I’ve been re-reading a book that I enjoyed in my teen years. Its title is Black Holes by French physicist and astronomer J.P. Luminet (an appropriate surname for someone who studies the stars). It is a semi-technical look at the incredible forces that govern the celestial bodies and a fascinating journey into the barely-understood terrors of black holes. FYI, I wasn’t a total science geek back then, but for some reason, theoretical physics really revved my engine. I do have to take a moment to boast: after reading a book by the famous Dr. Michio Kaku, I sent him an email with my thoughts. He promptly responded, saying that he wanted to interview me for his radio show. He called my house *twice* to speak to me. I stuttered and stammered like an idiot, and I don’t know if he broadcast the interview, but how many kids can say they’ve received a personal phone call from Dr. Kaku?
But I digress. As I’m reading this book on black holes, I am staggered by the genius of mankind to put these pieces together. I go outside and I look at the sky, and I see a vast expanse with flickering points of light. How incredible is it to think that throughout the centuries, humanity has been unlocking the mysteries of that expanse and has been able to come to the realization that there are invisible spheres of dead star matter that are so dense, that light is unable to escape from them? That sounds like sheer insanity, but math does not lie, and while we have never directly observed a black hole (an impossibility because it’s totally black), their effects are now very apparent. Astronomers and physicists are like interstellar forensic detectives, going over evidence and piecing together the puzzle.
Science fiction is becoming more ambitious as the secrets of the universe are uncovered. Going to the moon is so last century. Serious efforts are now underway for exploration and even colonization of Mars, and Europa remains a consistent possibility of extraterrestrial biology (and was the backdrop for an excellent movie). There is admittedly bizarre talk of “alien megastructures” and cinematic wormhole travel has progressed from the trippiness of 2001: A Space Odyssey to the moderately scientific space tunnels of Interstellar. We are still bound to this decaying planet but our minds and imaginations sail past the galaxies in ways that seem almost tangibly real.
This is just a fraction of the awesomeness of the human mind, and much of it has come within the last one hundred years. Yet despite it all, I frequently return to 1 Corinthians 1:25: “For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength” (NIV). Think about what that means. The wisdom of man is far from foolish. Quantum mechanics, black holes, string theory, multiple dimensions – that’s all serious stuff. But this verse tells us that in essence, these thoughts at the pinnacle of human possibility are lower than God’s silliness. Our greatest wisdom is beneath God’s mere foolishness. I can’t even comprehend that. The mysteries of the universe are absolutely mind-blowing. The philosophers of yore have constructed mental entanglements that are enough to drive someone into madness. We have plumbed the depths of atomic minutae. In my frail estimation, I imagine someone like Einstein or Rosenberg having a chat with God and making Him nod in startled amusement, like a father whose son blurts out an inscrutable philosophical conundrum.
Yet this verse, and many like it, tell us that God’s ways and thoughts are so far beyond ours, it’s like the distance from the heavens to the earth (Is. 55:8-9). Einstein’s theory of Special Relativity shows that if there are two particles racing together, and one is going the speed of light and the other is moving at 99.99% the speed of light, the first particle will zip ahead as if the second particle is standing still. This defies conventional wisdom but it is an absolute fact. And no matter how close we think we may be coming to approaching God’s thoughts, His ways leave ours in dirt as if they are mere child’s play.