Mark Swint

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Speaking of Miracles

In Bible, God, Philosophy, Science and Religion on November 28, 2008 at 10:18 pm

by Mark Swint

author of

OCULUS: The Zebulon Initiative

Speaking of Miracles

If you will allow me a brief indulgence I’d like to depart from the norm just this once and relate a very personal experience from my past. I normally wouldn’t do this as the experience is very sacred to me, and not the type of thing that should be cast about indiscriminately. However, now that this blog is somewhat established, I want to record this experience for future generations – my future generations. I have tried to relate this story to my kids and my wife and they might remember having heard this before but I want it written down so that someday, when I am gone and they really read the things I have written, they will come across this account once more and perhaps get a sense of how important and special it is to me.

Many years ago I served as an LDS missionary in Argentina. In the spring of 1971 I was assigned to work in a very small town in the Argentine campo. The town was called Tandil and its claim to fame was a huge balancing rock that had fallen down in 1913 but which still graced the face of postcards and other ‘Requerdos’.  It was a pleasant little town and we were the only LDS missionaries in the area. I loved my time in Tandil and made many good friends there.

LDS missionaries always work in pairs so I always had a companion, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year, for two years. We were never alone. My first companion in Tandil was a big tall Elder named Grant Hansen. Elder Hansen was from somewhere in Southern Idaho – maybe Burley, although it seems to me he was from a smaller farming community outside of Burley. Anyway, Elder Hansen was a short timer. He only had two months to go before returning home after serving faithfully for two years. I, on the other hand was very new. After three months in Buenos Aires I was thrilled to be sent out into the Gaucho land of the Pampas.

Elder Hansen was a wonderful guy and an excellent missionary. One of the things that made him so special was his health – it was terrible! I don’t mean to tell tales out of school here and if Elder Hansen is still around somewhere reading this (I would love to hear from you if you are out there) I wish him well      and ask his forgiveness. But, the fact is that in 1971, in Argentina, there was not much that could be done to ease his suffering or his discomfort. You see, Elder Hansen suffered very badly from Rheumatoid Arthritis. It affected him in various ways, all of which were exacerbated by the cold damp weather of the Argentine wet season. He hurt most of the time. It hurt him to get up so early every day. It hurt him to ride bikes all the time on the cobblestone roads. It hurt all day walking from house to house and being rejected by almost all we encountered.

Another very serious problem, related to the R.A. was that Elder Hansen could hardly see. His vision had been so affected by the R.A. that he had to wear contact lenses – the hard ones – and augment those with coke bottle lens glasses. At that, he still couldn’t see very well, and yet, day after day, week after week he endured and persevered. He was faithful and obedient to his calling, and set a very good example for a young ‘greenie’ like me. I wish I had been a better companion for him but I still had a lot to learn and a lot of humbling to do.

The persecution we endured from many of the towns people was tough on both of us and I used to wonder how it must feel for a guy like Grant Hansen to suffer so much to do a task for people who took so much pleasure making our lives so difficult.

One day Elder Hansen and I had an appointment to teach a lesson to a family who lived on the edge of town, up a big hill at the top of a development. It was a miserable day. It was raining – hard – and it had rained all day. We were soaked and cold and miserable, but we pushed on, driven by our calling and the thrill we felt each time we were invited into a family’s home.

 This day started hard. It was cold  and as we left our small pension and made our way out to the area, I remember that Elder Hansen was driven off the road by a truck that took great pains to make an extra wide turn just to hassle us. He nearly drove Elder Hansen off the road. After a moment to collect ourselves we got back on the bikes and started up the long steep hill, grinding out each pedal turn with difficulty, in the pouring rain. We eventually reached our destination, met with the family, and taught the lesson. I don’t remember the details of that lesson at all. I do remember what happened afterwards.

We finished the lesson, shared a treat or some sort as was the custom of the people and then made our exit. We climbed back on our bikes for the return back to our pension. It was still raining hard and all we wanted to do was get back home. I remember it was a wide boulevard, well paved – it was actually one of the few roads that was paved with asphalt rather than cobblestone, which was a treat for us. It was a steep hill but we were grateful to be able to coast down rather than climb up it as we had an hour or so earlier. Traffic was light and the road was smooth. Normally we would have coasted down at a reasonable speed but the pounding rain and our general state of discomfort inspired us to pump up the speed a bit, maybe a bit too much. We didn’t care. We were wet and cold and we just wanted to get home. I don’t know how fast we were going but it was fast, probably 35 or 40 mph, or better.

