Friday, July 29, 2005

A woman of Science and Faith

A quote:  

"What science finds to be nonexistent, a Buddhist must necessarily accept, but what science merely does not find is a completely different matter.  It is quite clear that there are many, many mysterious things."  The Dalai Lama  

This essay is in response to some email skeptics that have challenged my faith recently.  Rather than respond to any individual I chose to write this essay.  

If something is not yet discovered to be true, does that mean it does not exist?  

No one believed prior to discovering the Americas that there was a whole vast continent of land in between Europe and Asia if you traveled to the west.  Columbus may not have found what he wanted, but he found so much more.  A land thriving with indigenous people, flora and fauna.  The world as it was known then, was to never be the same.  

In 1915 a man named Alfred Wegener wrote a book outlining his theory that the earth's continents were not fixed but were drifting atop molten rock.  He was vilified by everyone in the scientific community of the day, and the book was called "Utter, damned rot".  The pre-eminent geologist of the day Thomas Chamberlain said, "Anyone who valued his reputation for scientific sanity would never dare support such a theory."  

Then, in early 1970's armed with facts from the advances in the abilities to measure the earth, the geologist Tuzo Wilson introduced us to continental drift and plate tectonics.  The way geologists study the earth was forever changed.  Wegener's theories were confirmed, and now his formerly ridiculous book is hailed as full of genius and foresight.   

The first sub-atomic particles smaller than electrons, protons and neutrons were first postulated in 1934 by Enrico Fermi.  They were not "proven" as inmeasured and seen, until the 1950's when the first particle accelerators were used to smash the atom for observational purposes.  So, was the neutrino and the quark non-existent then?  Were they any less real?  Were those who believed and had faith in their existence right to do so when there was no proof?   

Yes, the skeptic would say, because it has proven to be fact.  

Yes, in all these cases the wild, outlandish theories turned out to be irrefutable scientific fact.  Bless those dreamers, those far reaching men of genius who dared to think well out of normal confines of their comtemporaries.  

Do you, or I, or anyone know what the discoveries of the next century will be?   

One hundred years ago, in 1905, you would have been laughed out of the scientific community if you mentioned subatomic particles at a meeting of the Royal Society in London.   

I am not willing to even try to guess what amazing discoveries are in store for mankind in the future.  I think anyone who does is full of the kind of hubris that may drive humanity to extinction someday, or at least to the edge of it.  

Why not have the same openness for faith in God, or the belief in the ability to contact those who have crossed over?  Is it really so much more far fetched?  I do not think so. 

However, I am not a skeptic.  I choose to be open to all possibilities in the world. 

If something has been proven not to exist, as the Dalai Lama says above, then I will certainly concede to that fact.   

For as much as anything is fact, in this ever changing world.  

Albert Einstein has said, "As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; as far as they are not certain, they do not refer to reality."   

A great man, who understood intrinsically the limits of science and the problem of trying to define much of what is undefinable in this universe.


I am proud of my open mind, that I have been told is just naivete.  I am proud that to me the future can hold all kinds of magic and wonder.  And, I am proud that in that undefinable universe I see God.  

Be well...Dawn

<<this was not directed at Paul, Rebecca or Jodi, but to some unwanted emailers, and just to everyone as a good essay I think>>

16 comments:

jckfrstross said...

Keep the faith

Deb

edandmariann said...

God is real!  But I respect other beliefs as well because believing in anything is usually good.  The only thing I dont like is satanism and it is kind of obvious why.  Very intelligently written.  I had to look u a couple words.  lol
Love ya,
Mariann

sdoscher458 said...

Beautifully written, life itself is a question....never give up the search for answers...I still delight in finding new things to learn.  What is that saying again?..All things are possible under heaven & earth? I harbor one wish that before I pass I could know for sure that there exists life outside of our planetary system...I guess I'm just too nosey....LOL...Sandi  http://journals.aol.com/sdoscher458/LifeIsFullOfSurprises

gdireneoe said...

Ignore the mean-spirited mail.  Very well written.  One of MY goals in life is to remember to remain a student.  You are doing just fine.  C.  http://journals.aol.com/gdireneoe/thedailies

tlgf1968 said...

dawn,

i like the way you think, my friend.  

well said :)

tracey

"the important thing is to not stop questioning." - albert einstein

buckeyebabee71 said...

dawn
that was beautiful and i truly like the way u think.  don't change.

cheri

buckeyebabee71 said...

dawn
that was beautiful and i truly like the way u think.  don't change.

cheri

klconard1 said...

