Science, Nature And Religion As One Or Mommy Why Is The Sky Blue???

by Teréza Eliasz-Solomon (HeiressMommy™)

Albert Einstein made many statements on the issue of G-d, science and nature. Among other poignant ideas from this Jewish genius was, “Science without religion is lame. Religion without science is blind.“. This is very Talmudic – that which those of us who are in pursuit of scholarly Jewish study use as one of  life templates for instruction on such matters. So it is that unlike most other faiths,  Judaism, allows for and even promotes an acceptance of science, as well as a respect and reverence of nature.

For me Judaism and Science were never more appropriately combined than during recent discussions about CERN, near Geneva, Switzerland where the so called G-d particle is being sought. In my Jewish home the alarm was set for the 4 July 2012 early morning announcement – up before our usual daily 4:30 a.m. to hear live streamed coverage on our ipad and laptops. Of course, I am married to and mother of his ONLY children, @REAL _HiggsBoson [that it is my erudite science geek husband, Chester Michael Eliasz-Solomon]. Hubby and I although of different faiths – myself and our children Jewish and he Catholic  – share a firm believe that G-d and science are NOT incompatible. In fact, we are 100% convinced that there is empirical scientific proof that G-d exists. Again, just last week, our family waited with iphones, ipads and laptops at the ready for NASA to announce that the Curiosity, Mars Rover (video) had safely landed. Why you might be asking in our religious home all this science watchfulness? Easy answer is we see a magnificence that only G-d could be responsible for by creating this universe and all of us/those who make such accomplishments and discoveries even possible – that is the WOW factor and OMG shouts that accompany such events!

My faith is full of references to nature – there are continuing dictates in Judaism as to the need to praise and give thanks for the world’s fauna and foliage. We Jews have actual tree holidays, called Tu Bishvat/New Year of the Trees. I and others have often called us Jews the original environmental ecology group. Nothing pagan here – no false idol worship but instead a denotation of G-d’s natural gifts to us his chosen and all people. We, the Jews and the nation of Israel are big tree planters … I myself have spent much on The Jewish National Fund tree planting service to honor births, marriages and in memory of those passed from this life. Israel Land Administration is a government body whose sole purpose is the protective management of land. How can one claim to love and respect G-d and not care for the world he gave us? Hence there is nothing but reverence for faith by care taking the natural world. There are some however in the extreme Christian right who on account of their misplaced idea that the next life is the only glory think it wrong to maintain well this life’s home – Earth. Troublesome to think extremist are either determined to destroy this world in order to facilitate some sort of messianic event or feel the human dominion over the planet’s resources means no stewardship is needed as a protective measure.

Of course, there are the extremists on the other side who deny all and any omimpotent power as part of this grand scheme – no force and no connection to a higher power is acceptable to stringent atheists. There are times when I understand how the zealots in some religions cause others to reject ALL possibility that G-d is a part of science and nature. Not to be deterred, I and many feel it is a obvious equation that science = nature = G-d and visa verse. My husband joins me in teaching our children reverence for this glorious planet while never worshiping other than one G-d. We both have [among others] degrees in different sciences and see nothing disparate in being both logical thinkers and prayerful individuals. How can one watch a baby born without seeing the presence of a miracle – a divine design? The G-d particle being sought at CERN is to me a defining confidence that a G-d exists … how glorious the creation of life is as we learn our origins. No,  the literal, especially Christian [mis] interpretation of  The Bible can not be sufficient as explanation of our human existence but the pursuit of the nuanced beginning can be proof of the magic that began it all. So you see no one need choose either or as far as faith and science are concerned – these ideals can co-exist quite nicely if one only approaches the subject with a open mind.