About half way down the hill, raincoats and wheel spray flying, something happened. I say something because I don’t really know what happened. Even at the time I thought it was a very strange thing. It felt to me as though someone grabbed my handle bars and shook them violently. I was young and agile and had very good balance – I had been a gymnast in high school and college – and I was able to fight my way through it and stay on my bike. I was so busy that I only glimpsed Elder Hansen. Out of the corner of my eye I saw that he went down, but being fully occupied with my own struggle, it took me a minute to regain control, get stopped and get back up the hill. When I got back to him I expected to see a bloody mess of torn pants and ripped skin. Instead, what I encountered was him, sitting quietly, wiping the rain from his glasses. His pants were not torn nor was there evidence that he had slid or otherwise traveled along the ground in an out of control fashion. His shoes were not scuffed and he had not a single scrape or bruise. There was not a single drop of blood anywhere.

I quickly dismounted and went to him. “Elder Hansen” I said, out of breath and concerned, “are you all right?” He spoke softly and I didn’t hear his first reply. “What” I asked? He responded again, “I floated to the ground!” “What do you mean?” I asked. He replied, “I floated to the ground! I fell and felt a pair of hands catch me, and set me gently on the ground!” There were tears mixed with the rain drops in his eyes and his humble demeanor told me instantly he was not kidding. I took a quick inventory and could see that, indeed, other than being a little muddy where he sat, he was not injured in any way. We quietly got back on our bikes and silently rode home in the rain. When we returned to our pension we cleaned up, changed into dry clothes and got on our knees to thank our Heavenly Father for the special help we had received.

Nearly 38 years have passed but I will never forget that day or that experience. Do miracles exist? Does divine intervention occur? Are there guardian angels? Yes!

Can I explain it scientifically? No. Can I explain it philosophically? No, I can’t. Lucky for me, I don’t have to! It happened, I was blessed. Elder Hansen was greatly blessed. Somehow, that’s all that matters.

Mark Swint

 

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Yin & Yang

In Bible, Isaac Newton, Philosophy, science, Science and Religion, technology, Uncategorized on November 25, 2008 at 11:49 am

  

by Mark Swint

author of

OCULUS: The Zebulon Initiative

Opposites attract. It’s an adage as old as time itself. Sir Isaac Newton made it one of the foundational statements of the universe when he published his laws of Motion; he said, in essence, “for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.” This is not to be confused with the statement by the author Bob Wells who said “for every action there is an equal and opposite government program.” It is this opposite force that give impetus for all motion on earth. Rockets soar and airplanes fly expressly because of Newton’s law. In fact the energy exerted by a rocket motor is expressed in units called ‘Newtons’. When we stand up, or walk, it is because our feet have exerted a force against the earth which ‘pushes back’. Since we are smaller than the earth it is we who move against a fixed surface (the scientific literalist will tell you, not incorrectly, that the earth also moves ever so slightly in the opposite direction when we walk). By the way, you do realize that the Earth is bi-polar?

Since the beginning of civilization the idea that everything has its opposite has existed in everything we do. yin-yang-jpegThe Chinese Yin Yang was born of this notion and reflects the nature and necessity of opposition in everything in life. The actual Yin Yang concept is exemplified by a mountain whose east side is illuminated in the morning by the Sun while its west side lies in shadow, occluded by the mountain itself. In the afternoon, as the Sun makes its way westward, the opposite becomes true and that which was dark is now light and that which was light is now in shadows.

 In the Book of Mormon a father speaks to his son of this issue and states that not only is opposition a fact of life but a requisite fact of life. He says “For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things.” He goes on to explain that without sadness we could not experience joy, that we must know the bad to appreciate the good, the bitter to know the sweet, and that without sin there is no righteousness, without law there is no wickedness.

The German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche said, “That which does not kill me makes me stronger!” He was simply stating, in a most poetic form, the universal law of opposition recognized by all others before him. In his most literal context he explains how we build muscle through exercise. The lifting of heavy weights is designed to tax our muscles beyond their normal strength. This actually causes muscle tissue to be torn down and damaged. It rebuilds stronger and more able to exert the forces demanded of it and we grow stronger. We all know, and have experienced the growth that comes through trials. It is the challenges we face that either defeat us or make us stronger. No one ever grew stronger by simply laying on a beach all day drinking Mai Tais. Similarly, our expression for someone who does nothing all day, every day,  “Couch Potato”,  implies the inherent weakness that befalls one who does not rise to take on and meet a challenge or at least become actively engaged. Boredom, sloth and indolence are all conditions that befall the inactive and unmotivated mind while energy, sharpness and acuity are all traits enjoyed by those who stay active and enthusiastically and aggressively engage with the world, taking on whatever challenges it may throw at them.

