Science. This may be a cringy or exciting word – depending on your preference. I’ve found many people are either frustrated with all the confusion of science or are just genuinely uninterested, and quite honestly, I don’t blame those of you who may think this. Through this blog, however, I hope to put some chinks in that mindset – but before we go into more detailed topics we must seriously clarify two main questions: what is science and why should we be interested in it?
Science – in its most basic form – is the systematic study of the world around us. The official definition will throw in 17,000 fancy words, but this is the root of the concept. It’s not some authoritative group that discovers cures for cancer and it’s not a boring list of microbiology terms – its activity approaching the world around you with a mindset of a learner – how and why did God design this world to work? Science is being curious – asking questions – and then trying to find the answers. For me (a STEM nerd), this curiosity and fascination come naturally, but even if it doesn’t I’m sure you have learned something in this area that made you step back in awe – which leads into the answer of the second question: Why should we study science?
If you are familiar with the Bible, you probably know the answer without realizing it. Let’s take a look at Genesis 1:26-28.
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.
And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
The very first commandment God imposed on humanity was the order to exercise dominion over the earth. We as humans are called to interact with our earth and use it for God’s glory. Dominion means control – or in this sense oversee or manage – and in order to control something, we must know what we are controlling. This is the call of science by our Creator – to study our world so we can better understand how to use it in a way that God intended.
But as I hinted earlier, this is not the only reason to learn about the world.
Step back for a second.
Right now, look right outside your window and ponder the first thing you see. A plant? Concrete sidewalks? A rock? All everyday items, but go deeper. What’s it made of? What organisms depend on it? How do the molecules of its structure stay together? Eventually, all questions will lead to one answer: I don’t know – which is exactly what God was going for. We then try to solve the question, and many times we succeed. But at some point there will be mysteries that cannot be solved. When our finite human brains can’t comprehend his creation, we inevitably give up and in awe learn to praise the Lord for his incredible design. One song I grew up singing puts it perfectly: “God of Wonders beyond our galaxy- you are holy!” Study leads to understanding but also praise, and this is what God created science to be- a tool to point us lost children to Him.
So as we embark on this journey of learning, remember the purpose of humanity as a whole. We are here to oversee and use creation to glorify God, a God who sacrificed everything for us. God knew his plan, and we know it too. Now we can also appreciate his creation and why he saw that his plan was- and still is- good.