Friday, September 07, 2007

Science and religion: memorize this concept

The world of science lives fairly comfortably with paradox. We know that light is a wave, and also that light is a particle. The discoveries made in the infinitely small world of particle physics indicate randomness and chance, and I do not find it any more difficult to live with the paradox of a universe of randomness and chance and a universe of pattern and purpose than I do with light as a wave and light as a particle. Living with contradiction is nothing new to the human being.

By Madeline L'Engle (1918-2007), who died today, although her website hasn't mentioned it yet.

HT to Rod Dreher who links to the New Republic blog The Plank.

I LOVE this concept! Of course there is mental tension when thinking about science. Everybody who takes a physics class, even at an introductory level, runs across the mind-bender questions like "Astronaut Bob is flying away from Astronaut Adam at 80% of the speed of light. They fire at each other. Who dies first?" But does the atheist say that the unseeable but reasonable supposition that light is a wave and a particle means that scientists are deluded folk with magic invisible particles helping them see?

God rest her soul. Even on the day of her death, she was teaching me.


Roz said...

I'm going to miss her. Her Wrinkle in Time was one of the happiest discoveries of my 6th grade year. I still use the term "tesseract" that I learned there, simply because there's no good English equivalent -- or wasn't until the invention of "hyperlink".

Therese Z said...

I don't think I've ever read it. I'd better go do that right now if only in gratitude for her filling an empty slot in my Evangelism toolbox...



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"There is no God who condones taking the life of an innocent human being. This much we know."

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