I’ve had Coldplay running through my head for days now – not the cold type, but the musical group. I was listening to their album during one of my runs last week – A Rush of Blood to the Head, from 2002. Their rhythm is precise and methodical. It has a familiar, monotonic beating of chords that stays repetitively in your head for awhile. Their music always reminds me of science and order and logic, so it was not too surprising to see that one of their songs from this album is called The Scientist. My math and science-minded background fits right into this type of melody, always questioning and analyzing, trying to fit all the pieces of the puzzle together and to make sense of it all. Though I usually like to write more about things of the heart, today my mind is stuck in Coldplay’s version of science, so I will stay with the facts.
Contrary to what some may think about science and religion, science actually supports a lot of the evidence for God. Though we cannot fully prove God or all of the historical accounts from the Bible, we cannot disprove them either. My two favorite areas of science are found in the creation of the earth and in the most cataclysmic event ever to happen on earth, the great flood.
The creation account found in the book of Genesis follows a specific order of events, starting with light then water, to sea creatures, next are the birds, and then the land animals and man. This follows the same order of events described by big-bang theorists and evolution scientists from thousands of years later. The author of Genesis could not have known any particular scientific order, as it was not even known at the time that the world was round. This does not prove any theories, but rather it proves that the Bible did not follow a random made-up order of creationism that can be disproved by today’s science. Usually this brings up the next question about how the earth can be billions of years old and still follow Biblical accounts. On the third day of creation, God created “the fruit tree yielding fruit” (Genesis 1:12). God created these trees already grown and having fruit. The trees could have been 100 years old, or even billions of years old at the time.
Another way to see the extraordinary order in our universe is by looking at Fibonacci numbers. Sometimes called the golden number or golden ratio, Fibonacci numbers are a systematic number scheme that keeps showing up in nature all around us. A 13th century Italian mathematician named Leonardo of Pisa, or more commonly known as Fibonacci, discovered this number sequence in nature. Starting with the number one, you add the previous two numbers in the sequence to generate the next one. So the sequence starts as 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34 and so on. (1+2=3, 2+3=5, 3+5=8, 5+8=13…). You can find Fibonacci numbers throughout nature by counting the spiral arrangements in one direction on a pinecone or pineapple, or the spiral growth of leaf buds, or in the number of flower petals. Black-Eyed Susan flowers have 13 petals, and Shasta Daisies usually have 21 or 34. What does this mean? It shows that nature was created by a magnificently planned event, and there is much more than meets the normal eye.
An engineer once explained to me that humans hear at about a 20 khz level. We cannot hear the higher sounds of radio, cellular, and television waves, but they are still there, all around us all the time. Even more, we cannot hear a high-pitched dog whistle but a dog certainly can. There are more layers to our universe than what we can immediately see and hear.
There was once a great cataclysmic event that happened on our earth. Science supports this and shows further evidence of such an event. The continents started as a large land mass surrounded by water, and then later separated. This is also referenced in Genesis 1:9, “Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” Later while Noah was on the ark, Genesis 7:11 says, “on the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up”. And after the great flood happened, Genesis 10:25 mentions it in more detail when talking about the decendants of Noah: “and unto Eber were born two sons: the name of one was Peleg; for in his days was the earth divided; and his brother’s name was Joktan.” This shows the account of how the land split open and the waters came up from the deep, splitting apart the continents in an accelerated continental drift. More recently, in the 1950’s, a mountain range was discovered called the Mid-Oceanic Ridge. It is 40,000 miles long beneath the oceans and wraps completely around the earth. It is concluded to be the result of a world-wide fissure in the earth’s crust. The authors of the Bible could not have made something up so precisely to fit a science that was discovered thousands of years later. Additionally, the Bible says that the peoples of the earth were scattered after the flood, which would allow everyone to have experienced the same flood together. Today, every culture on earth has a similar story of a great flood with amazingly similar details. Only if they were scattered after the flood could such an explaination be plausible.
It still seems unbelievable sometimes, with all these grand stories in the Bible. But the world was a different place back then. It was newly created; people didn’t have history or books or all of the tools we have today. Things could have easily been different, and probably were. If the people from the Bible saw a glimpse of our world today, with cars, planes, computers, bombs, and lasers, they would never believe it was possible. Now think backwards to their time. We wouldn’t think their world was possible either. The problem with our belief is not in trying to explain or disprove anything. If we believe there is a God that created our universe, then surely that God can do anything else. Otherwise, what is the purpose of believing? Then the question simply becomes, do we believe, not what can we prove. So thank you, scientists, for all your wonderful discoveries in space, medicine, and technology, and keep on believing!
Coldplay actually said it quite well. I hope this stays in your head too.
“I was just guessing at numbers and figures
Pulling the puzzles apart
Questions of science, science and progress
Do not speak as loud as my heart.”