Posted by: LucidMystery | March 3, 2013

Your Visual Diet…Watch What You Eat! Erm…See

In a class last semester, I read a psychology paper in PlosOne that introduced me to the concept of a “visual diet.” I’m pretty sure I technically learned the basic idea years ago in colloquial, cartoonish terms from an old episode of McGee and Me; but the meaning simply is that when you see similar images over and over (your “diet”), you associate those images with what should be considered normal. You then go on to apply those ideas of normal to your everyday life. In my paper’s case, it was shown that women would prefer the body types that they were exposed to the most. If the study women were shown image after image of affluent plus-sized women, they would rank larger body sizes as ideal. Alternately, when the women were shown image after image of thin affluent women, the study subjects would conclude that thinness was the ideal size standard. (Non-PDF of the article here.)

This concept doesn’t just apply to women, though; and it can lead to whole different set of concerns for men. A couple days ago, a non-academic article came out suggesting that hyper-masculine ads (read, aggressive, overtly sexual, alpha-male kind of ads) tend to appear in highest frequency in periodicals targeted at young men in tougher socioeconomic situations–which does nothing but exacerbate an already difficult life. The ads suggest to men that in order for them to be perceived above their current social position, they need to emulate what they see from these “real men.” I don’t know about y’all, but even though I can appreciate a bit of muscle and a smidge of cocky from guys every now and then…I don’t particularly fancy the skeezy, beer-chugging, sorority-girl-groping, overly-ripped fellas who grace the pages of many a men’s magazine. (Here is the article from Slate.com, but just as a heads’ up there’s a bit of swearing right at the beginning. I think it’s a solid read, though.)

So…what’s my point? Well, my point is that a problem arises when what you see might not be what you’re going to get–no matter how much you’re exposed to what you think you’re going to get. That conclusion may sound obnoxiously wordy yet mildly innocuous, but it’s actually a major problem: just because you see something over and over again, that doesn’t make the image true/logical/ideal. If we point back to that idea of the women’s paper, we already know exactly what the problem is there. Women and girls today are bombarded with images of thin, attractive Hollywood women (many of them Photoshopped beyond reality); and we assume that an impossible level of perfection is “normal.” When we realize this “normalcy” is not attainable, some of us torture ourselves with dangerous eating habits or spend more money than we have on beauty products to help us become unreal, airbrushed beauties. On the other hand, we can point back to the men’s example and see that there is bound to be a problem when aloof, “hit-it-and-quit-it” sexual prowess is deemed normal, when in fact it has created devastating situations of unprepared single mothers abandoned to fend for themselves and their babies. Or worse (well, actually I’m not sure which is worse), when young men are provided with the notion that enviable hyper-masculinity is achieved through brute strength, it opens another gateway for violence–whether against other men or even women and children.

This issue of visual diet expands way beyond just the two situations that I’ve focused on here, of course. Everything about the world around us is constantly telling us what cars we should be driving, what jobs are the most glamorous, what we should believe, what food we should be eating, how we should treat other people, what phones we should be using, what we should think about different demographics, what movies we should be watching (oo, the cycle continues!), etc etc. I definitely think that glorified violence in movies and video games has an impact on young men already in a troubled state (though I doubt that’s a real root); and a pet peeve of mine is that whenever the word “environmental” comes into conversation, a tree-hugging hippie comes to mind to tune folks out! And, I’ll be honest if not popular, I do think that increased sexuality on TV and in movies is feeding our hypersexual culture that includes absurd divorce and infidelity rates. So maybe what we get is a distorted version of what we see…

Well, I just presented a problem, but I have no real solution. I guess we’ll say I’m just raising awareness. Be mindful, young Padawan. There really is no way to block out the constant stream of information and influence around you other than to take note of what you surround yourself with and to remember that you’ll reflect that whether you mean to or not. So good luck out there!

**On a highly personal note, ladies, remember God called His daughters all beautiful. All of us. Nose shapes and hair styles pass through in trends; but we women of Earth are timeless classics, far above whatever body type that Cosmopolitan and Glamor magazines thinks is best right now. You’re a work of art that has never existed before and never will again. Embrace it.

I’ve been going to church regularly for most of my life. It’s not something that’s foreign or distant for me, and I’ve found it to be both unsettling and exceptionally comforting, sometimes simultaneously. As someone with a decent idea of church is like, it bothers me when I hear someone expressing their view of what church is…and they have it all wrong. Worse yet, it really bothers me when I see an entire church going about their business…and they have it it all wrong. With that in mind, I just wanted to clear the air for anyone who has ever had a bad experience at a church or someone who refuses to go because of an idea they have about it.

