Now Available

Wilderness to Water. Reflections regarding God's faithfulness, character, love, and the gospel of Jesus Christ. An examination of God's grace and power through meditative prose, poetry, original drawings and full-color photographs.

Click here for more information

Contact

Prices available for most artwork.

Click here to contact me or email me directly at tgraffga@aol.com for information.

Saturday
Feb112012

But We'll Keep This Rock-a-Rollin

 

"The aesthetics of... mathematics helps us to choose what we think is the more correct theory. The more unifying a theory is, the more beautiful the mathematics are, the more likely that it is true. That is a universal concept among scientists.”
-Dr. Gerald Cleaver (physics professor , Baylor University)

* * * * *

"Beauty is truth, truth beauty," -- that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.”
-John Keats, “Ode On a Grecian Urn”

* * * * *

"It was not a fortuitous meeting of chordal atoms that made the world.  If order and beauty are reflected in the constitution of the universe, then there is a God."
--Beethoven

* * * * *

“Do you know the laws of the heavens?”
(Job: 38:33).

* * * * *

I am not a mathematician. I am not a lover of numbers, formulas and/or equations. They make my head spin. They make me dizzy. I flunked geometry, and my check book hasn't been balanced in years....And there's a reason for that.

On the other hand, however, I do recognize that the elegant Beauty of mathematics is woven into every aspect of the natural world. For centuries man has been aware of this fact and has stood rapt and amazed before the glorious intricacies and the numerical harmonies imbedded in nature all around . The Golden Ratio and Fibonnaci's Number Sequence are perhaps the classic examples of the Beauty of mathematical symmetry that man sees stitched into the fabric and natural order of the universe.

* * * * * * .

Man has rightly understood that the elegant rules of mathematics and the attending foundational physical laws that are woven into the very fabric of nature could be used to help plumb the deep mysteries of the universe. Indeed, the reasoned voices of the mathematical sciences have insistently urged:

Follow me! I will help you live day to day. Follow me! I will aid and comfort you. Follow me! I will take you to The answers you are seeking! Follow me! I will take you to The Bottom Line! Follow me! I can reveal to you The Reason behind the Beauty and Order that you detect!”

Scientists who adhere slavishly to philosophical Naturalism, have believed that through reason, logic and math alone (ie., via the power of the human mind) man would ultimately “get to the bottom of things” and when he did, the quest for “The Theory of Everything” would be over.

Human Mind over matter. Victory at last. Shalom!

But such has not been the case.

Some of today's most prominent, vocal and media-savvy scientists have been attending to these “Follow me!” voices quite religiously for some time. And now these quite knowledgeable men have crafted in their imaginations a purely “scientific” (ie., a-theistic) scenario by which the universe and everything in it just appeared from basically nothing really at all. Recently, in fact, world-renowned theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking proudly announced the “There-is-no-need -of-God” explanation. Mr. Hawking believes that a simple “fluctuation of gravity”inadvertently kick-started all of creation. Not only that, but Mr. Hawking has also informed us that the universe's appearing out of gravitational nothingness was quite inevitable. He emphasized that it was...naturally... bound to happen!

End of story.

* * * * * * *

And, so what does one do with God, you ask?

Well, don't be silly. After all, who needs “God” when the Law of Gravity operating in the midst of several gazillion “M” and “String”-theorized imagined universes over a time span of three or four gazillion-gazillion years ...(rough estimate)...can certainly do the trick quite by accident?

(So, enough with the questions, already! Just pipe down, foolish fellow! We're dealing with reality here!)

* * * * * * *

While Mr. Hawking and many others like him are sticking to their magical guns of cosmological wizardry, many others in the field are not quite so sure that a ....(ahem).... “fluctuation of gravity” can really explain the appearing of Space, Time, Matter, Life, Intelligence (Morality and Love) with such nonchalant ease and indifference. These scientists, I'm sure, are frustrated that they haven't been able to break the “How-Could-All-This-Have-Possibly-Happened?”code . But nevertheless, they soldier on, slide rules out, fingers crossed , hoping against hope that some credible explanation, some formula, some theorem or equation will somehow turn up to save the day for methodological Naturalism. But most of them are beginning to recognize that they are up against a puzzling and quite impenetrable wall, a drawn curtain through which they can detect no opening. Their hope of ever finding their way to ”the other side” of the curtain where true Truth must surely lie, has grown very, very dim.

Mathematician Herman Weyl once said that, “In our knowledge of physical nature we have penetrated so far that we can obtain a vision of the flawless harmony which is in conformity with sublime reason.” …And yet The Reason (ie., logos, in the Greek) behind the reasons remains a profound mystery.