Dawn dear, I think you did a good job of defending faith.
Not very many years ago, doctors believed no bacteria could live in the stomach because of its acidity.  When one doctor discovered proof that not only could the helicobactor pylori bacteria live in the stomach, but it also caused dyspepsia, stomach ulcers and some stomach cancers the medical community did not believe him.  When he presented his research, they couldn't believe him.  Because, you see, that is what they'd all been taught.  They started from a position of disbelief because of a false premise.
The evidence was eventually compelling, but it took years for all doctors to accept the truth and use it to save some lives.
First they had to open their hearts and minds to the possibility they had been taught wrongly.
Similarly, one with willful disbelief cannot imagine someone else's faith as being valid and based on truth.  The disbelieving one must first be willing to open his heart and mind to the possibility that he has begun with a false premise before examining the evidence.  Then he can move on to finding truth.
loving you
karyl

lrttklly said...

Wow,

I am shocked that you are getting unfriendly e-mails. That is disturbing.

What gets in the way of respecting others who think differently than us?
Egocentrism.

As for me... the world, life and love are deep and profound mysteries.

Makes living fun!

I don't need anyone to agree with me or think like me. Life would certainly be boring if we were all alike.

So I have no issue whatsoever where you are at in your life journey, Dawn. There is so much that we can learn and experience from each person whom we meet.
Have a Blessed day!
Love,
Loretta

foxygreeneyedldy said...

Great essay!  

libragem007 said...

Dawn,
Keep believing and continue having an open mind. It's an advantage. I am proud as well that I do... ;-)
Gem

jouell3935 said...

Very well written I agree!! I wouldnt have taken it any other way :o)
Jodi

plittle said...

Let me give you what I see as the skeptical response to your essay:

You are entirely correct that new discoveries are happening all the time that make us reassess what we understand to be true about our universe. That is at the very heart of science; that what we think we know today, might, no WILL have to be modified as science discovers new information. A scientist lives his or her life looking forward to learning new things that will make more complete his or her understanding of the world around us. If that means letting go of previously held views, so be it. That is the basis of science.

Yes, new scientific discoveries in the future may lead to evidence of life after death, and that certain people can communicate with those who have 'crossed over.' However, if that happens, it will turn on its ear our current understanding of the way the world works. A boat load of scientific laws and theories would need to be outright scrapped because they would be flat out wrong. Understand that such a fundamental upheaval of our understanding of our universe hasn't happened in hundreds of years. Our picture of our world is comprehensive, and there is nothing in current scientific thought that would even remotely allow for the existence of life after death. Again, we are willing to examine any evidence put forward. Do date, no reliable, repeatable, replicatable evidence has been put forward by anyone. Anywhere. None.

So, our current model of the world does not allow for the existence of ghosts, but we remain open to looking at new information. To that end, to all those who claim to be able to contact those who have 'crossed over,' we say, "show me."

It's that simple. Show me.
-Paul

princesssaurora said...

"However, if that happens, it will turn on its ear our current understanding of the way the world works. A boat load of scientific laws and theories would need to be outright scrapped because they would be flat out wrong. Understand that such a fundamental upheaval of our understanding of our universe hasn't happened in hundreds of years. Our picture of our world is comprehensive, and there is nothing in current scientific thought that would even remotely allow for the existence of life after death. "Paul

Paul,

I don't agree with this.  String theory proposes that there are 11 dimensions of energy at any one time.  It also explains the biggest problem in the laws of our universe today - that the Theory of Relativity works without fail on LARGE scale items in our universe and the Qunatum Mechanics work withough fail on the SMALLEST scale items, yet the two both "throw" out the parts that do not work and the two theories have been unable to be reconciled to each other.  I suggest Stephen Hawking as a good read for info on the the lack of the Theory of Everything, which is still being sought, and read Brian Greene for String Theory - start with Elegant Universe and then Fabric of the Cosmos.  

There is so much misunerstood and not understood about energy that I and many people, have no problem being open to the fact that there is another realm of energy that is the vibration of where our souls go after here.

Be well,
Dawn

princesssaurora said...

And Paul - Someday, I would love to be the one to show you...but I have to wait for science to catch up first.  I am going to be 40 in Nov...I hope it will be in my lifetime!

fisherkristina said...

I am with you on this one Dawn.  Just because it hasn't been discovered yet of course doesn't mean that it doesn't exist.  I don't get my basis for truth on Buddhism or the Dalai Lama though, but on Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church.  At any rate, reality tells us what you are saying is just the plain truth.  What the others are saying are not based in any sound logic.

Krissy
http://journals.aol.com/fisherkristina/SometimesIThink