I’ve just finished reading Michael Crichton’s The Lost World, his sequel to Jurassic Park.
Listen to this, written by a man who spent his entire adult life intimately involved with what we call Science.
“I wouldn’t take any of it too seriously. It’s just theories. Human beings can’t help making them, but the fact is that theories are just fantasies. And they change. Back when America was a new country, people believed in something called phlogiston. You know what that is? No? Well, it doesn’t matter because it wasn’t real anyway. They also believed that four humors controlled behavior. And they believed that the earth was only a few thousand years old. Now we believe the earth is four billion years old, and we believe in photons and electrons, and we think human behavior is controlled by things like ego and self-esteem. We think those beliefs are more scientific, and better…
“They’re still just fantasies. They’re not real. Have you ever seen a self-esteem? Can you bring me one on a plate? How about a photon? Can you bring me one of those?…
“And you never will, because those things don’t exist. No matter how seriously people take them. A hundred years from now, people will look back at us and laugh. They’ll say, ‘You know what people used to believe? They believed in photons and electrons. Can you imagine anything so silly?’ They’ll have a good laugh, because by then there will be newer and better fantasies.”
Crichton never came around to belief in God, so where did his rejection of Science leave him? Pretty much in limbo. He died before he could find truth. That’s what makes it tragic. But at least he had the integrity, and the courage, to admit that those things he believed in, up to that point in his life, were fantasies.
I write fantasies. But mine, with God’s help, are only parables–a roundabout way of approaching truth from a new direction, in hope that this will enable us to see it afresh.
The Left turned against Michael Crichton and rejoiced when he died.
To that extent, he served the Lord in spite of himself.
6 comments on “Michael Crichton’s Dark Night of the Soul”
Thank you so much for this observation Lee, I think there is so much wisdom in several of the paragraph’s that today, we need to take heed on. It is unbelievable that both in science and religion, so much is based on theories of men and they do change from time to time until they actually end up contradicting themselves. I hope this note goes through to you as I do enjoy most of your journals and comments in them; in fact I have quite a file in my computer I enjoy reading. I am now reading your book “Bell Mountain” in my Kindle tablet. I love your take on many important principles of life. Most sincerely, Bro. Don L. Ferguson, Sylvan Springs, Alabama. [DLee51933@bellsouth.net].
Thank you, Don–comments like yours encourage me, and I need all the encouragement I can get. Most writers do!
Please let me know how you liked “Bell Mountain.”
He makes some wonderful points.
Especially in theoretical physics, they keep making up explanations, but these are, at best, illustrations of how they think things work. When they realized that the rotation of galaxies was greater than could be explained by the amount of mass they assume these galaxies to have, they dreamed up “dark matter”. When they discovered that the Universe was expanding at a greater rate then they had assumed, they made up “dark energy”, but even some on the science community are crying foul at this point.
Essentially, they might as well invoke the Tooth Fairy, because there is no evidence that “dark matter” or “dark energy” actually exist. The word “dark”, in this case, does not simply mean non-luminous, it means that we can’t interact with it in any way. If you can’t interact with it in any way, you can neither prove, nor disprove, its existence.
Ultimately, both of those terms are simply fudge factors employed to explain away discrepancies in their understanding of the universe. Einstein had something called the “cosmological constant” which served a similar purpose. Einstein thought that the “cosmological constant” was the greatest error of his career, but now it’s back in the form of “dark matter”.
The fact is that there are things which are beyond human understanding. The Universe is amazing; a delicately balanced compromise which allows us to exist, perceive visible light, allows water to expand when it freezes which prevents lakes from being permanently frozen at the bottom. It is predictable and understandable to the point that we can do some amazing things, but we do not even begin to know how it operates.
Gravity evades explanation, yet it’s essential to the order of the Universe.They know a fat amount about light, but no one can begin to explain wave:particle duality. Quantum entanglement is another huge mystery and no one can explain the mechanism.
Crichton is right, none of the explanations are real.
I always thought wave/particle duality was just totally cool. When you think about it, it’s just totally flabbergasting.
I tend to think that it proves how little we actually know. It’s obvious that neither explanation, wave or particle is capable of explaining how light behaves. There has to be something more; something we’ve never even conceived of, at play.
At the quantum level, randomness and unpredictability rule the day. No one can explain it, but it appears that the Universe is made up of illogically behaving little particles which, individually, act randomly, but collectively follow a well defined law of probabilities. At one level, it makes no sense, but if you take the long view, it makes a great deal of sense. No single particle has all that much effect, but collectively they are completely reliable.
It makes much more sense than having fewer (larger) particles, each of which has a greater influence. If this was the case, the Universe would not be as reliable, because one particle could make more difference and the failure of one particle would be potentially disastrous.
What? No photons and electrons? I will have to renounce my A in Physics. People in early America may have believed the Earth was just a few thousands years old, but there are plenty of us who still believe that today. How can we have a personal God who has all the hairs of our head numbered and has named all the stars if He took billions of years to bring it all the pass? God spoke, and creation was/is/will be. St. Augustine believed the 6 days of Genesis happened in one instance.