Nature, at its most elemental state recognizes the need, nay, the necessity of opposition. The atom is itself is a composite of positive and negative forces. Each proton in the nucleus is balanced by an electron whirling in a cloud above it. It is the combination of Protons and Electrons, positive and negative, that make up every element in the universe and that give us substance (Yes, Virginia, there are also Neutrons but their contribution is to the stability of the nucleus and they do not establish the nature of the element nor its chemical properties). Strip away all the negative electrons from the positive protons and you are left with a mass of nothingness Stephen Hawking first called a “Black Hole”. A Black Hole is a mass of gravity that sucks everything into it and lets nothing escape. It is lifeless and the epitome of death and oblivion.

So, why do I go on and on about this? It is because of the conundrum of life. Life appears to ignore the most basic laws of the universe and has no tangible place or justification within the laws of physics. Life exists in defiance of the universe and it fends off every attempt by the universe to defeat it.  Eventually everything dies, but not before it has replicated itself and left another to carry on the battle. Nature throws hurricanes, and tornados, and blizzards, and droughts at us constantly but we survive. The Sun, which ironically injects the energy into the world that we ultimately use to exist, bombards us with radiations of various sorts trying to kill us. The universe gets in on this conspiracy by constantly bombarding us with cosmic radiation equally willing to kill us and burn us up.

As if that weren’t enough we are faced with the very laws of the universe which declare that we should not be. The Second Law of Thermodynamics, first postulated by French physicist Sadi Carnot, is also referred to as the Law of Entropy. While it is somewhat complex, it basically states that all things return to their most basic and fundamental state. Cold warms up to neutral. Hot cools down to neutral. Mountains eventually erode and fall while valleys slowly fill up and disappear. It is the law of Entropy at work that makes your car rust and the paint on your house fade. It is Entropy that takes a brand new, nicely paved road and eventually turns it into a cracked and weedy path. If left untended, all roads ever built would eventually break up and return to the basic earth upon which they sit. The great pyramids of Egypt and the temples of the Mayans are stark reminders that the glory that man erects to his pride and ego will all, one day, crumble and disappear. At its most basic interpretation Entropy makes organized things return to a disorganized state to chaos. As the Bible says, “Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.

 So consider the miracle of life. In seeming defiance of Entropy, life takes unorganized matter and organizes it! A seed sits in soil and with a little water and a little sunshine it slowly extracts minerals and elements from that soil and organizes them into stems leaves and flowers of every color, emitting fragrances that please the nose and attract other living creatures that unwittingly help the plant reproduce itself. Similarly, a mother carrying a fertilized egg eats a piece of fruit or a vegetable and a little protein and a baby forms within her belly. There is bone where there was no bone and there is blood and skin and organs where there was none before. The process of gestation and birth is miraculous on so many levels, but among them is the fact that unorganized matter becomes organized onto life, in defiance of Entropy! What a great victory for life.

But just what is life? I mean, we take dirt and rock and water and turn it into cement with which we erect soaring skyscrapers. We refine aluminum and titanium and magnesium and turn them into airplanes that soar above the earth at 600 miles per hour! Is this not also organized matter? Does this not also defy Entropy? Indeed! And can the skyscraper build itself? Can the airplane build itself? No, these things are the products of living beings who created them first in their minds and then with their hands. So, what is life? From where does it originate? How does it happen to be?

The author Bill Bryson, in his wonderful book “A Short History of Nearly Everything” makes a wonderful observation. He says; “It is a slightly arresting notion that if you were top pick yourself apart with tweezers, one atom at a time, you would end up with a mound of atomic dust, none of which had ever been alive but all of which had once been you.” So, where is life. Where did it come from? What makes it alive? Who or what struck that spark? Lightning? Maybe, but not likely. You see, it’s not a matter of electricity! Electricity is just the flow of unbound electrons. We have plenty of electrons. Everything in the universe is comprised, at least in part, of electrons. It is not electricity that makes life. It would be more accurate to ascribe life to proteins and amino acids that make up the substance of cells and living organisms. We could narrow it down to a couple of long chain polymers comprised of nucleotides made up of segments called chromosomes constructed of four basic components identified by their first letters G A T and C. Guanine, Adenine, Thymine and Cytosine combine to define the DNA formula that makes and defines us; what we are, what color our hair is, how tall we are etc. etc. proclaiming that a lightning strike is responsible for this is akin to claiming that the dictionary is the product of an explosion in a print shop ( a well worn analogy I admit but it fits).

