Ours is a world of immense complexity and confounding questions. Mankind’s devotion to science and to religion reveals our deep desire to make sense of it all.
Science and faith have revealed otherly realms normally unobservable to our physical senses. Both have uncovered universes we never knew existed. From the macro to the micro, our accumulated knowledge has yielded information and wisdom which have partially tamed the physical universe and freed us somewhat from the bonds of materiality.
“You will experience for yourselves the truth, and the truth will free you.” Jesus’ statement uttered over two millennia ago is the impulse for the theology he taught. It also happens to be the underpinning of all scientific enterprise. Revealing fundamental truth is the incentive of religion and scientific endeavor. The resulting discernment encourages freedom to express mastery over life’s perplexities.
Jesus’ life was divinely inspired. His service to God, love of mankind, and unrelenting reliance on an infinite wisdom he referred to as “my Father” is obvious and recorded in Scripture for the ages.
At the same time Jesus’ life was profoundly scientific. How so? Read more…
Spontaneous remissions of incurable illness, near-death experiences, and dramatic healings from integrative methods: Mike Denny has seen it all. Making sense of it has been his life’s mission.
“There are events that occur that are not measurable or explainable by ordinary science,” Denny says. The retired surgeon got his start in Detroit, before settling in California in 1969. Maybe settling is not the best choice of words, since Denny’s extraordinary career spans the globe, not to mention many decades.
Early on, Denny discovered his “magnificent obsession” to become a doctor and “protect people from death.” He recalls his very first case as a medical student, an unordinary one, when he was assigned to a patient who happened to have a spontaneous remission of incurable cancer. His professors and hospital staff couldn’t explain it.
Like all med students, Denny had been taught the parameters of scientific observation and evaluation, and the objectivity of the patient/doctor relationship without intimacy. Read more…
“Turtles all the way down.” That’s the now famous response to a scientist’s inquiry as told in an anecdote by Stephen Hawking in A Brief History of Time. After explaining the basics of astronomy and the relationship between the earth and sun, a little old lady expresses her disbelief to the scientist and pipes up, “The world is really a flat plate supported on the back of a giant tortoise.”
Hawking continues, “The scientist gave a superior smile before replying, ‘What is the tortoise standing on?’ ‘You’re very clever, young man, very clever,’ said the old lady. ‘But it’s turtles all the way down.’”
There’s both humor and heartbreak in the old lady’s retort. Such determinism has propelled the achievements of many a visionary. It also illustrates the stifling nature of a stubborn dogma that can blind thinkers and shutter what should be the open-minded nature of true science and scholarship.
Today’s healthcare practices offer a similar dichotomy: the unyielding resolve to understand the nature of human systems for the betterment of health pitted against a tenacious faith in the doctrine of materialism. Is the domain of medicine merely the “flat plate” of physicality, measuring and manipulating matter? Or is there something more to it, something fundamentally diverse and substantially more dynamic? I’m referring to the solid evidence that our spirituality – our tie to a greater consciousness – has a big impact on our health. Read more…
Ah-ha moments often signal sudden insight into a perplexing problem. For my sister years ago it was the discovery that pickles come from cucumbers. The look on her face was precious.
Inspiration has played a significant role in more important scientific breakthroughs throughout the ages. It’s a wonder why the debate over the compatibility between science and faith rages on considering the inspiration involved in both.
“Science and faith don’t mix!” That axiom just doesn’t hold up in light of recent studies that show nearly 50% of scientists identify with a specific faith tradition and an even greater number (66% of natural scientists and 69% of behavioral scientists) show interest in spirituality.
It’s just possible that the narrow definition of science as solely a rational-based empirical process misses the mark. Sure, real science incorporates sound reasoning coupled with accurate assessment through experimentation and observation.
But what about inspiration? Does it have a place in scientific research?
“Given that some prominent scientists over the years have opined that God must be kept out of science – or that science will no longer be science, it is an important finding that many theistic scientists believe that God’s inspiration and blessing have been integral to their own scholarly efforts,” according to a qualitative research study recently published in Explore Journal .
Elegant mathematical calculations tell scientists that everything they see in the universe, the stars, planets and galaxies, only comprise 4% of the universe. If correct, that means 96% is made of stuff that can’t be observed or identified. Heck, they don’t really know what it is.
The terms dark matter and dark energy have been coined to assist in explaining this invisible phenomena. Scientists are in the dark. There is a concerted effort underway and billions of dollars being invested to prove the theory accurate. They are taking it on faith that what they can’t see or understand is real. What does that sound like?
Science, like religion, involves faith. While science is all about knowledge, many don’t consider just how much faith is integrated into the scientific model.
Science has long enjoyed the reputation as the bastion of reason. This standing is partly deserved. Rigorous testing and validation of hypotheses is a means to truth. Yet, part of science’s reputation is arguably owed to its refusal to ask the tough questions. Why are the laws that govern the universe the way they are? What established them? Science has long resisted inquiry into this line of questioning.
And even as scientists relinquish their narrow focus and consider these big questions, the results are anything but satisfying. Chaos theory seems to abandon reason. Multiverse theory appears to avoid the whole mess of why physical laws act the way they do by tossing them into another realm beyond our own universe. This throws the long-held concepts of universal constants (like the speed of light) onto the trash heap. Continue reading Science: Take it on faith→
Writing about the connections between health, thought, and spirituality