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October, 2008 : Essay:

Finding God in Science

How the human race came into existence is a question mankind has been attempting to answer for centuries, coming up with different theories which could be sorted into three main groups: The Theory of Evolution explained by Science, The Theory of Creation claimed by different religions, and The Theory of Evolution put into action by a Higher Being—a theory supported by scientists who believe in God and by theologians who respect science.

The third group—which is, in actuality, a combination of the thoughts of the first two groups—finds itself supported by the theories presented in James Rollins' science fiction thriller, Black Order. In the novel, the author is able to weave the elements of quantum mechanics into the concept of intelligent design and evolution to offer some thoughtful reflections on the potentiality of life, bringing to us an understanding of life.

The story begins with a prologue covering events at the end of the Second World War before proceeding with the events happening in the present day. At the end of the Second World War, Nazis destroyed their scientific centers so that Germany's enemies could not loot the results of Germany's extensive science experimentation. Many discoveries were destroyed, but the more important innovations were secretly brought to some secret place hidden in other continents. Among these are versions of the Bell, a mysterious, powerful and extremely dangerous artefact that is said to control evolution.

In the years following World War II, several experiments were secretly performed in underground German laboratories with the Bell in South Africa and the Himalayas. Babies and pregnant mothers were exposed to the emissions of the Bell, attempting to produce babies that were perfect according to their own criteria. Nevertheless, these operations proved to be unsuccessful because although the babies grew up to be stronger than normal men and women, they would deteriorate faster due to exposure to the quantum phenomenon produced by the Bell.

By far, only the experiment conducted by Hugo Hirszfeld shortly before the end of the Second World War proved to be successful. He was able to create his version of a "perfect" baby. The scientist, however, was killed by the Nazis when Germany lost the War so that the technology developed could not be discovered by other countries. It was his kin who escaped with the baby from the clutches of the Nazi scientists when the Nazis were secretly abandoning their science centers.

Legend has it that Hirszfeld entered the chamber of the Bell with the baby, carrying nothing to shield them or protect them from the emissions of the Bell, but similar attempts after the war proved futile. With a colleague sickened by accidental exposure to the Bell, it is up to members of the special operations team "Sigma Force" to figure out the key to making the Bell work properly and to heal their colleague by working on a puzzle involving ancient runes left in some books by Hirszfeld.

As they do so, the theories involving the nature of quantum phenomena and light were discussed—as wave, as particle, and as both wave and particle. Doing so, it was demonstrated that both quantum phenomena and light were potentially both wave and particle. And it takes a quantum counter to make this potential collapse to one of these simply by the fact that the phenomenon is being "observed" by the counter.

Eventually, it was discovered that the pagan runes could be combined to form the Star of David, a sign of faith. Originally thought to be only a message of the Jewish scientist affirming who he is, the head of the team realized that it was actually the answer to the problem. The Jewish scientist did not bring the baby to the Bell chamber with nothing—he brought with him faith and prayer. Prayer is that which serves as a controller to collapse the potential to a reality. Prayer causes the mind to focus on a reality one wants to achieve, leading the Jewish scientist to produce his masterpiece—a perfect baby.

The greatest discovery of Hirszfeld turned out to be neither how to make a baby perfect nor how to make the Bell work. Rather, his greatest discovery was the realization that prayer actually works. That prayer actually works is indeed a discovery that is, to quote one of the characters, "something frighteningly disturbing but too beautiful to let die."

The disturbing discovery of the efficiency of prayer in making a powerful tool like the Bell work is balanced by the beauty of this discovery that lies in the power in each of us. Imagine if each of us could bring our minds to focus on only one thing—the very thing that we like. Through prayer, we can make our dreams part of the reality that we live in. If prayer is indeed a quantum phenomenon, there lies within each of us a great potential, greater than we can even imagine, which we can turn to reality once we bring our minds to focus.

This realization leads us to reflecting on God's role in the universe. If prayer actually works then Who is God? To this, a character provides a guess: God is probably the perfect and incorruptible quantum-measuring Device that leads to the collapse of potential to reality. He is the greater Being that serves as the Force in making evolution a reality. He is the Phenomenon that collapses the potential of living and non-living into the living when life started in this world.

