Thursday, July 10, 2008

Eureka Moment -- My First Faithwalk Column (from Aug 07)

Have you ever had one of those moments when an idea or concept suddenly makes complete and total sense? One of those times when you slap your forehead and say “That’s makes so much sense! Why hadn’t I thought of that?” I’ve had those experiences several times in my life, and each time it’s a profound event for me.

Earlier in my life, I had such a “eureka” moment studying biology when I finally understood the concept that all of life is related using a very simple process, and that there isn’t anything about humanity that is special or separate from the rest of the flora and fauna on Earth. From there, it wasn’t too great a leap to begin questioning whether a deity could fit into the equation, although attempting to successfully navigate that leap was a challenge.

I began to consider that instead of needing input from a deity to keep things functioning, the universe does fine on its own. It dawned on me that the only type of deity that could possibly be involved would be completely impersonal and utterly removed from this universe, one that set the whole thing up and has stayed away from meddling in it since then.

The way I see it, if life can arise and diversify on its own – and if the planets, stars and galaxies can too – there just isn’t room for a deity except perhaps at the very start. Physics, chemistry and biology all combine in an elegant synthesis to provide a comprehensive explanation for why the universe looks as it does, the emergence of life on this planet, and the way in which life’s diversity arose.

I began to realize how small and insignificant humans are to the universe, and how absurd it would be for all of that vastness to be subservient to a few humans on one small, backwater planet in only one of billions of solar systems, amid billions and billions of galaxies.

As I thought about it, I decided that although I recognized the possibility of such a “starter” deity, I wasn’t going to worship or bow down to such a being. At that moment, the light went on and I realized I didn’t need a god to live and love – just existing was enough.

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