Phones, Physics, and God

I got a free smartphone with a new mobile account a little over a year ago.  It was a fun toy at first. I downloaded a couple of stupid apps, and enjoyed the novelty of checking Facebook/email from the phone.

But now I run our lives from that thing.

It is my calendar and my alarm clock. It has my grocery and to-do lists on it.  I use it to track our budget, and even my personal fitness plan.  It is the hub from which I am currently playing four or five different scrabble games. It is my mp3 player and my camcorder. It is my dictionary and my primary Bible.

If all that didn’t make me altogether too dependent on the wonderful little gadget, I recently discovered that I can download e-books and audio books from my local library right onto my phone!

I didn’t waste any time. I’m currently reading two (phone) books and listening to one. And I just finished listening to The Case for a Creator, by Lee Strobel.

Aside from a few of the more technical discussions on physics and cosmology, Strobel’s book was a great one to listen to casually as I made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, picked up toys, and folded laundry. It was humbling and awe-inspiring to learn of the incomprehensible amount of fine-tuning of the universe that was necessary to make the earth a habitable planet. It was fascinating to get a glimpse into the incredibly intricate machinery of a cell, and the vast amounts of information contained in a strand of DNA.

Interestingly, though, there was something about this book that grabbed my attention even more than the evidence for intelligent design—the personal reflections of the scientists themselves. It was just plain old inspiring to hear them describe how their studies have bolstered their faith or taught them things about God’s character and intentions.

“I think of the wry smile that might be on the lips of God as, in the last few years, all sorts of evidence for the reliability of the Bible and for his creation of the universe and life have come to light. I believe he’s caused them to be unveiled at his providence and that he delights when we discover his fingerprints in the vastness of the universe…in the dusty relics of paleontology and in the complexity of the cell. So, exploring the scientific and historical evidence for God is not only a cognitive experience, it’s also an act of worship for me.”

—Stephen C. Meyer, Ph.D., Director of Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture, and author of Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design (HarperOne 2009).

“Over and over again, the extraordinary conditions that create a hospitable environment on earth also happen to make our planet strangely well suited for viewing analyzing, and understanding the universe…To find that we have a universe where the very places where we find observers, are also the very best overall places for observing—that’s surprising!”

—Jay W. Richards, Ph.D., Vice President Discovery Institute, and co-author of  The Privileged Planet (Regnery Publishing, Inc., 2004).

“My conclusion, frankly, is that the universe was designed for observers living in places where they can make scientific discoveries. There may be other purposes to the universe, but at least we know that scientific discovery was one of them.”

—Guellermo Gonzalez, Ph.D., Assistant professor of astronomy at Iowa State University and co-author of The Privileged Planet (Regnery Publishing, Inc., 2004).

“I see physics as uncovering the evidence of God’s fingerprint at a deeper and more subtle level than the ancients could’ve dreamed of. The heavens really do declare the glory of God. Even more so for soneone trained in physics and with eyes to see…The deeper we dig, we see that God is more subtle and more ingenious, and more creative than we ever thought possible. And I think that’s the way God created the universe for us – to be full of surprises.”

—Robin Collins, Ph.D., Professor of Philosophy at Messiah College.

That last bit really resonated with me, because I think heaven is full of intentional surprises that God is excited for us to discover. Why? Well, it just fits with his self-revelation in the Bible, and with how I experience his creation now. The above quotes all touch on this theme in one way or another. God made the universe in such a way that it is full of discoverable miracles. Some are rather obvious, and others require a good deal of investigation, but all of them can teach us something about him.

 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made…    Romans 1:20 

Personally, I’ve been chewing on these thoughts:

He wants to be sought and seen through what he has made. God’s creativity is an expression of his mind. He has shared it with us in a very humble and vulnerable way—the gift of life, and a world to live it in. Will I take the time to see him, and know him better through the beauty and complexity of what he has made?

He had us in mind. This world was made for us to cultivate and enjoy. God’s intentions for us have not changed. Our discovery is his delight. Sin puts a kink in things, but someday, we will once again enjoy God’s creative beauty unfettered—and the pleasure will be both ours and his.

but just as it is written, “THINGS WHICH EYE HAS NOT SEEN AND EAR HAS NOT
HEARD, AND which HAVE NOT ENTERED THE HEART OF MAN, ALL THAT GOD HAS PREPARED FOR THOSE WHO LOVE HIM.”      1 Corinthians 2:9

Your turn. What have you learned about God from creation/nature/science?

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5 thoughts on “Phones, Physics, and God”

  1. Smartphone huh. Sounds like something I could use, then maybe I wouldn’t lose my grocery list – but what if I lost the phone?

    There are many balances out in the universe, here on earth, the human body, that are to be sustained that we may live life. My heart could almost stop at the realization at how our God not only brought into exsistence these outrageously so-not-the-Big-Bang theory balances, but as well, maintains them. Okay, so I’ll keep the pumping of my heart. But I will fall more deeply in love with my Lord at how He is so intentional with all that He created, all elements, all properties, all organisms and saw that it was good.

    All that is, is defined by His dictionary.

    Question: Does anything here on earth ever really vanish into nothing? e.g. If you took a strand of dust and sliced it in half, quarters, eighths, and so on, does it eventually dissolve into nothing or continue to become infinitely smaller for eternity?

    1. Losing the phone is a definite possibility, but I find I am much more motivated to make sure I don’t lose track of a $300 phone than a $.05 scrap of paper.

      The eternality of matter? You’re asking the wrong lady. Go find a science or philosophy blog… 🙂

  2. Hey there. I’ve missed you. Changed my email address and had a host of sites disconnected. Only just catching up!
    For DND Baby, the old question was, “How many angels can you fit on a pin head?” The new question that challenges manufactures of smartphones and nanotechnology is something like, “How many calculations can be done on a pinhead?” or “How small can a computer chip become?”
    But I love the idea that God created the universe to be full of surprises, and your follow up that heaven is just the same.
    Take care.

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