Thursday, August 17, 2006

Fun With Planets

When I was in first grade, I made a lame painting of the "9" planets that orbit our sun. It was for a science fair. The project was 100% made by me (hence the lameness), but I was very capable of describing each of the planets in great detail to the judges as they stopped by.

Unfortunately, my display of the current knowledge of planets at the time was not enough to win the blue ribbon. Apparently my watercolor and marker painting on plywood didn't make the cut. But the judges were very impressed with my command of the facts. Thank you very much.

Of course even then, there was talk of a mysterious and possible "planet X" out there. We always thought that sounded cool, although it was highly debated among scientists. So when I discovered the news yesterday about the discussions about planets within the scientific community that are currently going on, I was very interested. First grade curiosity is hard to shake, sometimes.

It seems there is some disagreement right now about what constitutes a "planet" and it is very possible that the new accepted understanding will be that there are 12 planets instead of 9 making their way around that lucky old sun. If that happens, there will be a lot of textbooks and educational toys and my 1st grade science project that will need to be updated.

This little news item inspired me to scribble the following cartoon as I was about to head out the door tonight. Sorry for the lame drawing, but I was in a hurry. A quick scribble, a fast scan and there you go. ...How bout that hair? (Feel free to pass it along, by the way. ...The Cartoon, not the hair....)

Actually, generally speaking, when people say that they "believe" or "trust" in science, they really mean that they believe in the scientific method. I do too. It works pretty well for what it was designed to do.

Unfortunately, science and the scientific method cannot adequately answer the ultimate questions of life or really even the origin of life. The changing nature of the facts derived through the scientific method make it the wrong discipline for discovering answers of meaning and purpose.

Faith and science do not have to always be in conflict. By their very nature they will sometimes be at odds on ultimate issues, but do not have to cancel each other out.

Faith in scientific "facts" alone, however, is fairly shaky for maintaining certainty, because the "facts" could change at any moment. That makes the definition of "fact" itself a little shaky, also. Not to mention that it's a fairly cold and empty way to live life on the third rock from the sun.

Faith in Christ, however, provides a rock solid stability that is not shaken by the latest "changing of the facts" that results from the latest scientific discovery. He's trustworthy and constant.
Colossians 1:15-17
15 Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before God made anything at all and is supreme over all creation.
Christ is the one through whom God created everything in heaven and earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can't see – kings, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities. Everything has been created through him and for him.
He existed before everything else began, and he holds all creation together.
Science, Faith and a Cartoon.

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