When my beloved father, Abraham was diagnosed with the dreaded disease mesothelioma in 1986, I researched every treatment and possible cure. I called, visited and wrote to researchers and doctors all over the world. Then I learned that one of my father’s and mine favorite science writers, Stephen Jay Gould had himself been stricken with peritoneal mesothelioma in 1982 – which he had written about in an article concerning beating this disease’s eight months after diagnosis usual death statistic. He had been operated on and was living since for then nearly four years. [he died from an unrelated cancer in 2002].  This brilliant and prophetic writer corresponded with me – supporting my obvious futile effort to save my father, as the disease was always fatal. None the less, Gould warmed me by ending his last letter sent to my home by saying how lucky my father was to have a child love him as I did and if any cure was to be found, he [Gould] knew I would seek it out. Great flattery and a comfort to me. My father tragically died a year later but he shared, like with so much else between us, an enlightenment through Gould’s work with me. In the book Hen’s Teeth And Horse’s Toes, Gould reminds us how sad it would be if evolution, as one of half dozen “great ideas” developed by science were not properly taught in schools. Of particular interest to us Jews and to my husband, who is a genealogist is the notation in this book concerning the profound issues of  the “roots” phenomena that ask where did we come from and how did life itself arise? In another of his books, Ever Since Darwin, Stephen Jay Gould discusses the potential problem of us humans seeking immortality – a way to through science of unlocking the keys to our death. Such as those answers can deter a life from joy and being in the moment, so can ignoring the bountiful gift from G-d that science amazes us with and nature intrigues in so many ways.  Wonderment can bring questions yes but also a comfort in a grander scheme – frightening at times but ultimately soothing if an acceptance of G-d is at hand. For as Gould was in his childhood so are we in ours and it is this that his book The Panda’s Thumb discusses in its simple question on why the adorable Panda has a “thumb” but is not like ours that gives that Oh moment that combines divine acceptance with real understanding.

Richard Dawkins wrote in The Selfish Gene that only since Charles Darwin can one even attempt to correctly answer a child’s question as where it is we [humans] come from. There is no issue nor problem in describing to that child the evolution of our species intertwined with the acknowledgement of G-d’s work in creating us. Why an either or answer? No need as even Darwin wrote and spoke of the wonderment and initiating presence of life on Earth. This father of modern evolutionary science believed that G-d was the ultimate lawmaker. When a child ask why the sky is blue can not the answer include climate and color [scientific] phenomenon called scattering, along with because G-d made it that way – in totality being a truthful answer. Dawkins writes that intelligent life comes of age in the sense and time where we can explain our reason for existing but I, like many, do not believe the reason need be linear or even tangible – only fulfilling by means of an understanding that G-d presented the tools in nature and science for us and all here to be real.

In a previous post, I wrote about being a bit of an egg head type gal – becoming nearly obsessed in 198o’s with the string theory. Reading all articles and the books published on this topic I, like others eventually calmed down and realized it was not the complete universal truth to existence and design. In The Elegant Universe, Brian Greene discusses the quest for the ultimate theory. Greene explains that even though our string theory excitement might have been justified, by 1985 physicists realized this was not one but five different ways resulting in theories that differed substantially. We superstring devotees could only be left, if sensible, admiring but again assured something bigger was the answer – no one threaded path to the the why and how of  it all.

Let me end by sharing what my Jewish religious G-d believing science [ along with so many other subjects] educated and extremely erudite, well read father taught me about eternal life: As matter does not ever dissipate, so we will always be present in life in this world and in the stars. As we all come from star dust, so shall we remain as particles in earth and spirit in hearts, as well as alive in remembrance of others. We therefore are eternal!!!

P.S. I look forward to sharing in my now finally decided on date soon to be released book,  Heiress Mommy … A Modern Super Woman Life! so much more about my wise parents, as well as how my husband & I are similarly determined to raise our twin sons, Aleksander Benjamin & Chase Joseph [+ any other children we are blessed with] with a love of science, nature & G-d.

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One Comment to “Science, Nature And Religion As One Or Mommy Why Is The Sky Blue???”

  1. Very nice and on point about where science stands.

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