Last weekend, I had my first double-digit run in a while that didn’t include tears. “Victory!” I thought. I tend to be optimistic like that.
Of course, I know one meltdown-free run does not mean victory but, hey, it’s something.
I went to bed feeling pretty good about myself that night but apparently, “Humility“, my word for the year, was not yet done schooling me.
When I woke up, my neck was so sore and stiff, I couldn’t turn my head to the left.
Next year, I am picking a better word, something like “Endurance” or “Strength” or maybe even “Ice Cream“.
I tried to do an easy three-mile run, then bailed, then reconsidered bailing, and finally decided to tough it out.
Every step jarred my sore neck. It was not one of my better runs.
By the time “Trail-Running Thursday” rolled around, though, I was good for a pain-free romp in the woods.
When I got home, there was a text message from my son waiting for me: ” Ask Alexa to play the story about the parallel universe where time runs backward.”
My son knows I am a science nerd who loves the unexplainable, the strange, the weird.
Of course, I listened to the story.
Apparently, according to the acclaimed scientific journal The New York Post, scientists have discovered evidence of a universe where time starts at the Big Bang, then runs backward.
Shockingly, upon further examination, this claim turns out to be mostly false.
The writers at the Post and other tabloids may have read only the headline for a real scientific article describing the findings of a team of researchers in Antarctica who discovered a new high-energy particle titled, “We May Have Spotted a Parallel Universe Going Backwards In Time“.
I believe the scientists may have been interested in garnering views with that provocative title. Upon actually reading the article, you discover that yes, a parallel universe where positive is negative, up is down, and time flows in reverse is possible but not probable.
It is much more likely they have discovered a high-energy particle that, rather than falling from the sky to earth as typical cosmic particles do, seems to be exploding upward out of the ground. Or the Antarctic ice may have skewed the data.
As the Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians, we see “through a glass, darkly“, if at all.
Scientists will be the first to admit their understanding of the Universe is limited and, it seems, the more we learn, the more we realize how much more exists which we do not understand.
Science gives us a method, however, to examine our world and the cosmos.
Our theories become closer to the truth as our knowledge increases and our instrumentation improves.
We used to believe the Earth was the center of the Universe until Copernicus and Galileo discovered we were wrong.
We used to believe electrons orbited the nucleus of an atom in the same manner as planets orbit the sun until Niels Bohr (and others) proved otherwise.
Albert Einstein posited the theory of general relativity over 100 years ago. He theorized gravity is the bending of space and time by mass and energy.
Even undergraduate physics students now understand general relativity much better than Einstein ever did. We understand the universe better than Galileo and we understand the atom better than Bohr because of the knowledge we have accumulated since those scientists had their breakthrough moments.
We use that data to answer questions, refining and improving our understanding all the time.
Oh, scientists are not infallible.
Part of the scientific method is to learn from errors. After every experiment, a good scientist asks herself “What could I improve? What could I do better? How could I collect more reliable data?”
Right now the world is facing a problem. A huge problem.
The problem cannot be willed away, it can’t be ignored, it can’t be denied into oblivion.
The best chance we have to solve the problem is to listen to the best scientists and doctors – the virologists, the immunologists, the molecular biologists, and all the other-ologists who are basing their knowledge and expertise on the cumulative endeavors of generations of scientists who have come before them.
In a now-famous quote Fred Rodgers instructs us to “Look for the helpers.” In this crisis the medical professionals and scientists are the helpers. They have our best interests at heart.
It’s not that they are never wrong but they know more about the issues than anyone else on earth. They are worthy of our trust.
Earlier in the same chapter of 1 Corinthians where Paul described seeing “through a glass darkly“, he also related the characteristics of love – patience, kindness, humility, and hopefulness, among others.
Facing our problem with the competency and comprehension of the scientists and the forbearance and compassion called for by the Apostle is the way we can move forward together, to a society less fractured, less hate-filled, and less politicized than we are now.
We must use the best of both worlds.
I believe in science; I have faith in God.
You can find the places I link up here.