Thursday, March 22, 2012

Thursday Thinking - Faith and Physics

My friend, Dr. Luke Corwin, is a particle physicist who keeps a blog called Great Are the Works of the Lord. He named the blog with Psalm 111:2 in mind: "Great are the works of the LORD, studied by all who delight in them."

I first met Luke when he was a freshman at the University of Minnesota. I was the campus pastor with Christian Student Fellowship and Luke was one of the most active and faithful students in our group. Now, these many years later, it is a joy for me to see him doing so well with his work and to see he is still growing in his faith.

I encourage you to read his recent post reflecting on the spiritual aspects of neutrinos. Luke's perspective is a good reminder that faith and science are not opposed to each other. Here is a brief excerpt to pique your curiosity.

The idea that even inanimate physical objects can have properties beyond those discernible by science is one I had not considered deeply in a long time. However, I think God is using these passages from Lewis' writing to reactivate this line of thinking in me. Phrases like the elegant Universe, the God particle, and the handwriting of God may be echos of the great minds that Lewis mentioned.

Many poets and artists have pondered what a star is beyond its energy and plasma, so I thought it would be a good exercise to ponder the possible spiritual aspects of the particles I study: neutrinos.
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Despite their ghostly qualities, they are necessary to several physical processes that are important to life on Earth. Without neutrinos, the sun could not shine as it does. With out the sun, the existence of life would be impossible. Nuclear reactors and nuclear weapons could not function as they do. Most of the energy of exploding stars called supernovae is carried away as neutrinos. Supernovae create and disperse many elements (such as iron and iodine) that our bodies require to function. Neutrinos are found throughout the Universe in great quantities.

Click Here to Read More

Two books by C. S. Lewis mentioned by Luke in this post are:
The Abolition of Man and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.

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