First, let me just remind y’all that I’m no theologian, and this list is by no means the be-all-end-all definition of a church. It’s just some common misconceptions I’ve noticed. Second, I’m not saying this as the beginnings of my holier-than-thou movement. I do stupid crap all the time. Think Halloween 2009 and Jose Cuervo…enough said. I make bad choices like they’re going out of style! Then I realize how stupid I was and deal with the aftermath. I want to make it clear that I don’t have any illusions of myself in saintly grandeur. In spite of my best efforts, I miss the mark…a lot. But thank heavens that doesn’t mean He loves me less.

So…church…

What It Is:

—Something of a spiritual version of Weight Watchers or Alcoholics Anonymous—

That statement is a derivative of of this past week’s sermon by the awesome Kelvin Walker from NY. The man knows how to speak it, and this was a message I could really relate to. A few years ago, I was telling someone about the time my purse was stolen while I was in a church (granted, it was a homeschooling event, not an actual church event.) But as soon as I highlighted to this person that my purse was stolen from within a church, he replied coldly “Well that’s not surprising.” Offended and indignant, I had no idea how to respond. He was referring to the number of hypocritical people who regularly attend church and pretend to be Super Christians, but in reality are snarky jerks. What I didn’t think to explain to him at the time was that church is not supposed to be a place for perfect people who have it all together (or heavens knows the pews would be empty!) True, there are some hypocrites who legit don’t care about what they do Monday-Saturday as long as they look shiny good on Sunday, but most people in church really do have good intentions…but they fail sometimes. This brings me to the Weight Watchers and AA metaphor. Do only skinny people go to Weight Watchers? Do only completely sober folks go to AA? Um, heck no. Kind of defeats the point. We’re all struggling with something, and church was supposed to be the place we could go to get help and support from each other. When Jesus was here, the people He talked to first were the criminals: thieves, hookers, etc, etc. Wouldn’t we expect to see all of these folks in church then? Um, well, we should. But look under the first point in “What It Is Not” to realize why we don’t.

—A place of worship—

I will clarify first that you most certainly do not need to be in church to worship! Songs are always bouncing around my head, and I doubt God prefers my church singing voice to my lab singing voice 🙂 That being said, it’s such a safe feeling to be surrounded by other believers during church worship! I sometimes try to imagine God smiling as He hears us all together, the tone-deaf and beautiful voices all together–He made them all, so He must love them all! 

—A place of learning—

 As a scientist, it’s hard for me to accept an idea without reasoning or evidence (unless my research advisor tells me it’s true 😉 Contradictory as it may sound, my faith works the same way. I need to know why I believe what I believe, and church gives that to me. Each week, my pastor (who is amazing, by the way!) breaks down something from the Word that I never would have found on my own. He explains passages and gives historical context, in short helping me understand basic elements of Christianity that I probably would have either overlooked or not realized.

What It Is Not: 

—A place of judgment—

This is a major reason why we don’t often see folks who will break down in church and say “I’m an addict” or “I had an abortion” or “I steal” or “I like to drink on the weekends.” People are afraid of being judged, and the church has acquired a stereotype of being harshly judgmental. I won’t lie and say that many churches don’t deserve that adjective, but that’s not how it was meant to be. Christians were called to love EVERYONE. We don’t have to love all actions, but love all people. A very important distinction. If someone with a history of drugs, gang involvement, or adultery walks off the street and into a church, they are to be treated no less kindly than the little old lady who has worked in the church office all her life. Jesus said that the world should recognize us by the way we love one another, not by the way we keep tabs on how often someone falls off the wagon or by how we turn up our noses at the pregnant 15 year old girl.

The catch is that sometimes you have to love someone too much to let them stay the way they are. Let me expand on my last two examples. If you’re in a good church and you’ve admitted to people you’re an alcoholic, odds are you’ll be given five different phone numbers from people who want to help keep you accountable (and again, odds are at least one or two of those five have shared your struggle.) Does that mean these people are judging? No, it means they aren’t going to let that person fight their battle alone. With the example of a 15 year old pregnant girl, she will probably be strongly encouraged to change the lifestyle that led her to her situation.

And as a sidenote, a church that is actually following what the Bible says will never shun someone. I’m definitely not saying that a blatant wrong will be ignored, but there are ways to handle when a person within the church knows that they are doing wrong (and refuse to correct it). The answer is not to shut someone out completely, though.

