PBS

Tonight a few fellows and I watched several hours of public television (or “state-run television,” depending on the country you live in).  We watched Nova talk about this science and that for awhile, and the thing which really struck me as we watched report after report was the reality that these sciences are built upon some kind of fear.  Tonight’s episode included reports about hurricanes and bird flu and stem cell research, among other things, and the philosophies so many of the scientists expressed in each of these fields of research struck me as only so much fear.   Here are a few paraphrases, including my own explanations in italics:

“We need to allow stem cell research for the sake of lengthening our lives on this earth, (even if we do complain about living half the time) because, despite our complaints, the thing we fear more than a terrible life is the darkness after death.”

“We measure the surface temperature of the oceans every three hours in our effort to understand hurricanes because we fear the awful power of these great storms which we cannot control and which we assume are uncontrolled.”

“We study the genetic language of killer viruses because we fear the pain and death they may bring.”

As I began to recognize just how much godless people fear, it became something you could even see in their eyes.  We muted the program and let the captions roll awhile, but you could still read fear within their eyes.  The may take sick pride in the things they believe they are learning about hurricanes or bird flu*, but the foundation of fear is still there.  And this makes me grieve.   How different all of these things would appear to the one who knows an Author of life, an Authority above all of these things.  So it seems to me.

Later as we watched a Frontline report on the gross abuse of power by President Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe, I thought to myself how blessed are the meek who shall inherit the earth, and the poor in spirit whose kingdom is heaven.  What have we to fear?

*During the report on hurricanes, one scientist remarked, “We have always known that hurricanes operate in cycles…”  I could not but take issue with the use of the words “always” and “known.”  Clearly, they have not always known such things–neither they personally (they did not know these things when they were babes), nor the scientific community at large throughout any human history.  And, too, can they truly say they know a thing only because it has responded predictably for a limited period of time?  They do not understand the why behind it, why air should rapidly move at all, how any cycle would have begun initially, and so on–and none were there to report it.  The reality of how little they know should stagger them to humility…perhaps humble enough to cast eyes heavenward beyond creation to its Maker?  We pray.

8 thoughts on “PBS

  1. sometimes when i read the news and i hear about all these possible flu epidemics and this disease and that hurricane and this earthquake that took 20k+ thousand lives, i get this knot in my stomach.  i think its because its so easy to forget how finite we are and our human nature makes us believe we are invincible.  but once reality strikes and you realize “i am just a man”, i don’t know what that truth would be without the knowledge of Christ and the Father in heaven. 
    i know this might sound odd but i find existentialists to be a breath of intellectual fresh air.  these types of philosophers (particularly Sartre) often struggled with the concept of suicide because they recognized that life is pointless (which it is if you don’t believe in God) and wondered why they shouldn’t just kill themselves.  it drives me insane that the rest of the world cant be that intellectually honest … they keep living their lives as atheists pretending there is some purpose outside of God.  and while my heart breaks for philosophers like Sartre that are athiests, i find it encouraging that he doesn’t fool himself.  and maybe it is only when you get to that place of honesty where you say “this life is pointless” that you can truly be broken so the Spirit can draw you to life in Christ Jesus.
    i am not sure if any of that made sense, but thanks for reading my book that i just wrote to you 🙂

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  2. I have to admit when there’s a catagory 5 hurricane headed straight at your home, it helps to know that God is in control.(Everyone is important somewhere to someone, don’t you think?)

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  3. “What the heck!” (palms aimed at the sky with arms spread out to the sides) Reminds me a good friend of ours. Too bad Colorado isn’t a closer roadtrip and that gas isn’t cheaper.
    The new Keane album is growing on me. I wasn’t really impressed at first, but musically I think it’s better than the first. Lyrically, I can’t really say yet because I haven’t really “listened” to it yet.

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  4. I’m sorry this reply has taken me so long. I haven’t forgotten your question of a month ago, about gifts. I just can’t figure out how to answer it. (And that statement alone almost deserves explanation.) Isn’t it amazing how much contemplation can be provoked by one little question!I am mostly made up of the small stuff of life. More quirks than talents. Lots of interests, very little expertise. There are a hundred little things that stir fire in me or make me smile, but…well, to be honest (and I won’t be offended if you laugh), it’s been hard to describe myself without sounding like a want-ad. And what I finally did come up with seemed rather lengthy, so I changed my mind about putting it all here. I will tell you that I am a musician (pianist, singer). It’s a talent that I’ve neglected to continue improving in recent years, but God still uses me once in a while. Oh, and about the poetry…Is it poetry when all I did was break up sentences into short lines and discard the use of caps? My poetry is mostly accidental. Maybe I sometimes think like a poet. Must be all those books I read as a child. Or the musician in me. But, no, I’ve never really thought of myself as a poet. My sister is the writer. And the artist, and linguist, and photographer. And another sister is the cook, hair-cutter, organizer, and paddler (canoeing). And the three of us sing together. Funny how it’s so easy to spot other people’s talents. I haven’t even started on the rest of my siblings. Did you know I have ten? Siblings, I mean. At least now I can safely say that I think one of my gifts has recently been discovered. (I hereby promise to stop saying I’m not poetic. It sounds like a ploy for flattery anyway. My sister will be relieved.)And this turned out to be lengthy anyway. *sigh* I hope there’s no major grammer or spelling mistakes ’cause I ain’t checkin’ back.

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  5. thanks for what you said. I am glad to have you for a friend too, O Man Who Cannot Be Shamed…you make me think about things and generally give them more analysis which tempers the angry fire I generally carry beneath the surface about many things…I appreciate it

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  6. You missed it. England finally won the World Cup last night. And not on the easy setting.
    Oh, and I hold in my possession your FIFA World Cup 2002 game, so neglectfully left alone on the table beside your Saturday afternoon napping location. But you’ve probably mastered the 2006 version by now, right?

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