The meteoroid streaking across the Russian sky is a wonderful sight. Pity about the damage and injury, but what a spectacle. Easy to understand why people might have thought such a thing a sign from the gods, or even from God. Easy to imagine too that some people might think it an attack from another country. I wonder what North Koreans would have made of it if they’d witnessed it. We really do need proper education in science: it has implications for politics and peace. I haven’t yet heard a so-called religious figure say that the meteor is a punishment from God, the explanation given by some nutters for the 2004 tsunami, though the lightning strike over the Vatican has been linked with Papa Ratzinger’s resignation. We need proper education in religion. This has political implications too.
I’m not one of those who sees a conflict between religion and science—well, I wouldn’t, would I? I see them as mutually enriching. We are creatures of this earth. We live as biological organisms. We think as biological organisms. Our concepts of the cosmos and of the Divine are shaped by the limitations of our biology, of the way we think, of the way our brain cells interact with each other. Biology shapes our every perception. Mathematicians claim that their discipline is God. the trouble is that that too is shaped by how our, or rather their, brain cells work. Maybe science and biology are two aspects of the same thing. I rather think so. The conversation between science and spirituality is exciting. If only we could find some way of doing it that was jargon-free.
Proverbs 8 tells is that sofia, lady wisdom, is present alongside the creator during creation, at the big bang. Wisdom, an emanation of the creator. The stardust out of which you, me, meteoroids, planets are made. Wisdom, the ordering principle that converts the unformed to the ordered, chaos to cosmos. The ordering principle, that is the laws of the universe or logos. This kind of stuff is a great way to begin confirmation classes.