Something New

“Can you bind the beautiful Pleiades? Can you loose the chords of Orion? Can you bring forth the constellations in their seasons, or lead out the bear with its cubs? Do you know the law of the heavens? Can you set up God’s dominion over the earth?” (Job 38:31-33).
Some time ago the American Astronomical Society announced some startling discoveries (Time Magazine, January 22, 2001, page 51). The first was a pair of planets that whirl around their sun in a neighboring solar system in perfect lockstep. “Nobody,” says Geoffrey Marcy of the University of California, Berkeley, “has ever seen such a configuration.” The second discovery is a planet in the solar system that is 17 times as large as Jupiter. Astronomers don’t know how this gargantuan planet remains in orbit. Seeing a planet this huge, says Marcy, “is a bit frightening.”
Actually, what’s frightening is how little astronomers know about planets. Apparently they have assumed that other solar systems would be much like our own. They can assume no longer. “Each new find seemed stranger than the last.” Says Princeton’s Scott Tremaine, “Not a single prediction for what we’d find in other systems turned out to be correct.” He explains that “when your classification schemes start breaking down, you know you’re learning something exciting.”
For about a hundred years science has taken on a role historically reserved for deity. Science has become omniscient; it is all seeing, all wise, and will solve all problems. The words “Science says …” has become a mantra of orthodoxy. Anyone who questions science is metaphorically “burned at the stake,” and like ancient book burning ceremonies, the contrary views of preachers have been banned from schools and from public debate.
Which brings me to the article above. It strikes me that in reality scientists don’t know that much at all. They are constantly being surprised by their findings, whether it be in the heavens, the human body, or in their examinations of early man. It is high time that scientists demonstrated a little humility. They are following a long paper trail, leading they know not where, and are only beginning to discern the thoughts of a creator. Every few years or so they have to announce a mea culpa, and tell us they are reevaluating everything.
Long, long ago, the creator queried Job regarding the nature of the universe. Humans really have learned little since.

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Stan Mitchell

Stan has preached since 1976, in Zimbabwe, California, Texas and Tennessee. He serves as preacher for the Red Walnut Church of Christ in Bath Springs, TN. He is currently Professor of Bible at Freed-Hardeman University. He is married to the former Marjorie McCarthy, and has one daughter, Tracy Watts. He is the author of four books: The Wise Get Wiser, the Foolish More Foolish: The Book of Proverbs, Give the Winds a Mighty Voice: Our Worship in Song, and Equipping the Saints for Ministry. He has recently published another book, "Will Our Faith Have Children: Developing Leadership in the Church for the Next Generation.

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