So, yes, I'm sure these scientists are frustrated. Yes, “the problem” probably drives them a bit mad, but at least they have not resorted to the fanciful magic of cosmic alchemy in order to resolve this physical (and metaphysical) conundrum as others like Hawking have done.

The elegant Beauty of science and mathematics woven into the very fabric of nature has brought these scientists to the threshold of Truth. And there they stand waiting for the key to appear. Apparently, the Goddess of Mathematics is coming up a bit short......(And perhaps...that's by design.)

* * * * * * *

 

Interior of the wilderness tabernacle

In the 26th Chapter of the Book of Exodus, God spoke to Moses and told him how the curtain to be placed in front of the Holy of Holies of the wilderness tabernacle was to be made:

“Make a curtain of blue, purple and scarlet yarn and finely twisted linen, with cherubim worked into it by a skilled craftsman. Hang it with gold hooks on four silver bases...The curtain will separate the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place.” (Exodus 26: 31-33)

Of course, we can only imagine what this Curtain looked like when it was finished, but I would be willing to bet that it, too, represented a “...vision of the flawless harmony which is in conformity with sublime reason”. The Curtain in the desert tabernacle was created to separate sinful, unholy men from the awe-full Presence of the one and only Holy Creator, the Intelligent Designer of all Time, all Space and all Matter. The Curtain was woven and stitched together according to God's specific direction and Purpose. In this way God's full glory was veiled as, apparently, it had to be. Under the Old Testament economy, only one man, the High Priest, was allowed to go behind the curtain, “beyond the veil”, and he only once a year on the Day of Atonement ( Yom Kippur)......

 

High Priest outside the veil

* * * * * * *

“Natural explanations having reached their logical limit, we are forced to say that either the orderliness of the universe has no explanation or that it has an extra-natural one.”
--John Haldane

* * * * * *

“But We'll Keep This Rock-a-Rollin'”
(Up Ol' Sisyphus's Hill)

 

We're the smart ones in the classroom...
We're the ones with PhD's!
Now we're backed into this corner...
(Though we're not yet on our knees!)

Our equations hold such promise...
And we sense that something's there!
We've got Faith in all these numbers,
But they just don't seem to care!

Yes, we've filled up ev'ry blackboard,
Every piece of chalk is gone!
Still the Bottom Line escapes us...
But I guess we'll soldier on...

Yes, we're used to crunching numbers,
But, ... alas!...they're crunching back!
Ev'ry calculation's lacking...
And life's Riddle we can't crack!

We've been praying for some insight,
To the gods of twos and threes,
But our subsets turn up empty,
And by anxious thoughts we're seized!

Every time we come up empty...
What we get's a Question Mark!
Goddess, help with this conundrum!
We're still standing in the dark!

Mathematics, ...Yes!...we trust you!
And we know that you're sublime!
So, if you've still got our number,...
Call us quick! We need a Sine!

Our equations just won't balance!
We're unnerved and...“It's not FAIR!”
Please come show us what we're missing
In this Kingdom of the Air!


We detect true Beauty's pattern...
It's both elegant and clean;
Fibonacci's calculations
Took us to The Golden Mean.

We can see the subtle Order...
Information on display!
But we're tethered to this notion:
Naturalism's Mindless Way.

We can't get behind the Curtain,
We can't reach beyond the Veil!
We can't fathom what's The Reason
Why the math we've done has failed.

All this leads to great discomfort!
See?...The Curtain still is drawn!
We can measure it and touch it,
But our angst goes on and on!

It's absurd! We just can't figure
What the heck it's all about.
It's infernal ...and we anguish....
Wringing hands...We twist and shout!

All our quantum physics fizzled...
(That's been quite the Bitter Pill!)
But we'll keep this rock-a- rollin'
Up ol' Sisyphus's hill!

"Sisyphus" by Titian

* * * * * * *

Yes, the way of Truth and Beauty
We can measure and can see...
But beyond that, we are helpless
If we fail to seek The Key.

So we're locked up in frustration.
We're committed not to hear
Ancient wisdom from Isaiah
Who once made it crystal clear.

Numbered Laws we all have followed,
Yet Truth passes over us!
In the wilderness we wander...
Still not knowing who to trust.

* * * * * * *

Lord, we've run out of excuses....
What's that Promise You have sworn?
Give us ears to hear your calling...
Hearts to know....The Curtain's torn.


* * * * * * *

“And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.” (Matthew 27: 50-51)

* * * * * * *

“Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is his body....” (Hebrews 10: 19-20)

Cross # 1, pencil, Tom Graffagnino