“Yesterday’s magic is today’s science,
Today’s magic is tomorrow’s science,
Be magical.” – Unknown source
I’m sure I’ve heard this sentiment expressed somewhere. But since an exhaustive search (I googled) didn’t reveal the source I shall take credit for it if no one else claims it.
The way I explained this to my students recently is that science (which comes from scientia which means “knowledge”) is an ever expanding field. We are constantly learning and expanding our understanding of our world, how things work, why they work the way they do and how we can make things work better. So the things that seem impossible or even magical now are merely things that we don’t fully understand. In the past many of the things that people would have considered magic and even burned at the stake for, are now accepted and practiced worldwide because it has gone from being magical to being science. Take cell phones, airplanes, DVDs, TVs and a thousand other devices back to 17th century Salem and see how warmly you are welcomed. Try also taking a fire extinquisher if you didn’t get the pun in the previous sentence.
Imagine that every piece of practical knowledge (not trivia) were a page in a universal science book. Earliest man had a thin book but kept adding pages to it. “Fire hot.” “Fall hurt.” “Eve like Apple.” By the time of the Roman Empire this book was rather large, say 3 feet high. Now this book has reached the ceiling at least. So the question is where will the book end? When will we know everything about our world and universe? About Cosmology, Health, Physics, Time, Life? 20 feet? 100? 1,000 feet?
The impression I get from watching many documentaries and reading a few books is that we’re almost done. Mankind has arrived. Sure there may be some gaps here and there but for the most part we’ve gotten things pretty well sorted out.
Reminds me of the knowledge paradox; “The more you know, the more you know, you don’t know.” Or in other words, the more you learn about the world the more questions you have. The fact that most of us have gotten complacent simply means we don’t know enough to know how much we don’t know. Saya tidak tau indeed (Indonesian for “I no know”).
I think in someways Mankind has entered its 16th year and we know everything. Or at least we think we do.
I know that there is a lot we don’t know and that excites me. I like the discovery, the investigation, the exploration.
“The Sky WAS the limit, what’s Next?” Is the sign that was recently put up at my school from Mouser Electronics during our Space Station downlink. I think the question is a great one.
This past week I showed my 6th grade classes the animated short film “Flatland” based on the classic satirical/math/dimensional novel by Edwin Abbot in 1884. The basic argument of the book is that there must be other dimensions that we haven’t discovered or accessed yet. These 4th or 5th dimensions would do for our world what a 3rd dimension would do for a two dimensional world of “Flatland.”
Interesting because in the 100+ years since this book was written scientists and mathmeticians have discovered that there may be as many as 10 or 11 dimensions. Einstein argued that time is the 4th dimension and his theories suggested even more dimensions beyond ours.
I think that these other dimensions are where angels, demons and other spiritual beings reside. They can and do enter our dimension but there home is not here. They are supernatural only so much as their home is beyond our natural dimensions but a better description might be ultranatural or interdimensional. Its inner not upward or northward. Today in church our pastor, Gary Hutchison, was talking about the rapture and how according the prophecies and scripture Jesus will open the sky like a scroll when he comes back for his church. I’m thinking that that is when the 4th or 5th dimension (depending on if you count time as the 4th dimension) is revealed. If Jesus is to reveal it at this point, then it makes sense to me that we will never experience it through our own efforts, but we can logically infer its existence.
Gives a weird sort of perspective to such scriptural concepts as Jesus living in our hearts, the kingdom of Heaven being here, communion and being born again. What if something really is occurring during these moments but on another dimensional plane?
I’ve written this seven years ago (link) but will restate it since I want credit for discovering it if it proves correct. I believe that God’s Glory is what scientists are calling Dark Matter and Dark Energy. Like extra dimensions, we know mathematically that they exist but we haven’t yet experienced or seen them. Right now many scientists are trying to capture evidence of dark matter in super colliders around the world. How do we know it exists if we’ve never seen it? Well, cosmologists have looked at the stars, galaxies and space (collectively “the Heavens”) and can’t understand how they maintain their shapes and orbits. There isn’t enough material or matter to explain their orbits, spin or spirals. However, if you add a whole bunch of dark matter (some estimates say as much as 80% of the universe is dark matter and dark energy) then the math adds up and what we see in the sky suddenly makes sense. Reminds me of the verse “The Heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament showeth his handiwork.” Psalm 19:1
So my conclusion is that the dark matter we are looking for is actually the glory of God. So when Jesus sees the crippled man and heals his hand he says its so that the glory of God would be revealed. Is there a bridge happening between dimensions where God’s glory (dark matter) manifests in our world when miracles occur? I think there is definitely a link. And while God will share his glory with no man, I want credit for making the connection. And yes, I’m aware of the irony and God knows I’m mostly joking.
Which brings up an interesting science / magic / miracle connection I made tonight while waiting for 30 minutes at the drive thru. Electricity is induced when magnets spin around copper wire. If you want a decent electrical current then you have to have a lot of magnets spun quickly around a lot of copper wire.
What if we could induce miracles? The Bible and experience suggests that we may be able to. The fear when entering this section is that some may think I’m trying to manipulate God which is not my intent at all. I think God wants us to study, search and explore the riches of the world he made. As we do we will make discoveries and connections. This was Isaac Newtons intent as well as many great scientists. The fact that the world has had the potential for all of our modern technologies since Adam and Eve shouldn’t be lost on us. True, its only been in the last few hundred years have many of these potentials been unlocked but they’ve always been possible if man had the proper understanding or knowledge.
So how might we induce or bring about miracles? We must have conductive materials (human hearts and minds full of trust/faith) and a magnet (the Holy Spirit / Jesus) and as we move these materials around each other miraculous power is induced and miracles occur. How do we “move” them? I’d suggest through praise and worship. We see numerous examples in the Bible about how when people praised God the miraculous happened. And why are we called to “lay hands on the sick”? Maybe there is a passing of the power via human contact. I’m going to give this more thought, but I think I’m definitely on to something.
Which does bring up one warning and challenge. And its not a small one. Every great scientific discovery can be used for good and evil. In the same way God fearing people can induce His glory, it might also be true that others could induce satan’s glory. Isn’t that what witchcraft, sorcery, voodooism, and false religions attempt to do? And from what I’ve heard they are more effective at doing this then most want to admit.
As Einstein warned President Roosevelt in World War II about the possibilities of the atomic bomb, “either we develop it or our enemies will” (paraphased).
Which brings us back to the garden of Eden. Knowledge is a powerful thing which God has been wise enough to keep from us until we were ready and even then we often mess it up. I don’t know if we are ready for this next wave of advances but it seems that ready or not, the magic is about to become science.