park this topic for now, but I want to stress the point that there exists a beautiful design in the nature around us.
Look at how your body is functioning and how the different organs of your body are placed. What if the organs were misplaced, like eyes in the place of ears, and nose in the place of mouth? You have two wonderful 3D cameras placed on your face. Do you know that no camera in this world can capture images as perfectly as your eyes? Look at the sky, the sun, the moon and the stars, how they function to provide times and the seasons; the clouds which gives us rain and how it protects us from the heat of the sun; the trees which gives us fresh air and food; the birds in the sky, how they fly and the list goes on…
If you start observing the things around you, you can see that there exists a beautiful design for everything and the most interesting fact is that most of the inventions are ideas obtained from nature.
Nature contributed most of the amazing ideas
If you look at the aeroplane, the idea of flying came from the way birds fly; the idea of camera might have come from the human eyes, how the eyes focus an object and sends signal to the brain. (focal point and the type of lens); the idea of man-made satellite should have come from the way moon and the planets revolve (planetary motion and the other laws concerning motion); the idea of computer might have come from the way human brain functions, how it stores information and processes it and controls other parts of the body and so on.
In short, most of the ideas came from nature. Right?
Sir Isaac Newton stated,
The most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being.
Real source of the ideas
Think for a moment. We usually appreciate the scientists for the discoveries and inventions. Yes, I was also amazed at the way how technical things work, but my point is this – which is the real source of all these amazing ideas?
For time being, let’s assume, if there is a person who is behind all these ideas, don’t you think this person is the one who should get all the credit? And if the person is God??
Who helped the scientists?
Well, you might think, even if God was the one who created all raw materials for scientists to work on (based on the assumption that God exists), it is still the scientists who invented or discovered them. So the credit should go to the scientists.
My argument is this – you say that scientists invented it. Yes, I agree, but who gave them the wisdom, knowledge and the intelligence, without which, I believe, they would have never invented great things.
In Bible, we read the story of the Tower of Babel in the first book of the Bible (Genesis 11:1-9)
Up until this point in the Bible, the whole world had one language – one common speech for all people. The people of the earth became skilled in construction and decided to build a city with a tower that would reach to heaven. By building the tower they wanted to make a name for themselves and also prevent their city from being scattered.
God came to see their city and the tower they were building. He perceived their intentions, and in His infinite wisdom, He knew this “stairway to heaven” would only lead the people away from God. He noted the powerful force within their unity of purpose. As a result, God confused their language, causing them to speak different languages so they would not understand each other. By doing this, God thwarted their plans. He also scattered the people of the city all over the face of the earth.
From this story, we understand that if God is against our so called discovery and inventions, we would never achieve anything. At the same time, with the help of God, anything and everything is possible.
So I strongly believe that the scientists who had achieved great things should have received their help from God. I have heard that many scientists who contributed to science believed in God. To name a few,
Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) – contributed to the study of Solar System,
Blaise Pascal (1623-1662) – contributed to Mathematics,
Isaac Newton (1642-1727) – contributed to optics, mechanics, mathematics and many other branches of science,
Michael Faraday (1791-1867) – His work on electricity and magnetism not only revolutionized physics, but led to much of our lifestyles today, which depends on them (including computers and telephone lines and, so, web sites)
and many more scientists like Nicholas Copernicus (1473-1543), Johannes Kepler (1571-1630). You may read more here.
If God had helped them, why then did it take these many centuries for the scientists to invent all these advanced technologies ? God should have given them intelligence, wisdom and knowledge thousands of years ago, so that they could have invented all these long back.
There are three things to note here-
Firstly, even if God had given them all the required knowledge, they could have never invented anything because it would take lot of time for human brain to understand the science behind the creation. Human beings did not have the enough capability to do research and to find out all these.
Secondly, for doing research, lot of other technologies and inventions needed to be in place. So God had to wait for centuries for human beings to learn and understand the logic behind his creation.
Thirdly, human lifespan is around 100 years. In this lifespan it is impossible to learn and achieve everything.
Do you think it was possible for scientists to invent things without the help of God?
I doubt that! Even if they didn’t believe in God, God would have still given them the required knowledge, wisdom and intelligence to invent things, because it was also God’s plan that technology should be invented.
What I personally believe is this- Science is never against God, and vice versa. In fact science helps us understand how great God is! We wouldn’t have known the greatness of God without the advancement of science. So let’s research more and learn science that we may understand the works of God. It’s fair to give God the due credit!
Personally speaking, I am really thankful to God for helping me study few of the basics of science, which helped me increase my faith in God. Thanks to all my teachers who taught me science.
I remember a verse from the Bible (from Psalms 19:1)
The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Let me summarize
- Human beings can never create anything out of nothing
- There is a beautiful, intelligent and perfect design in nature
- Most of the interesting ideas came from the things of nature
- We get to know all these by learning science
- All these studies points to the fact that there should be a designer who is behind all these
- If that designer is God, then we can say – God creates and science discovers
What are your thoughts on this? Please share your thoughts on this phrase God creates and Science discovers! We may discuss more on this in the upcoming posts. Kindly leave a comment below.