—A place where unrealistically chirpy people all get together and gush about how happy and perfect their lives are—

Gag me with a wooden spoon. If any of you have ever attended a church like this, I apologize and I would love to introduce these people to a little book called “The Bible.” Let me be exceptionally frank about this: God is not going to make your life perfect. Let’s just quote The Princess Bride “Life is pain, highness. Anyone who says otherwise is selling something.” A lot of phony pastors and tv preachers will tell you how perfect and happy and rich you’ll be once you start following God–and by “follow God” they mean give them money by calling right now on this toll-free number. Well, that’s a crockpot of crap with a sidedish of megacrap. If Jesus Himself was born into a working class family and told people wealth would be among your biggest stumbling blocks…why on Earth would He…I’m not even going there. But back to the point about having a perfect life…I’m going to be honest and say that following God makes your life harder in a lot of ways (even if it’s something as simple as turning down a night out that you will know end in compromise.) But since when has anything that’s easy been worth anything? Case and point, working on my PhD is killing me–it’s frustrating when my experiments don’t work and everyday I cringe that I’m just barely smart enough to be here, if I’m actually smart enough to be here at all! But if getting a PhD was easy, it wouldn’t be worth anything. I’ll go with another Hollywood moment and quote Tom Hanks in A Leauge of Their Own, “It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The hard… is what makes it great.” Christians don’t have perfect lives, but we do have Someone who walks with us every step of the way.

—A happy-go-lucky social gathering—

Some churches are like an ongoing potluck! Just keep bringing the meatloaf and apple pies, and we can keep singing toe-tapping songs that no one really understands the lyrics of. We’ll baptize somebody, dedicate a few babies, marry a cute couple, read a Bible verse or two, and then start up another round of meatloaf! Ummm, nooooo. Now don’t get me wrong, some of my best friends in life have come from churches I attended and “socialized” at, but church is more than that. It’s a place of accountability, a place of worship, a place to learn more about what you believe and why, a place to serve the community through outreaches. Part of what I love about my current church is how much work they do to help the neighborhood. They have all sorts of counseling groups, financial advice and services, career help, urban youth sports leagues, after-school tutoring, and the list goes on and on! Here again is that thing about Christians being called to love everyone. And loving on someone doesn’t just mean hanging out (although it can!) It means serving people.

Well, as I said before, this is not a comprehensive list, it’s just some thoughts I’ve been chewing on today. Please comment!

Posted by: LucidMystery | August 20, 2010

Memory Lane…

Well, it most certainly sounds like me to follow up theology and an extended absence with cartoons!

Somedays, I just feel tired of being a grown-up, and this is most certainly one of them! When I get in this kind of mood, I resort to the old and the familiar…Disney! But I don’t mean the modern world of Disney, all CGI and no songs. Don’t get me wrong, I teared up during both “Toy Story 3” and “Up,” and who can’t laugh at “Monsters Inc!” Still, there was something magic about the old Disney movies, and whatever that was, it’s gone now. Maybe it was the gentle beauty and geniuine artistry behind the old hand-drawn films, maybe it was seeing all of the bedtime fairytales living out their stories on the screen, or maybe it was just that magic touch from old Walt himself, Whatever it is, sometimes I just need to get a little of it in my system to keep me from going crazy in the dreaded “real world.”

This one is an anthem of sorts. Who hasn’t had a good dream they wished they hadn’t awakened from? Especially when the real life you go back to isn’t the most exciting. This song is the hopeful song you can hum to yourself in the morning 🙂

Mmmm, this one plays with love-at-first-sight, more of those wishing dreams, and cute little animal friends. Where can you go wrong?

This one isn’t as old as the previous two, but I was only 6 or 7 when the movie came out, so it still brings me back.  I can’t quite determine what makes this song so heartachingly beautiful…I guess it just…is.

And last but most certainly not least, the epitome of Disney magic at its height. This one just brings back memories of being a kid with mom, dad, and my sister at Disney World, watching the fireworks and wishing I could be the girl who played Tinkerbell 🙂

Posted by: LucidMystery | April 12, 2009

Ever Get So Excited You Can’t Think of What To Say?

After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men. The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; He has risen, just as He said.”   –Matthew 28:1-6a (emphasis added by moi).

