Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Free Will and Science

Recently I was talking with a close friend about free will. You may ask yourself what this has to do with science…I did at first too.

The conversation followed the premise: Why didn’t Jesus make himself known to be God? Why do we have to discern for ourselves? Why didn’t he prove it? For that matter, why didn’t God the Father come down and take care of the whole question!

The answer is free will. God loves us so much that he is willing to let us choose whether or not we want Him. Remember the famous saying, “If you love someone set them free, if they come back they’re yours, if they don’t, they never were.” (See these and so many versions of this saying at: http://teratalks.com/index.php/teratalks/comments/if_you_love_someone_set_her_free/)

So it is with God. God wants us to choose Him.

If God showed up one day and you could see Him, you’d know just how real He is. However, if He just showed up, you wouldn’t have the choice to believe, you’d be forced to believe because He would be standing right in front of you. Free will wouldn’t exist.

However, do we realize that He is already amongst us? In my current manuscript, I show the many ways in which God is present in our DNA. But more subtly than that, God exists in every part of nature that we see and experience. Every tree, every bug, every sunrise and sunset, God is present. That is our proof that God exists.

Scientists grapple with questions of how the Big Bang happened, and the first event that even caused the Big Bang to happen. They look throughout the universe seeking evidence of the first elements, and how long those elements have existed. However, the question they are asking isn’t really the right question. The question is why. Why did the Big Bang happen? For me, I have to ask, “How fantastic was “the plan” that after the Big Bang happened I can now smell a stunning rose or experience an incredible sunset? In my imagination, I could never dream of such beautiful things.

The even greater question comes to mind. How can anyone have such a grand plan that everything in nature works in harmony? The “Grand Plan” contains many systems that keep nature working. For example, bees gather pollen for themselves, which makes honey for mammals to enjoy. But at the same time, those same bees are pollinating plants so that those plants can create fruits and vegetables for us to eat. Fecal matter from cows and sheep and other animals is used as compost to grow crops. Everything has a purpose; everything is in the Grand Plan.

So how do we go along life and not notice these things? How do scientists sit in their laboratories, eat their lunches and not consider that the Grand Plan provided them with that meal? How do we get to the point where we take all this for granted?

The answer is the same. Free will. If we were forced to acknowledge that God provided that meal, we would be forced to believe that we answer to a higher power and we would be stripped of free will. We would be stripped of true love.

In a past posting entitled, “The Bees Are Dying” (http://lorettaoakes.blogspot.com/2008/03/bees-are-dying.html), I talked about how bees become disoriented (Colony Collapse Disorder). Scientists believe this phenomenon is due to the increase in cell phone usage. The cell phone waves are interrupting the bees’ radar.

Now I want to take this a step further. Scientists have been genetically engineering crops for quite a while now for several reasons. They want to make the crops disease and pest resistant, increase productivity of the crop as well as enhance the size of the fruits from the crop. We are proud of ourselves in “manipulating” nature to get what we want.

However, what effect does that have on the rest of the system? When we change the DNA of even the simplest flower (how many hybrids do you plant every year?), how does that affect the pollen of that plant, the bees that pick it up, or the honey that is created from it? Do we know how we’ve affected the complete system?

Do we recognize that in actions of manipulating DNA, we’ve exercised our free will? It could have been in the Grand Plan that nothing, not an iota of matter, could be willfully changed. Yet, we are able to change it.

Do we realize just how far that free will goes? And when we do reflect on what that means, do we take responsibility for how we’ve affected the Grand Plan? A plan that we did not create, but a God that loved us enough to include us in His plan…how have we affected it?

Ideas to ponder, don’t you think?

1 comment:

Jan Parrish said...

Interesting thoughts to ponder.