on faith, science, and the cosmos

All of us have faith. We must, because no human can prove an absolute truth. Faith allows us to function: faith in the sunrise, faith that other souls exist. But we cannot know that any of it is as it seems. We cannot even find the ends of the universe, much less the rules that apply for the beings within it.

Helix Nebula As Seen By Hubble and the Cerro Toledo Inter-American Observatory

Source: hubblesite.org

Even science takes faith. Science is, essentially, human logic applied to human observation. A human can only observe so much. Thus, you have a finite sample size being applied to form an infinite truth. Even 99.999999% accuracy is not Truth. For simplicity’s sake, you have to assume that after a certain number of trials, the law is probably “absolute.” So we fill in that .000001% with faith. Even then, another scientist may blow it up with a new “absolute.” We were certain the world was a cube. We were certain gravity was a force. But we were wrong.

We have faith that the entire universe operates on our physical laws, based only on our study of those within our reach. There could be multiple universes. How would we know? Science is capturing the bird you see from your window and deciding that this, and only this, is a bird. You could not have fathomed a peacock from a downtown apartment. But Truth is not governed by our ability to fathom it.

Neither scientist nor theologian can prove the infinite or the intangible. The scientist can prove only that her theory, so far, has withstood critique. The theologian can prove only that there was a man named Jesus who died 2,000 years ago and that she knows Him as God. Although both people can submit evidence, both truths come down to faith. In an infinite universe, there is no real proof.

Looking into the the vastness of our dark, violent universe, we must admit our illiteracy. From there only should we search for Truth.

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