Saturday, June 12, 2010

The Unseen Hand of God

I've lost my religion these days, but my fall from grace wasn't led by anger or a desire to be immoral, it was through study and understanding, and I am now more of a biblical scholar than I ever was during the height of my True Belief. I no longer see religion as a magical gift to His Special Creation, nor as an organization of people whose primary benefit is to not have a real job, because they can con enough people into giving them money every week. I see that it is a little of both, and a lot of what's in between.

Religion gives some people a calmness and peace that an Unbeliever cannot comprehend. But for most people, it only does this sometimes. At other times it "prevents us from having fun". Most of the religious men my age, that I know, would have been more promiscuous, been a "player", when they were younger, if they knew life was going to turn out the way it did.

As an agnostic, whose walked the gamut of Christianity, I find that notion a bit abhorrent. Dishonorable. If I had it to do over, I probably would not even have had sex until I was 20, and I would have kept all notions of marriage out of my head as nonsense until after college!

I didn't understand how in control of my thoughts and behavior my primitive mind was. Most people do not.

But this morning I added another positive of God. While there may be a few downsides to the notion of God, religious wars and intolerance. The Unseen Hand of God moves us daily, even the Agnostic and the Atheist.

Scientists have observed for the first time, the self-assembly of "buckyballs". (geodesic dome houses are buckyballs) When they work with new nano-graphite materials they self-assemble into a variety of shapes depending on what gas they're cooking them in, or what temperature...

They were doing an experiment to make some buckyballs, and they got to see them forming up out of the "graphene substrate" a sheet of graphene, nanoscale graphite. And it just zips itself up! It's rather astonishing. The buckyball is the most stable graphene structure so it just kinda "happens". They don't fully understand why.

While I was watching it, I had the notion "It's as if the hand of God is assembling them before our very eyes." And it dawned on me, God's greatest power, where knowledge is concerned. Irregardless of whether or not He exists in reality, simply using the metaphor "As if the Hand of God assembled them" is enough to inspire great minds, Believer and UnBelierver alike, to look closer, to try to understand the mystery.

Throughout the last several thousand years God and Science have been at odds with one another, in a rather bloody and uncooth game of "crossing the line". Religion draws a line, "The Earth is Flat!" and back then, crossing that line could get you killed. "The Sun revolves around the Earth," Many people died to move this line for us, and today we all take it for granted that the Earth indeed moves about the Sun. And God is still with us, and the Heavens did not fall, and the Gates of Hell did not open up.

He's zipping up buckyballs before our very eyes and showing us a Universe larger than we can imagine, and probably chock full of life. And yet, we still fight over whose Book is True and invisible lines in the sand.

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