Equally insightful is Hirszfeld's idea of a perfect child. After the last Bell was destroyed, the head of the special operations team used his connection to find the perfect baby. Hirszfeld's perfect baby, who grew up to be a priest loyal to his flock, turned out to be simply a decent and thoughtful man with resoundingly good health, and he thought that maybe it was perfection enough.

I believe it is. Perfection lies not with physical strength, agility, flexibility, wisdom, intelligence, lifetime and looks a man has; rather, superiority lies with his heart—his decency, thoughtfulness, faithfulness, compassion and devotion to his fellowmen and his Creator. An upright man and a man of service modelled after the God Who embraced the whole world with His goodness, kindness, mercy, love and devotion; perhaps this is what perfection really is.

I personally believe that there will be less hatred and more love in the world if people view perfection as Hirszfeld defined it to be. And with the realization of an existence of a higher Being, there would be more faithful people and more "perfect" people. Together, our minds could be used through prayer to make the great potential in each of us a very beautiful reality where people live in harmony, caring for each other, in a perfect world.

Yet we know that in spite of the persistence of violence, terrorism and injustice in this world, there is still hope. The fact that there are great men and women of science among us who are grounded deeply in their own faiths, and the existence of people who are still noble in spite of evils of the society and the temptation to do otherwise with the technology we currently have assure us that faith in a greater Being still has a place in the world today. These give us hope of a better home.


Copyright © 2008, Charles Edric T. Co. All Rights Reserved.

About Charles Edric Co

Charles Edric Co is a graduate of the Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Chemical Engineering program of De La Salle University, Manila, Philippines, Summa cum Laude.

He was a former Chair of the University's Council of Student Organizations, and had also been a student leader in the University years before that. He is also part of the Filipino-Chinese Catholic Youth (St. Peter the Apostle Parish Chapter) and of the parish newsletter/misalette and serves either as a lector or a commentator from time to time.

He had his internship at Chevron Geothermal Philippines Holdings, Inc. from April to July 2008, and researched on a specific type of heterogeneous catalyst for biodiesel production for his MSc Chemical Engineering thesis.

He enjoys reading novels and a variety of books. In particular, he likes reading science fiction and fantasy novels.

COMMENTS!

Oct 7, 05:29 by IROSF
Thoughts and opinions on the ideas presented should go here.

Article can be found here.
Oct 7, 18:45 by Athena Andreadis
Intelligent design is not a theory (as defined in science) and is not believed by any scientist worthy of the name, religious or not. It is an attempt to dress creationism up as science.

Prayer is not a quantum phenomenon. No higher executive function can possibly be quantum since they all operate on the "macro" scale.

Last but not least, moral behavior has nothing to do with religiosity. And if prayers could alter reality, most of us would be dead -- and in gruesome ways, as fundamentalists of most stripes would wish.
Oct 8, 01:10 by Josh English
It is a risk to say that Rollins combines Intelligent Design and Evolution. What Co describes in his essay is not the Middle Ground (Evolution designed and kick-started by God) but Noetics. Prayers as focused thoughts affecting change in the universe is Noetics, and it is by and large bogus.
Oct 8, 06:48 by Charles Edric Co
Thank you for the feedback. I'll look into these more deeply.
Oct 10, 03:52 by John Murray
I confess to some confusion here. Is this a book review? Or an article that raises questions as a philosophical exercise? Or a contention to having found the big answers in this work of fiction? Or a statement that the novel has confirmed the answers upon which you had already decided?

The article sounds preachy to me.
Oct 10, 14:34 by Charles Edric Co
More of a book review, but a bit preachy too. Apologies.
Oct 22, 04:48 by Kevin Vaughan
No need for apologies, Co. Your tone was expository and reflective, not preachy. I look forward to more from you in the future.
Oct 22, 23:48 by Charles Edric Co
Thank you for your positive feedback. Now that you've said it. I really think it is actually that. :)
Oct 30, 14:01 by Ami Chopine
I agree, it wasn't preachy. Nice review.

One thing I really want to see more of is science fiction with God in it that ISN'T preachy or derogatory. Religious people with religious beliefs who are both good and bad in futuristic stories, and/or stories in which some aspect of religious belief turns out to be true but in a way that is different than anyone expected.


Oct 31, 14:36 by Charles Edric Co
A positive feedback makes one's day.
Thank you very much.
Jun 26, 12:56 by maszekmichall@gmail.com
Really nice of you to post that. I like it a lot


Londonescort

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