Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Changing for Better

In every field of human endeavor we strive, or should strive, to increase our knowledge and improve our performance. So it is with science. Scientists attempt to increase their knowledge of how the world functions. In turn, they try to apply that knowledge for man's benefit. Abuse of science knowledge could also work to man's detriment. But most accomplishments of scientists have improved our quality of life. Technology (applied science) has been used for the benefit of man for thousands of years, but the advances of the past two hundred years would seem like science fiction to our 18th century forebears.

If people of Old Testament times could see evidence of God in the natural world of their day and give glory to Him in their holy writings, how much more in the present day? In Psalm 8 David considered the beauty of the heavens, the moon, and the stars as evidence of God's glory and of His care and love for man. Psalm 121 expresses the inspiration to be gained from "the hills" and proclaims the Lord as "the Maker." Job 28 speaks of refining iron and copper, exploration of "roots of mountains" and "sources of the rivers," and a "path for the thunderstorm." Our 21st century knowledge of astronomy, geology, and meteorology, however, has increased a thousandfold.

We now comprehend the structure of our universe, galaxy, and solar system in intricate detail, as well as the chemical and physical activity in many different types of celestial bodies. We've gained a wealth of knowledge about geological processes such as the mineral recycling afforded by plate tectonics, the possibility of predicting earthquakes, and finding additional fossil fuel resources. We've studied and now understand weather phenomena and climatological statistics, much to the advantage of agriculturalists.

Some feel the proliferation of such knowledge glorifies the ability of man, leaving him with less need for God. A spiritually enlightened view, however, enables us to see more of God's glory in the physical realm through modern discoveries of science.