|By: Jim Virkler; ©2008|
A catalog of startling discoveries and achievements of the past fifty years would read like an 1870 Jules Verne novel. Verne researched the geology and astronomy of his day to provide ideas for his imaginative tales. What stories could he produce today with access to the reality of discoveries since 1950? Let's mention a few. Men have launched satellites (space travel was one of Verne's literary ideas), traveled to the moon several times, and returned to earth. Plate tectonics discoveries have proven the continents have been moving apart for eons and continue moving apart today. Earth's paleoclimate history has been read from deep sea sediments. Particle physics research enabled by huge accelerators shows the existence of a new family of particles of which protons and neutrons are composed, as well as many other exotic particles, causing us to revise our concepts of matter. Development of computers and applied technology have been life changing.
Advances in cosmology range from confirmation of the Big Bang to the quantification of visible matter, dark matter, and dark energy in our universe. In 1998 we were startled to discover the expansion of our universe is accelerating. In the biological realm, we now know far more about the incredible abundance of information contained in a single cell, owing to the DNA molecule and unlocking of the genetic code within it.
Many non-scientist Christians, upon observing some of these wonders, give credit to God as the source. Naturalist scientists are quick to criticize such proclamations as "God-of-the-gaps" explanations which credit God for things we don't understand rather than searching for causes which accord with the "rules of nature." This is a foolish criticism. Christians do not oppose efforts to discover as much as possible how every day, natural processes work.
Naturalists and theists have two entirely different interpretations of the mind-bending discoveries of the past fifty years. Naturalists do not see the Creator in any of these thrilling discoveries. They think we will eventually find a natural explanation for every phenomenon -- no God needed. The theist, on the other hand, contemplates the Cause and sees the Designer behind the design. He is entirely willing to ascribe natural and material causes for events, but still finds existence of the supernatural rational and reasonable.