UNIVERSAL DHARMA

This Too, Will Pass ~ QUANTUM LEAP

EUROPEANS, "UNTIL ABOUT 500 YEARS AGO, had nothing but myths, untested speculations, and other products of imagination, which amounted to ignorance, with which to answer many human questions about life, birth and death, sickness, disease, weather, seasons, and how best to survive all sorts of dangers and hazards.

"For the past 500 years we have been perfecting the Scientific Method which is the first and only reliable method we have ever found for finding answers to questions about the natural, physical universe, and for being certain that we really know what we think we know. Perhaps it should surprise no-one that when scientifically-collected knowledge and understanding of some of the measurable aspects of nature were first announced, vigorous rejection and condemnation was immediately voiced by the entire Christian community because the findings, derived from direct observation, differed greatly from what the religion had taught as religious ‘truth’" (Clyde Davis).

Let me ask a pointed question: From which have you benefited more: Religion, or Science? There’s no need to answer, is there? Science has brought us immeasurable benefits in the past 5 centuries, and enhanced our lives tremendously, but only in the face of great opposition from the established religion of Europe, which opposed change and progress every inch of the way. To survive as a viable force into the 21st century, and stand on its own feet, without the traditional use of fear and ignorance to maintain itself, it must change and adapt to the reality of the times. It must be based upon reality, not upon exposed myths and tired fairy-tales. Nor must it use Science as a Trojan horse to perpetuate itself. Not long ago, I came across an example of such Trojan horse subterfuge. It begins fairly well, but soon makes a quantum leap from what Science has revealed to the realm of fancy. It was a little pamphlet entitled: "Why am I here? Where am I going?" by an Evangelist named Robert E. Surgenor; I will quote it in full.

"Have you ever considered the greatness of the universe? The more you examine the scientific findings, the more befogged your mind will become! Astronomers tell us that the Milky Way galaxy, which includes our earth, contains some 100 billion stars. Only 5,776 are visible to the naked eye. Traveling at the speed of light (over 186,282 miles per second), it would take over 4 years to reach the nearest star and about 75,000 years to reach the most distant star in our galaxy. To travel across the Milky Way at the speed of light (700 million mph) would take 100,000 years! Astronomers also claim that there are almost one trillion other galaxies detected in the universe! Traveling at 700 million mph, it would take you 8 billion years to reach the most distant galaxy ever seen! This tremendous galaxy is 10 times larger than our own Milky Way! These numbers make us feel rather small, don't they? Is it any wonder the psalmist said, "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork" (Psalm 19:1). Yet, God "tells the number of the stars; He calls them all by their names" (Psalm 147:4). In contrast, man (with all his scientific equipment) has to confess, "the host of heaven cannot be numbered" (Jeremiah 33:22). God sees more with his naked eye than man ever can through his 80-million-dollar telescopes!


PLANET EARTH

Another amazing thing is that, out of all the vast universe, there is only one planet that God has chosen to be inhabited. "For thus says the Lord that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; He hath established it; He created it not in vain, He formed it to be inhabited (Isaiah 45:18). Having a diameter of 7,926 miles, a circumference of 24,901 miles, and a surface-area of 196,937,600 square miles (of which 28% is land), this earth houses over 5 billion humans. Suspended in space, it rotates on its own axis at 1,000 miles per hour; at the same time, it travels through empty space at the rate of 20,936,400,000 miles yearly! Its highest point is Mt. Everest, 29,028 feet above sea-level, and its lowest point the Mariana Trench, 35,760 feet below the waves of the Pacific Ocean. Yet in spite of its greatness, the earth is not so big after all. You could put 1,300,000 earths inside the sun, 64 million suns inside the star Antares, and several hundred million Antares inside Epsilon!

So here we are, orbiting through the vastness of space on our temporary abode called 'Earth.' Every hour, 17,150 souls are born to take up residence here, while 6,850 bid good-bye forever to earth's surface, to take up residence elsewhere. Consequently, every day Mother Earth has an increase in pop-ulation of 247,200 souls. Now just what is the reason for all of this movement? Have you ever asked yourself: Why am I here? What is the purpose of it all? Where am I going? These questions are good thoughts to consider, don't you agree? To answer such questions, the only reliable source is the Holy Scriptures. Herein are the Creator's answers to a bewildered and wondering human-race.


WHERE AM I GOING?

God's original plan for man was that he glorify God and serve Him forever. However, man ruined himself and his lofty position before God through sin. Sad indeed, "by one man (Adam) sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned" (Romans 5:12). Consequently, the human race, instead of being able to glorify God, is alienated from God, spiritually "dead in trespasses and sins" (Ephesians 2:1). "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). Consequently, mankind is doomed to "hell fire" (Mark 9:43-48), "everlasting punishment" (Matthew 26:46), and torment for ever and ever in "the lake which burns with fire and brimstone" (Revelation 14:11; 21:8), "where their worm dies not, and the fire is not quenched" (Mark 9:44). These Scriptures answer the question, "Where am I going?' as far as God is concerned, don't they?


WHY AM I HERE?

