Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Both make the world magical

I took a biology class my freshman year of college. My professor's self-professed, number-one goal was to awaken our sense of wonder. He wanted us to get excited again when we followed a trail of ants or looked at the clouds. His class truly did help me feel the near-forgotten feeling of childlike curiosity.

My childlike sense of wonder is again being reawakened as I watch Ada discover the newness of each day. I very much, however, have a sense of wonder apart from the daily awakenings I experience with my daughter; the wonder that got its spark listening to Daniel Green talk about the string theory, or another charge when I learned about the Heisenberg uncertainty principle. This sense of wonder is tied to the realm of spirituality as much as it is science.


Right before I heard the thunder, the world outside turned dark. It was around 4 PM. Mike was finishing up a paper and I was reading on the couch. Then the rain began. It's the sort of rain that mirrors tears that have been pent up for a long, long time. The kind of rain that drenches in seconds, but is gone the next moment. I got out my video camera and filmed the giant drops splash against the tile steps out back.

The sky just opened up again, only moments ago. Reminding me once more that power exists.


I recently read an interview about a Mormon woman who grew up the daughter of a falconer. She talked about how her early exposure to science informed her understanding of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. She credited her father for giving her the sense that, "there’s no disjunction between good science and good religion. Both of them," she says, "will make the world magical."

That statement—the one about making the world magical—took me two places simultaneously; back to my seat in the crowded auditorium of the Widtsoe Building, and to a few nights ago when Michael and I sat in lengthy discussion over the fact that it has been scientifically proven that everything is in a constant state of change.

So much of what I have been thinking about lately is couched in that discussion. I feel like so much of the media I have consumed lately—blogs, scriptures, news articles, short stories, lesson manuals, TEDtalks, clips from NPR, various podcasts—have fed into one story about transition and change.

I feel like there has to be some overarching narrative embedded in the white spaces. In hopes to uncover it I've been pondering there the last few days, trying to work out in my brain what I should be learning from this theme that seems to be constantly pounding at my thoughts.

I haven't come up with it yet. I'll be working it out on this blog over the next little while I think.

But I want to start with this: both—good science, and good religion—make the world magical.

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