Posted by: LucidMystery | April 10, 2009

Good Friday

Watch The Lamb

by Ray Boltz

 Walking On the Road
To Jerusalem,
The time had come to sacrifice again,
My two small sons,
They walked beside me on the way,
The reason that they came,
Was to watch the lamb…
And they said,
“Daddy daddy,
What will we see there?
There’s so much that we don’t understand,”
So I told them of Moses,
And Father Abraham,
And then I said dear children,
“Watch the lamb.
There will be so many,
In Jerusalem today,
We must be sure the lamb,
Doesn’t run away,”
And I told them of Moses,
And Father Abraham,
And I said “Dear children,
Watch the lamb.”

When we reached the city,
I knew something must be wrong,
There were no joyful worshippers,
No joyful worship songs,
And I stood there,
With my children,
In the midst of angry men,
Then I heard a crowd cry out,
“Crucify Him!”
We tried to leave the city,
But we could not get away,
Forced to play in this drama,
A part I did not want to play,
Why upon this day were men condemned to die?
Why were we standing right here,
Where soon they would pass by?
I looked and I said,
“Even now they come,”
The first one cried for mercy,
The people gave him none,
The second one was violent,
He was arrogant and loud,
I can still hear his angry voice,
Screaming at the crowd,

Then someone said,
“There’s Jesus,”
I scarce believed my eyes,
A man so badly beaten,
He barely looked alive,
Blood poured from His body,
From the thorns on His brow,
Running down the cross,
And falling to the ground,
I watched as He struggled,
And I watched Him when He fell,
The cross came down upon His back,
And the crowd began to yell,
In that moment I felt such agony,
In that moment I felt such loss,
Till the roman soldier grabbed my arm and screamed,
“YOU! Carry his cross!”

At first I tried to resist him,
But his hand reached for his sword,
So I knelt and I took
The cross from the Lord
I put it on my shoulders
We started down the street
And the blood that He’d been shedding,
Was running down my cheek…
They led us to Golgatha
They drove nails,
Deep in His feet and hands,
And on the cross,
I heard him pray,
“Father, forgive them…”
Never have I seen such love
In any other eyes
“Into thy hands I commit my spirit,”
He prayed,
And then He died.

I stood for what seemed like years,
I lost all sense of time,
Then I felt two tiny hands
Holding tight to mine
My children stood there weeping,
And I heard the oldest say
“Father please forgive us,
The lamb,
Ran away…
Daddy daddy,
What’ve we seen here,
There’s so much that we don’t understand,”
So I took them in my arms,
We turned and faced the cross
And I said
“Dear children
Watch the lamb.”

 

 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split. The tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs, and after Jesus’ resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many people.  When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, “Surely he was the Son of God!”  –Matthew 27:51-54

Posted by: LucidMystery | April 9, 2009

Giving Their Last

Anyone driving through Pittsburgh today knew that something was awry. Helicopters hovered low, roads were closed, traffic was horrendous, police and fire stations stood empty, and sirens could be heard all over the city for the better part of the day. The reason for this state was the memorial service for three police officers killed this past weekend by a random crazy whose only reasoning was to stick to Obama and gun control (brilliant logic, eh?)

The tragedy hit the city hard. One of the officers was even an alumnus of my own school and our flags waved at half-mast all this week. That gesture of grief seems painfully simple, though. I can’t even imagine what those officers’ families are going through right now, especially now as Easter rises on the horizon. Two of the men were dads with young kids. The third was engaged to be married.

Since I relate everything back to music, I wanted to find a song for them. The closest I could come across was actually a song that Tim McGraw wrote for soldiers in Iraq; but in all reality, it’s just as fitting for those men as it is for the soldiers. I guess the only difference is that they weren’t an ocean away from their families beforehand, but I highly doubt that is making the situation any easier for anyone right now.

So, Eric Kelly, Stephen Mayhle, and Paul Sciullo…this one is for you. Thank you for giving your last to protect our city.

 

If You’re Reading This

If you’re reading this
My momma is sitting there
Looks like I only got a one way ticket over here
I sure wish I could give you one more kiss
War was just a game we played when we were kids
Well I’m laying down my gun
I’m hanging up my boots
I’m up here with God
And we’re both watching over you

So lay me down
In that open field out on the edge of town
And know my soul
Is where my momma always prayed where it would go.
If you’re reading this I’m already home.