And yet, in the grand scheme of things isn’t life just the Yin to the Yang of the cold, stark, bleak emptiness of Space? Is it not the light to balance the dark? We are looking and nothing less than Extropy to balance Entropy. While it is true that individual life blinks out as quickly as it starts, life in general goes on and life forms – biomass if you will – continue to exist and procreate. Is this not the pattern for inanimate matter as well? On the quantum level we allow for matter to blink into and out of existence continually. Matter is constantly changing to energy and back again. Yet to the larger, visible world it appears static. So too life remains constant in the face of death. We fly over a large city and everyday it looks the same, even though some have died and some have been born.

So, here’s the deal! Why not God? Why can’t there be a deity? We tend to refer to God as a supreme being. Is this wrong? No! Of course there is a supreme being. That is a fact that happens the instant you have more than one species of life. Is not an Orchid of a higher order than a fungus? Is not a bug of a higher order than a microbe? In intelligence, is not a dog smarter than a slug? Is not a human more creative than a cow? You see, everything exists in a hierarchy, the one above the other in some manner or measurement. Philosophy aside, living creatures exist on differing planes, each within their own realm and each with their own biological imperatives. So who gets to say that that hierarchy stops with Homo Sapiens, with Mankind? Who made us the Supreme Being? Is that not arrogance of the first degree? Can the system not support even one more level of supremacy? Or two, or three, or a hundred more? Is it so totally out of the realm of possibility that a higher life form might exist on a higher plane than we? Is this not tantamount to us living on a plane of existence incomprehensible to a worm?

I would posit that it is the fool who sees nothing beyond his own existence and the bigger fool who loudly proclaims that there can be no existence higher than his own.

I don’t know. I could be wrong.

 

Intelligent Evolution

In Bible, Genesis, God, Moses, Philosophy, science, Science and Religion, technology on November 16, 2008 at 9:33 am

By

Mark Swint

author of

Oculus book cover

                 The conflict between science and religion reached its apex during the Scopes Monkey Trial in 1925. That trial pitted the State of Tennessee against a high school teacher named John Scopes. It accused him of violating the Butler Act, which made it illegal “to teach any theory that denies the story of the Divine creation of man as taught in the Bible, and to teach instead that man has descended from a lower order of animals.

The case was a sensation and made a household word of the name John Scopes. It pitted two of the greatest legal minds of the time, Williams Jennings Bryan, Congressman and former Secretary of State, for the prosecution, against Clarence Darrow the most prominent defense attorney of the time. The trial inspired a 1955 stage play, “Inherit the Wind” that was quickly followed in 1960 by a movie of the same name starring Spencer Tracy and Fredrick March. Three television movies followed.

The Scopes Monkey Trial put a spark to the conflict that had long been simmering between scientists and theologians. Instantly, evolution erupted into the mainstream dialogue and people everywhere began to openly discuss things which had heretofore been mostly taboo or spoken only in whispers. “Did God make the world or did we come from pond slim?” This became the issue of the day. The Scopes trial broke down the last remaining barrier to the free and open discussion of any scientific evidence which might seem to contradict Biblical teachings. In many ways it was the catalyst that once and for all defined the practical separation of Church and State. Good or bad, things changed after the Scope Monkey Trial.

This issue though, ‘did we come from God or did we come from Monkeys?’ started off on the wrong foot from the beginning. It arose as much from well intentioned but perhaps overzealous theological idealists as it did from a scientific community a bit too anxious to shed the shackles of dogmatic tradition and religious constraint. Scientists had always felt crowded by the oversight exerted by priests and ministers. In many countries still today, one religion is the official religion of the country and as such exercises tremendous control over the curricula taught in the schools. Scientists thought it would be better to explore and investigate in an environment free from external persuasion and influence. “Just let pure science find its way, free from bias and preconception,” was their cry. At least that sounded noble and honest.