But wait! Please read on and find God's answer to "Why am I here?" Even though the devil would like to have you in hell, God desires that you be in heaven with Him when you leave this old planet earth. When we consider the magnitude of God's greatness, what grace it is on His part that He ever considers us at all! David exclaimed: "What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man, that thou visitest him?" (Hebrews 2:9). Because of sin, we no longer see all things as when God originally created man; "but we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man (Hebrews 2:9). On this earth, the Lord Jesus "appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself." At Calvary, He "offered one sacrifice for sins for ever" (Hebrews 9:26; 10:12). Every soul that accepts the Lord Jesus as the only sacrifice for his sins immediately comes into the good of that sacrifice, and is saved from hell and fitted for heaven. God proclaims, "Their sins and iniquities will I remember no more" (Hebrews 10:17). Why am I here? You are here for a short lifetime that you might take the opportunity to obtain God's wonderful salvation. Then you will be able to glorify Him and serve Him, not only on earth, but in heaven throughout eternity. That's God' desire! Are you willing?"


Do you see the quantum-leap made in the above tract, the point where the writer departs from science into fancy? The evangelist certainly has a hypothesis, but it is not a theory, as it is based upon belief and wishful thinking, and is not supported by reality. In contrast, I would like to reproduce here another tract by Clyde Davis, entitled:


ESSAY ON THEORIES

MANY INTELLECTUALS decry the alleged advances made during the past several hundred years in our understanding of nature and natural phenomena. Science and scientists are criticized for erecting a structure of reality that is at best merely an embodiment of current prejudices and currently fashionable opinions, and that in future a whole new structure may become fashionable. Science is thus dismissed as no more than an aggregation of theories that may someday be replaced by new theories.

Every science does indeed consist of theories, but the word THEORY has quite a different meaning within science than outside. A scientific THEORY is a statement of what is established beyond reasonable doubt [italics Beachcomber's], is accepted as a statement of fact by knowledgeable workers in the field, and can no longer be seriously challenged. This is true, for example, of the Atomic Theory, the Theory of Electricity, the Quantum Theory, the Tectonic Plate Theory, the Theory of Evolution, etc. Research work in all fields of science will nevertheless continue because many areas remain that need further study. Thus the detailed process by which a new species evolves remains to be observed. And the bridge between Newtonian and Quantum Mechanics is not yet built.

A THEORY is reached by starting with a collection of hypotheses or best guesses and amassing evidence through experiment and other data-gathering that gradually eliminates all hypotheses but one, or combines or modifies hypotheses until a THEORY begins to take shape.

A THEORY must not only account for all phenomena observed in the area of interest, but must correctly predict phenomena not yet observed. Moreover, it must be consistent with all other THEORIES and all other knowledge that is known about the physical universe.

Long before the discovery of the scientific method there was great curiosity about the nature and causes of natural phenomena. Every one was free to offer conjectures and guesses about almost anything so that a primitive kind of folk-science developed in many places. My grandfather, for example, once told me that water in a stream becomes safely drinkable after it has flowed across 4 stones. A farmer I once worked for believed that shrubs and bushes cut from a fence-line or pasture on August 2 would not grow again from the roots.

The conjectures and guesses that gained wide credibility were those offered by wise men, or men who gained reputation as thinkers and seers. Among such men were Abraham, Moses, Plato, Aristotle, the Buddha, Jesus, Lao Tsu, et al., all of whom were noted chiefly for their hypotheses about human behavior, but whose views on any subject merited close attention. If several seers promulgated different hypotheses about anything there was no way to decide which seer was correct (we must avoid saying which one was TRUE because TRUTH itself is believed by some of the anti-science folk to have no reality, that TRUTH has about the same life-expectancy as a THEORY).

The scientific method has made it possible to find out which hypothesis, if any, deserves to be called a THEORY, or might be the basis of a THEORY or at least might justify the additional work needed to establish a THEORY. Human behavior is of course the most interesting and also the most difficult one about which to guess accurately.

Inanimate nature has been the easiest to study and is now blanketed with THEORIES. But much remains to be learned. The most serious impediment to further advances may be our limited sources of information. Initially, we were limited to the information that our senses could gather. We greatly increased this with telescopes and microscopes and mathematics and have since moved far into the vast electromagnetic domain of information. There may be other kinds of information about the physical universe of which our senses and devices are unaware.

Unfortunately, the scientific method to date is applicable only to reproducible phenomena that can be weighed or measured or quantified in some fashion; it is unlikely that the method can ever be applied to purely mental concepts such as are encountered in all religions and some philosophies. And even if a scientific study of a religious concept such as reincarnation could be imagined it is doubtful if anyone with the temerity to undertake such a study could be found. The same is true of most other religious hypotheses.

A THEORY developed by the scientific method is a really remarkable and glorious achievement among contentious humans because it is accepted among scientists throughout the world; the same THEORY is held by all scientists in every country and every language. Unlike religions and philosophies which are still at the stage of hypotheses and best guesses, scientific THEORIES enjoy a universal acceptance with a high level of confidence.

Science can be viewed as the first and only human accomplishment that justifies the evolution of the remarkable human brain."

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