If you’re reading this
Half way around the world
I won’t be there to see the birth of our little girl
I hope she looks like you
I hope she fights like me
Stand up for the innocent and the weak
I’m laying down my gun
Hanging up my boots
Tell dad I don’t regret that I followed in his shoes

So lay me down
In that open field out on the edge of town
And know my soul is where my momma always prayed where it would go
If you’re reading this, I’m already home

If you’re reading this, there is going to come a day
You move on and find someone else and that’s okay
Just remember this
I’m in a better place
Soldiers live in peace and angels sing amazing grace

So lay me down
In that open field out on the edge of town
And know my soul is where my momma always prayed where that it would go
If you’re reading this
If you’re reading this
I’m already home

Posted by: LucidMystery | April 5, 2009

The Facts of Life

Well, I’d like to think of myself as a scientist, and what do we scientists do? We observe the world around us! So, for my own amusement, I have been making observations of what I consider to be the facts of life.

  • The waitress won’t check on your table until your mouth is full of chewy steak.
  • You won’t realize you have to go to the bathroom until you see a sign that says “Next Reststop 146 Miles.”
  • Your washer works fine when the Maytag guy comes to look at it.
  • Music will affect your mood as much as anything else in the world.
  • Saran wrap will stick to everything but the plate of leftovers.
  • Cheesecake tastes better when you’re on a diet.
  • Change isn’t always easy (actually, it’s usually pretty rough), but you always gain something from it.
  • The phone won’t ring until after you go to bed.
  • Experts tell you that travel by air is safest, but the first thing the flight attendants do is prepare you for a crash.
  • The first moment of laughing through tears feels like dropping a heavy load from your shoulders.
  • You will only have black underwear clean the day you only have white pants clean.
  • Running through a wide open field of wild flowers really is as magic as it seems in the movies.
  • Ice cream will always cure what ails you.
  • Wal-Mart is the root of all evil.
  • Androgeny exists, but gender roles persist.
  • If you are ever in a dark, creepy house and a madman killer in a hockey mask is chasing you, don’t run into the dark, creepy woods behind the house.
  • That hot guy/girl will be ten times more attractive once you realize he/she is already taken.
  • Life is contstantly undergoing revision. This could all be wrong tomorrow!
Posted by: LucidMystery | April 1, 2009

Today

So I was working in my lab today when in walked a leprachaun! A relatively short red-haired man, he had green tights, the green jacket and top hat–the whole package. I paused with my pipette in mid-air and just stared at him, his impish face grinning and a bag of gold dust in one hand. Oddly enough, I don’t think anyone else saw him, and I was too stunned to speak. Should I laugh or call the campus police?

Before I could think of something logical to do or say, he snapped the fingers on his free hand and suddenly I was spinning in a blinding darkness–it was so dark the tiny stars of light seemed too bright for words! Then I crash landed in an open field of grass on the edge of a big city. The leprachaun grinned again and sped off towards the city–gold dust spilling here and there from his sparkling bag. The closer we got to the city, the more I realized that this was no ordinary city. The skyscrapers were made of giant slabs of sugar cookies and gray icing while the cars were made out of hard candy. The leprachaun disappeared into the crowd of gummy bear people, and I was left alone next to the city square, where a giant cake made town hall.

Suddenly, a roar of gushing water came from nowhere, flooding the streets and washing away the sugary denizens. I was trying my best to stay afloat when a group of mermaids grabbed me and kept my head above water. They were swimming us over to the edge of town, where the current wasn’t as strong, when I saw the leprachaun come floating by on a raft made out of a giant Tupperware lid. He laughed at the struggle it was to keep me from succumbing to the rapids and dug his hand into his bag of gold. When he raised the hand back up, he let a fistful of gold dust sprinkle into the air and it fell all around us. With a bit of surprise, I realized that I was no longer having trouble swimming–because I had a mermaid tail! The other mermaids all laughed in delight and dove into the depths, waving me on to follow.

I swam behind them, almost keeping up. Though I would have expected below the surface to be be like the city that had just been deluged, I was amazed to find an underwater castle glittering silver and blue. The mermaids, whom I suddenly realized were princesses, led me to the castle to meet their brother, the merman prince. And considering he was half-fish, he was pretty hot. Before I had even reached the throne room, he was swimming through the castle’s great hall to greet me, and it was true love at first site. We swam through the underwater octopi gardens where Beatles music seem to emanate from the very corals. But just as leaned in to kiss me, I saw that leprachaun–inside a giant air bubble–impishly grinning just behind the prince. He snapped his fingers and I was jetted out of the water, through the sky, and landed back on my seat in the lab, with my pipette still in mid-air.