In truth science (or religion for that matter) has never operated in a vacuum, free from outside influence or bias. As example, I only have to point right now to the absolute hysteria generated by the pseudo-religious movement of the Global Warming community. It seems that Global Warming is such a cash cow for a community that lives by the credo “Publish or Perish” that ANY voice expressing a cautionary warning to go slow before sticking one’s foot in ones mouth is quickly quashed and banished from the hallowed halls of scientific temples. Many great researchers have lost their positions almost instantly for questioning globaal warming or raising the wrong issues and asking the wrong questions (The list is too long to post here but if you really must challenge this blog I will be happy to provide the research for you). We all know that Al Gore is making a boatload of money from his crusade against Global Warming, not to mention an Academy Award and a Nobel Prize. But how many of us know that 10 of his 11 experts cited in “An inconvenient Truth” have since recanted their opinions? That just doesn’t seem to make the news. By the way, if we called it Global Warming Business then we could say that Al Gore has been fighting G.W.B. Hum? Maybe that’s the real incentive, (Let it go man, you lost).

Anyway, I digress.

Creation! We all know it happened somehow. I mean, the Earth is here and people and other living things are on it. We had to come from somewhere so it is a worthy question –Where did we come from?

The real issue is, does God, if He exists, operate outside of the established rules that govern the Universe, and if so, doesn’t that make him an Anarchist? For some reason (yes, I know what that reason is) scientists think that to believe in God means necessarily abandoning any sense of reason and ignoring the more than obvious evidences that the world puts in front of us. Their assumption is that the very definition of religion is “the abandonment of reality for a more comfortable and accommodating fantasy” (this is nuts on sooo many levels). Many religious people, on the other hand, think that scientists are all Godless infidels who will burn eternally in hell for their blasphemies (again, WRONG).  There are many scientists who have managed to put a personal belief system in place in their lives while still pursuing truth through research and inquiry.

So, what is the problem? Well, it’s this; Zealots say God went ‘Poof” and there they were, Adam and Eve, (or, if you prefer, Adam and Lilith first). Science says, “That just doesn’t make sense nor does it fit the pattern we think we see in everything else!” fair enough.

Let’s take the “God is an anarchist” argument first. In what Bible, or any other book of Scripture, does it say that God ignores rules and laws? Huh?  Anyone?  Anyone? This whole idea sprang from the silly notion that being God means not being bound by anything. The idea that God is all powerful somehow came to be interpreted as meaning that nothing could limit God, ergo; God was not bound by any convention or universal law. The simple fact is that the Bible does not say that anywhere. Oh, it may say that God’s dominion is boundless or His knowledge is boundless or his power is infinite but that is not the same as saying that God does not operate within a system. In fact, just the opposite is true. The scriptures are full of pacts and covenants made between God and Man. The use of pacts and covenants is very telling. You see, a dictator or a King doesn’t need to make a covenant with his people. He simply declares something to be so and it is so. A covenant, on the other hand, is a contract, a two way agreement, legally binding, that obligates both parties concerned. It says that the party of the first part agrees to do something desired by the party of the second part in exchange for a service or action of value provided by the party of the second part on behalf of the party of the first part. It BINDS both parties to an agreed upon goal. If God enters into covenants with people that sure sounds to me like a restriction on Him! Additionally, the scriptures say that God’s house is a house of order. Order and chaos are not mutually compatible. Order denotes structure. Structure denotes bounds and limits. But then, who says structure or limits are ungodly?

 If you are tasked with wiring a house for electricity can you simply go in and staple a bunch of cable to the walls and put in switches? Well, yes you can but we all know that’s not going to work. Why, because the laws of electromagnetism are very precise and very unforgiving. Such simple concepts as the fact that all circuits must have a positive lead and a ground (Negative) are basic but when followed, lead to incredible things like lighting cities or watching cartoon characters on a box that glows and talks in your living room. It is expressly the understanding of, and following of, natural laws that empower us to enjoy the life we enjoy. We travel across oceans in airplanes that fly high over weather, not because they are not bound to the laws of Gravity but because they use the laws of Gravity to create lift and fly (yes, that’s right! Flight requires gravity. A weird concept I know, but it’s true nonetheless).

I posit that it is the existence of, and the knowledge of, laws that give us, and by extension, God, power.  As scientists peel away the obscuring layers of ignorance and uncover the truths of the universe they are constantly moving more and more towards Godlike power. You think I blaspheme? Au contrere! A thousand years ago the only creatures who could fly through the air were birds and Angels (see Revelations). Now we do it for sport and for business. Why? Because we learned the secret of aerodynamics; a set of laws that had always existed but that had always elluded our grasp. A thousand years ago only God could speak and the whole world would hear it  at one time. Recently, Sarah Palin and Joe Biden debated and 70 million people both saw and heard it on little glowing boxes that talk and show pictures right in our homes. I could go on but you get the picture (is that digital or film?).

