[First published in May, 2012]
Why can we describe the world with “laws”?
“There are four major concepts in science: facts, hypotheses, laws, and theories,” Coppinger told Live Science. “Laws are descriptions — often mathematical descriptions — of natural phenomenon; for example, Newton’s Law of Gravity or Mendel’s Law of Independent Assortment. These laws simply describe the observation. Not how or why they work.”
A couple of months ago I picked up a copy of “Is God a Mathematician” at a discount store because it sounded interesting. The author, Mario Livio, thinks that the Catholic church rejecting Galileo’s work proves that the Bible has nothing to say about science.
Apparently, the Church at that time believed that everything in space was perfect, so the moon couldn’t have craters even if telescopes showed them. (An idea that originated with Aristotle.) They also thought Joshua’s long day (Joshua 10) meant that the sun and moon went around the earth, so Galileo couldn’t have been right. Of course, this doesn’t begin to prove that Evolution and long ages are facts (called a Straw Man Argument), but this was just a small part of Livio’s book.
It is very exciting to me to realize just how much God loves math and used it to set up His universe. I’m not that great at math myself, but I remember how cool it was to figure out how algebra works (I just couldn’t remember how to do it the next day!). Here’s the fist paragraph of the Amazon review of Livio’s book:
“Nobel Laureate Eugene Wigner once wondered about “the unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics” in the formulation of the laws of nature. From ancient times to the present, scientists and philosophers have marveled at how such a seemingly abstract discipline could so perfectly explain the natural world. More than that — mathematics has often made predictions, for example, about subatomic particles or cosmic phenomena that were unknown at the time, but later were proven to be true….
how can it so accurately describe and even predict the world around us?”
Those who refuse to admit that there is a Creator have no answer to these questions. WE DO!!
The LORD possessed me [wisdom] in the beginning of his way, before his works of old. I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was. Proverbs 8:22-23
Interestingly, there is one study of distant stars that ‘seems’ to have broken one of the laws of electromagnetic interaction. If you want to know what that means read this Article “for kids” and leave me a comment if you can explain it! The only thing I understand is that the way light from very distant stars is acting in the northern part of the sky is different from their southern sky cousins. There’s a good picture of this on a skeptic’s article showing the (very slight) variation in wave length.
That the constants of the universe would have one minor exception in very distant space fits what God has been telling us all along. And all I was looking for was info on how absolute these laws are!!!
Laws give God a place to hide
One more point on all of these clues in the Bible is the uncomfortable fact that God has chosen to almost always disguise Himself. God doesn’t want us to worship, serve, fear and love Him because we Must but because we Choose to. Although the Bible records a few times when God appeared to people in an unmistakable way, these times are always rare. Even then, people sometimes chose to refuse to honor God for who He is (Genesis 4:6; Daniel 5:5; Numbers 22:13+31:16).
Jesus said: But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. John 4:23