Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Meditations on an eyeball: Part 2 --Why not a finger snap?

(please read "part 1" first, or this won't make much sense). meditations-on-eyeball-part-1

While I was contemplating the mysteries of jellyfish eyeballs another question came to mind. Why did God take 6 "days" to finish the creation? Why not put in place all at once with a snap of His fingers?

I don’t think it was because of lack of power. I think God could have created the universe in an instant—complete with red-shifted photons in transit from distant galaxies. But He chose not to--at least according to Genesis. It seems that something fundamental to God’s plan or His nature caused Him to go the stepwise creation route. God, as described in the Bible is does not seem to be the "start it and let it run" type. He interacts with us; he intervenes with miracles, He chooses, and He has saved us.

Today it feels like there is a stark difference between our understandings of the world's physics vs. the world of living things. Today’s physics provides the framework that everything else needs to exist. That framework, according to what most scientists believe now, with the "Standard Model", was established in the first few microseconds of the Big Bang. But the beginning and maturation of life on earth does not feel like something that was inherently established in the beginning of things. Our present understanding of physics does not explain everything, but it certainly explains everything we can interact with on a day-to-day basis.

Comparatively, our understanding of living things is at the stone knives & axes level. In drug development for example, we are just now starting to develop the ability to tailor drugs for specific tasks, rather than just creating lots of chemicals and trying them out to see if they have any useful effects. When we sequence chromosomes and look at the details it looks more like a train wreck than a designed solution.

Up until this point I had felt that it was highly contrived to suggest that the mind-numbing complexity of life spontaneously developed. With our early 21st century science we can barely explain sections of what is going on with life, much less brew it up in a test tube. Even photosynthesis, which all life directly or indirectly depends, is not understood or reproducible.

Part 3

1 comment:

Heidi said...

Had to stop by and look at your blog after your very kind comment on mine.

It looks to me as though we might have more in common than you imagine (although probably not politically - gin).

In any case, I am impressed by the high quality of your deliberations here. I love your curiosity.