Thoughts on Prometheus

I saw Prometheus on Tuesday.  The motivation for the protagonist in the film is to discover where humanity came from.  This search leads them to an earthlike planet, where things then go horribly, horribly wrong.  The acting was fine, the special effects were amazing, the premise was interesting. 

Prometheus is one more story that tries to make sense of the fact that there is very little in the world that can explain human life.  How did we get here, why are we different than the other creatures on the planet, how did all of this happen, and on and on.  I don’t think that Prometheus gives a good explanation to answering these questions and I have no question in my mind that actually answering these questions was not the writer’s, producer’s or director’s motivation for the film.  They needed a reason for the protagonists to go searching for answers. 

The really interesting thing for me in this film is that even thought the protagonists search leads to some really bad things happening to her and her lover, and her crew, she still holds on to her father’s cross.  She still chooses to believe in something.  The film does a pretty good job of allowing for uncertainty and faith in the life of the protagonist.  

I think this tenssion of uncertainty and faith is exactly where most Christians live day to day.  We have to constantly wrestle with the things that we read in scripture and what the things that we can see in the world and try to come to grips with all of it.  

I think this tension is also where every single person who has ever lived exists.  That’s the reason that we study science, philosophy, theology, literature, etc. We are searching for answers for why we are here and how we got here.  

As a Christian I am completely satisfied with there being a Creator God who made everything and made humanity in his image.  That makes sense to me.  I will never have all the answers to all the questions that that entails, but I can keep searching for the Creator, and I can see his work in everything around me, and the mysteries of creation and the Universe are even more spectacular because there is someone for whom these mysteries are not mysteries, and my search is ultimately to find him. Answers and clarity for these questions are by products of my search for the Creator.

God Particle

Has your kid ever asked why is there stuff?

If not then you are pretty lucky because that’s a pretty difficult question to answer.

As a Christian I believe that everything had it’s origin in God.  But why is there matter and stuff and why does that stuff matter, that’s where things get complicated.

Scientists have been trying to find this thing called the Higgs-Boson particle that theoretically could give some understanding to why things have matter.  It is completely theoretical because no one has ever seen it.  It’s been called the God particle and as Alister McGrath explains in this article it’s actually a great place to begin the search for God.

I am going to paste the last half of the article in this blog becuase I think Mcgrath gives some helpful understanding for the importance of science and how it relates to Christian faith.  The two are not mutually exclusive.

Some tell us that science is about what can be proved. The wise tell us it is really about offering the best explanations of what we see, realising that these explanations often cannot be proved, and may sometimes lie beyond proof. Science often proposes the existence of invisible (and often undetectable) entities – such as dark matter – to explain what can be seen. The reason why the Higgs boson is taken so seriously in science is not because its existence has been proved, but because it makes so much sense of observations that its existence seems assured. In other words, its power to explain is seen as an indicator of its truth.

There’s an obvious and important parallel with the way religious believers think about God. While some demand proof that God exists, most see this as unrealistic. Believers argue that the existence of God gives the best framework for making sense of the world. God is like a lens, which brings things into clearer focus. As the Harvard psychologist William James pointed out years ago, religious faith is about inferring “the existence of an unseen order” in which the “riddles of the natural order” can be explained.

There’s more to God than making sense of things. But for religious believers, it’s a great start.

 

Science and Faith

I’m not very smart in a lot of areas, and one of those areas is science.  Because I never felt like I needed to learn science-y stuff.  I took chemistry because there was promise of explosions (thank Mr. Hilty).

But lately, I have been compelled to reconsider my understanding of faith and science and how they interact.  This has led me to have some really interesting conversations, but more importantly it has led me to trust God more and more as I talk about scientific investigations that some might feel could discredit my faith.  This has not happened at all.  My faith, I feel, has actually become stronger.

One of the blogs I read is from Professor of Philosophy Jamie Smith.  Smith was the prof. of one of the most impacting classes in my entire MATC at Northwest University.  He posted this blog about an organization called The Colossian Forum, which is trying to help foster conversations between science and faith.  I watched this video today and was encouraged about the science and faith discussion, and reminded that truly all things hold together in Christ.  If you are intersted in the Colossian Forum go check them out.