Poems, and Prayers, and Promises, and Things That We Believe In

Poems, and Prayers, and Promises, and Things That We Believe In October 18, 2018

 

Unser Solarsystem
Our Solar System, not even remotely to scale and without the dwarf planet Pluto
(NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory; Wikimedia CC public domain)

 

“We are, by astronomical standards, a pampered, cosseted, cherished group of creatures. .  .  If the Universe had not been made with the most exacting precision we could never have come into existence. It is my view that these circumstances indicate the Universe was created for man to live in.”  (John A. O’Keefe [d. 2000], NASA planetary scientist)

 

For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream.  He has scaled the mountains of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.  (Robert Jastrow [d. 2008], NASA astronomer, physicist, and cosmologist, from his book God and the Astronomers, commenting about current trends in cosmological theory)

 

The creation of ores and their placement close to the Earth’s surface are the result of much more than simple geologic chance.  Only an exact series of physical and chemical events, occurring in the right environment and sequence and followed by certain climatic conditions, can give rise to a high concentration of these compounds so crucial to the development of civilization and technology.  (George Brimhall, a geologist at the University of California at Berkeley)

 

To get our universe, with all of its potential for complexities or any kind of potential for any kind of life-form, everything has to be precisely defined on this knife edge of improbability. . . .  [Y]ou have to see the hands of a creator who set the parameters to be just so because the creator was interested in something a little more complicated than random particles.”  (Francis Collins, M.D.. Ph.D., former leader of the Human Genome Project and current director of the National Institutes of Health)

 

***

 

One of the great pleasures of life is thoughtful conversations with friends.

 

Tonight, we went out to dinner with long-time friends from the Phoenix area who happen to be in town.  They returned, not terribly long ago, from presiding over a foreign mission.  We spoke about their experiences, about future plans at the Interpreter Foundation, and related topics.

 

And, last night, my wife and I shared a meal with Ed Snow and his wife, Eileen; Stephen Ricks and his wife, Shirley; Steven Olsen (whose wife was obligated elsewhere); and our kind hosts, a retired biochemist and his wife, who (like our friends tonight) haven’t already been publicly outed as acquaintances of mine and whom, therefore, I will not name.  We had a very pleasant conversation, largely about Gospel-related subjects, following a wonderful home-prepared meal.

 

I seriously think that, in such experiences, there is a small foretaste of heaven.

 

 

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