Complexity and the Cosmic Symphony


Image by Forest Wander

I’ve never understood the war between science and religion. Two of the things that I am most passionate about in this life is science and my faith. Not only do I see no dissonance between the two, I see perfect synergy. Science has helped shape the way that I view God and my faith has helped shape the way that I view the universe. We have an amazing opportunity to understand more about God by understanding more about his creation.

Modern physics has discovered an incredible amount about our universe. In the distant past, Matter was described as various combinations of earth, water, wind, and fire. The four elements were replaced with over 100 basic elements. Our knowledge of the basic elements reached all the way down to the level of the atom. We then moved past the atom with the discovery of the electron, the proton, and finally the neutron, but it didn’t stop there either. New particles are still being discovered today. The standard model now used in physics has uncovered 24 subatomic particles that make up the most basic elements, and this is just our understanding of the small-scale particles of the universe.

Just think about the incredible complexity that makes up a single atom. That complexity compounds upon itself into molecules. The complexity of molecules combine into the proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, and nucleic acid macromolecules that make up our biochemistry. The macromolecules combine together to form various organelles including the endoplasmic reticulum, the nucleus, the mitochondria, etc. Together, the various organelles make up cells, the cells make up tissues, the tissues make up organs, and the organs make up the organism.

If the entire universe was composed of one person, that person could still gaze upon the complexity of God’s creation with awe. The amount of detail that goes into each one of you is no accident. It is all a part of design. I can’t help but be inspired by the meticulous nature in which God formed all of us individually. When you really stop to consider the amount of thought that must have gone into creating you, one really starts to understand a part of what it means to be omniscient, but the vastness of God doesn’t even begin there.

The scale of complexity continues with millions of species, habitats, ecosystems, and earth itself. Even the earth, in its greatness, isn’t even a speck in the creation into which God has poured his heart. Take a few minutes to watch this video and see just how far we are able to peer into God’s creation.

It’s easy to get lost in the scale of what we know of our universe, and we still have only hit the tip of the iceberg. Science will continue to uncover more and more about the world around us and I implore you to pay attention! This isn’t just a bunch of information to put you to sleep in class. This is God’s creation! Genesis tells us that God created the universe and said that it was good. If God sees inherent value in our universe, then shouldn’t we?

As theoretical physics pushes on to find the unifying theory that will explain all of the natural world, we should be interested in what lies on the horizon. String theory suggests that all of the subatomic particles that make up matter are composed of small loops of string which vibrate at a given frequency in order to give each particle charge, mass, and even force. The strings vibrate like a violin plays a note, and everything else plays along. Do you see the beauty in this? All of this complexity from quarks to galaxies is like a cosmic symphony. God has written the song of creation and, like the great conductor, plays the song for us. If we search for a deeper understanding of the science behind God’s creation, then we learn how to listen to the music. Are you listening?

Eric McClellan is a medical student and blogs at this site

THEOLOGY21 is a co-op of authors dedicated to renovating theology for a new generation, taking the ancient truths of scripture and theology and speaking to the post-Christian culture of the 21st century. To keep up-to-date on all things THEOLOGY21, Give our Facebook page a “like”, follow our twitter page, add yourself to our email list, or subscribe to our feed!

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