So, what if theologians accepted the fact that God is God precisely because he works within a structure of natural laws the give him tremendous powers, rather than believing and teaching that he is God because he is not bound (and by implication, doesn’t know any natural laws?).  I know this hurts for the ultra traditionalist but just what is so threatening about it? Really? Isn’t the Bible all about laws and edicts?  Proscriptions against such and such behavior, and the implicit or explicit rewards doled out thereof is the staple of many of the prophetic warnings and urgings recorded therein.        

And you, the scientific community, what is it about order and structure that you don’t like?  If we could get theologians to universally embrace and teach that God is a god of order rather than a god of chaos, and the universe exists within some coherent structure, could we not also get scientists to then go looking for that structure and order?

Interestingly, the issue of intelligent design is at the forefront now. It looks like a clever attempt by religions to do an end run around the anti-creationist sentiment by renaming the cause, but actually, (and here I must admit, in the name of full disclosure, that I received a very well thought out and presented comment to an earlier post disputing me on this) it was a term embraced by astrophysicists (whether they created the term or not is immaterial) looking into the very first instant of the Big Bang. It is a term they were comfortable using because it acknowledged the inescapable conclusions their work was drawing them to, i.e. that there was some initiatory action to the Big Bang, without having to actually say the word ‘God’. That fundamentalists co-opted the word and took up the crusade anew was tragic because the narrow pathway that had opened up between science and religion on this subject was very quickly barricaded once more.

And don’t think for a minute that the scientists don’t have their hands full with problems concerning evolution! Far from being a clean and indisputable fact, there are still many hurdles to cleaning up the theory of evolution. No sane person will dispute what Charles Darwin really found on the Galapagos Islands; that species adapt to their environment. We see that all around us. We see it in skin color, and height, and longevity and visual acuity and so on and so on. Our bodies try to put on layers of insulating fat in cold climates and shed that same protection in warm climates. Adaptation is an amazing and wonderful ability of living creatures. However, there is a huge problem when we make the jump from adaptation to actually crossing Chromosomal boundaries. There is no good evidence – I repeat, there is no good evidence, or explanation for how it could happen – for the ability of an organism to add or subtract Chromosomes in the quest to become another type of creature. The best we can do is say, “it must be so, therefore we shall assume it is so!”  This is O.K. as far as the scientific method goes – it is requisite that we make an assumption and try our best to prove it (actually, the correct method is to try to disprove it) and in fairness I grant to the scientific the time and effort to pursue these efforts. However, I believe there is now a growing sentiment to stick dogmatically to Chromosomal modification come hell or high water. “It must be so” cry the pragmatists, and I don’t totally disagree. After all we do seem to have an awful lot of critters roaming the earth! (Gosh, I hope no one knows about the Cambrian Explosion).

Perhaps there is another theory that would work, if only we weren’t beating the drum so loudly against the Bible, so that we could, instead, seek to find some common ground.  And for those of us who accept that the Bible is authentic, just because we believe that God created the world and the things in it; just what does that mean? HOW did he create it? How did he form the world? When Donald Trump builds a tower does that mean that the man Donald Trump put in every nail and screw? Of course not! Hundreds of people work together to physically erect a concept envisioned and designed by one entity yet that entity gets the credit for ‘building’ the structure.

To say that God created the world does not necessarily mean that he came down with shovel and cement mixer to do it one load at a time. How absurd.

If we could accept a statement such as, “There is a God” or God created the world” and then step back and not jump to the most literal and most restrictive interpretation of that statement, we might find that there is much to be learned, about God, and about us, in the process. If scientists could stop their fight against individual religions who hold, perhaps, simplistic views and accept the premises more generally implied in the scriptures, perhaps they could show us how these things came about. Am I putting reason above faith? Maybe, maybe not.The scriptures exhort us to “seek and ye shall find” “ask and it shall be given.” Are these not invitations to investigate? Moses sought the Lord and asked how the earth came to be. His vision, recorded in Genesis, is merely his simple attempt to express what he saw in words that he understood. Forgive him for not being a Phd. or for not caring HOW it was done. His primary desire was to tell us WHAT was done. It did not matter to him how. Let’s cut him some slack, not parse his words so literally and avoid putting him in the position of someday saying to us, wait a minute, I never said that! You got it all wrong!

Moses, I am anxious to talk to you someday. Until then I think I’ll sit and ponder and trust what you said, and keep an open mind as to how the things you saw and reported actually happened.