I am not a scientist. I do not have a Ph.d. Or a Master’s degree. I am merely College-educated.
But I have always had a passion for discovering things. I want to know how things work – and why they work that way. I guess you could even say that I have a scientist’s mentality – just without the professional calling.
I think that there are a lot of people like me. In many ways (to varying degrees), I think it is part of the human soul – to think, to reason, to discover… to know.
It is this need for discovery, within us, that piques my interest. Why is it there? Why do I care about things like truth and morality and about purpose and meaning (or about why things work the way they do) in this life? This need, within me, certainly tells me something (but we will save those thoughts for another day…).
Today, I want to talk about discovery.
The essence of science is to discover the facts about us… and about the world (and the universe) around us. You look up at the stars at night and wonder about them… and realize that throughout human history, other people have been doing the same thing with the stars above them.
It is this sense of wonder that drives us to discover the facts about stars… and about everything else that captures our imagination.
But here is the really important thing… in order to know things, we have to discover things – and to discover things they have to be timelessly consistent.
Take gravity, for instance. I just recently watched a fascinating video (done by the BBC) in which a feather and a bowling ball were dropped, from the same height, in a huge vacuum chamber. Can you guess which object hit the ground first? The answer is… neither. They hit the ground at the same time (even though one is much heavier).
And if you were to conduct the same experiment a hundred years from now, the result would be the same. Why? Because gravity is consistent and observable. It behaves the same now as it did a thousand years ago… or when Isaac Newton first began to experiment with it.
We can know about the basic properties of gravity by observing them – and we can know, with reasonable certainty, that a hundred years from now those facts will still be the facts. Gravity is consistent and timeless – as we have always observed.
The real question is why would gravity be the same today, yesterday, and into the future? Or take any of the natural laws of this universe… why do we know they are the laws of the universe? Because we can observe them, we can test them, and they are timelessly consistent. They act as they always have. The laws that govern the whole universe are orderly, unchanging, and (as far as we can tell) unending.
If the laws of the universe were ever-changing or shifting randomly… we could never really know anything. Any discovery we would make would be meaningless (because it could change at any moment). What we observe would be irrelevant – and therefore tell us nothing of importance about our (ever-changing) universe.
The question becomes apparent… what best explains the amazing order of the universe and its universal laws? Is it a universe that began, and is characterized, by random chance and changes? Or is it a universe that was designed to reflect One Who is timeless, consistent, unending, and orderly. Could it be the universe was designed to offer us a clue into the character and nature of our Creator?
That is exactly what the Bible tells us: “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – His eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made…” (Romans 1:20)
Our Christian faith is built upon the fact that our Creator wanted us to discover and know about this universe – and about its Originator. The consistent and timeless order of the universe makes this possible.