I frantically looked around. Everything was just as it had been before. YouTube still was playing songs on the computer behind me, Steph was still at work at her lab bench, and the undergrad was still working on physics homework. What a weird afternoon.

APRIL FOOL’S!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Had you going, didn’t I? You thought I had a crazy sweet day, didn’t you? Alas, I did not…but there is a trail of gold dust leading to my apartment door.

Posted by: LucidMystery | March 31, 2009

Feelin’ Emo

Ever have one of those days where you just want to turn on some Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, lay on some thick eye liner, squish yourself into a pair of skinny jeans, and wear a checkered button down over a thrift store t-shirt of an 80’s band while wearing a bandana around your neck and with your majorly side-parted hair combed in front of your face so you can only ever look at people with one eye? I thought you did. And I’m totally having one of those days now.

Actually, it’s just been one of those weeks. And considering it’s Tuesday, I don’t just mean yesterday and today; I mean the past 7 or 8 days have just been stressful and full of surprises that didn’t include anything particularly pretty, happy, or chocolately. Now granted, I did get a 24 hour break from my string of bad luck in the form of my younger sister visiting me over Saturday night. That was cool. But as soon as she left, I had to dive into the world of cell and molecular biology (which is not a pleasant world for me, I might add) to study for a test that I took and cringed at today. On top of worrying about my test, I was dealing with some struggles in the labs I teach, I had a rude awakening about what it means to live a state away from the people you care about, I learned that some things will never change no matter how annoying or bad they are, and worst of all…I learned that I can even screw up box mix brownies.

So what does this all mean? This all together calls for a session of self pity while eating the aforementioned screwed up brownies and listening to My Chemical Romance 😉

Posted by: LucidMystery | March 24, 2009

The Scientific Method: A Dogma of Its Own

I hear about the scientific method a lot. Of course, in my line of work as a bio grad student, this makes perfect sense. Within academia, the scientific method is hailed as the only way to find real solutions to real questions. As an undergrad, it was beaten into my head with such force that I would never have forgotten it–even without continuing on. If science is a worldview, then the scientific method is it’s dogma.

For all its praise, though, I just want to say that science will never solve all of nature’s mysteries because the scientific method has one huge flaw. For those of you who don’t know what I’m referring to, this is a basic order of events that make up the scientific method:

1.) Make an observation

2.) Make a hypothesis based on said observation

3.) Formulate an experiment to test hypothesis

4.) Cycle through the process of refining the hypothesis and redesigning/repeating the experiment

5.) Draw conclusion based on evidence from the experiment

6.) Eventually dub the hypothesis a theory (actually quite a feat to reach this point; saying “just a theory” is not a good rebuttal for anything.)

The flaw in this is that the scientific method is based completely on our own intellect, and I’m not so foolhardy as to suggest that we humans have it figured out. Good grief, look at scientific journals from ten years ago, and we’re already light years away! Back when I was a freshmen, I wasn’t even allowed to look at literature more than two years old, and many biology textbooks today are out of date before they go to print! Since our knowledge is constantly changing, and the universe is–for lack of more impressive wording–unfathomably huge, I think we need to be very careful whenever we claim to have any/all of the answers. Unless we want to look as smart as the ancient Egyptians who claimed with assertion that the human brain served no function. (And don’t say we don’t make mistakes like that anymore! It was within the last decade that we realized that tonsils and the appendix actually do have purposes!)

If you’re reading this blog, and you don’t know me, you might think I hate science at this point. On the contrary, I love it! But to quote Adrienne Rich: “To love a human face was to discover the cracks of paint and varnish on the brow.” So science isn’t a person, but the gist of it is true. When you love almost anything (and I genuinely mean love, not starry-eyed infatuation), you get close enough to discover its flaws. Those who don’t see flaws in science are kidding themselves because, for some, the scientific method is all they have to ground them in reality.

You could probably try to make the same argument against me, though, saying that if I love God enough, I should see His flaws. You might also say that if I retort that God has no flaws, that I’m contradicting myself. Well, I’ll have to accept that as your rebuttal, but I don’t think God is flawed. I think He does things I don’t like and don’t understand. But He’s the one Constant. Science is different today than it was yesterday. People are discovering new species, understanding new processes, and updating old ideas all the time in science. I can’t put all my trust in something so temporal or something that is based on my own reasoning. I don’t understand all of God, and I never will! But I trust that fact more than the scientific method.

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