I am working on a telescope mirror making project. I am grinding and polishing an 8” mirror by hand. So far I’ve put about 7 hours of work into it, and I estimate that I will put another 14 hours. These time estimates do not account for me messing up. One screw up will add two or three hours to the work load. Many people have asked me why I am doing this. I have access to a machine that can do the work for me, and I can buy a piece of glass that has been done by a professional company. So, why am I spending so much time on this project? Because I can do a better job than they can. And that is because of the power of randomness. Our hands and arms produce random motion and random pressure. And it’s that randomness that produces a near perfect spherical telescope mirror. A machine just can’t reproduce the kind of random motions our hands can. And the funny thing is we don’t have to try to be random. It happens automatically.
In the world of astrophysics the terms; random, chaos and uncertainty have become an important part of how science describes the creation. Let me give you an example. A photon can have mass or it doesn’t, depending upon how you experiment on it. A photon can be a wave length rippling through the cosmos or it isn’t. A photon can be in two places at once, or it can’t. What matters is how the experiment is set up. Different experiments give seemingly contradictory results. However, photons have to be this way in order to do their job. And that is, to give us heat and light, without killing us. Thus randomness is an important part of how the creation works.
Now us Christians do not like these terms. We believe that God has a plan for everything, and that chaos, randomness and uncertainty do not fit in with God’s plan. For us, these terms fall outside of God’s organized universe. But, what if God uses randomness in God’s creation? Let’s take a look at the book of Ecclesiastes and see what it says about this subject.
If clouds are full of water,
they pour rain on the earth.
Whether a tree falls to the south or to the north,
in the place where it falls, there it will lie.
Whoever watches the wind will not plant;
whoever looks at the clouds will not reap. (Eccl 11:3-4)
This passage acknowledges the seeming randomness of our world. The clouds and rain come when they will; a tree falls where it may. A person who does not work regardless of these chaotic circumstances will not harvest a crop. Here is another passage that explains it further.
As you do not know the path of the wind,
or how the body is formed in a mother’s womb,
so you cannot understand the work of God,
the Maker of all things. (Eccl 11:5)
This passage acknowledges the seeming randomness, the path of the wind, and says that it is all a part of the work of God. And so, randomness is an important part of God’s creation. Just because we don’t fully understand why this is, doesn’t mean that God does not use randomness to make things work. Even chaos is a part of God’s amazing plan.
Soon I will return to the grind stone, literally, and attempt to create my near perfect mirror. Funny, it is the seeming imperfection of how I work that creates the seeming perfection of the star images in my eyepiece. Praise God today my friends, this is how God created the universe.
God bless you,
Uncovering God in Everything