Nature and the Universe

Nature and the UniverseSince the dawn of history, humans have been awed by nature and the universe. Natural phenomena such as favourable weather, rain at the right time, and the returning of the sun after a harsh winter were attributed to various gods of nature who had to be kept happy so that they would in turn be nice to the people. On the other hand, destructive storms, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, and tsunamis would have been ascribed to the anger of the respective gods.

Even though today a great deal can be observed, understood, predicted, and even prepared for, as more and more knowledge is available about how nature works and why certain things happen, there is still a tremendous amount mystery – in fact, the more becomes known, the more remains unknown.

There is an awesome order in nature and the universe – predictable laws control the smooth functioning of natural phenomena. We have learned to expect the sun to rise in the east in the morning and set in the west in the evening. Darkness gives way to light each day and vice versa. The gravitational field holds everything fastened to the ground and other forces keep things from descending into chaos. The seasons pass from one to the other bringing with them similar occurrences year after year. Rare and occasional events, such as solar and moon eclipses, can be predicted decades in advance. In all this, however, humans cannot predict much of the future.

Nature and the universe also display complex design. Everything is connected, interrelated and intertwined. When, usually through human mismanagement, the delicate balance in nature is upset, it has consequences throughout – especially noticed over a period of time. The mysterious sense of timing programmed into organisms is nothing short of incredible. Plants and trees “know” when to start sprouting, budding and blooming. Birds, fish, whales, caribous, and other migrating species start their epic journeys to their breeding, feeding, or wintering areas just at the right time. And not only that, they know where they are going without having been taught – often surmounting incredible obstacles on the way. Also, their arrival often coincides with some other great events, such as a short-term but super-abundant food supply. At the level of the universe there too is predictability as well as obvious law and order in operation.

The existence of matter, and especially life itself, is a mystery. While we understand some of the secrets of reproduction, life and the sustenance of life – the life force that keeps everything going in their internal complexities, as well as interacting with and dependent on a myriad of other creatures and factors, is something awesome.

Even more incomprehensible are humans themselves. Not only is their physical functioning amazing. Even more mysterious are the human mind, intellect, will, thought, consciousness, and heart – and the potential for great good on the one hand and enormous evil on the other.

The phenomena of law and order, design and programming, as well as life and its sustenance, not to mention the vastness and incomprehensibility of the universe and possibly “multiverse”, logically point to, although do not prove the existence of, a higher power – a Designer, Creator, Law-Giver, Life-Giver, and Sustainer of all that exists. The human complexity and paradox further suggest that there might be some kind of a higher purpose being worked out from above and beyond us. This website explores what this higher plan and purpose might be.

© Eva Peck, 2010

 

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