I was thinking about gravity tonight. We all think we know quite a lot about gravity. We can quote Newton’s three laws (unless we long since forgot them). We know that it holds us down and makes apples fall and keeps planets spinning around the sun and you don’t notice it in space. It wasn’t until well after college that I realized that, actually, I know approximately NOTHING about gravity. I just know the effect of gravity.
Let me give an example. If someone were to ask me, “What is a human?” and I showed them the picture at the top of this post and said, “Well, humans built those buildings to live and worship in. They planted those trees and put up that fence. They made that boat to float on the river and the bridge to cross over it,” they still wouldn’t really know anything about what a human is. They would know a little bit about how a human can affect the environment. They could probably start guessing at some of the motives and capabilities of a human. If they took a very close look they might be able to approximate the size of a human or hazard a guess that we have opposable thumbs. (Of course, in this scenario they could probably look at me and deduce quite a lot, but that’s not the point.) The point is, just because you can describe the effect something has doesn’t mean you know what it is.
The truth is, no one really knows what gravity is. “A force,” we call it. What a vague term. Some power that acts on matter and makes it behave in a certain way. The same is true for magnetic forces or quantum forces. We can describe their effects minutely, precisely, down to pieces of pieces of atoms and up to a literally astronomical scale. But we still have no idea what they are. There isn’t a monumental moral to this story. I guess I just wanted to say, don’t ever let anyone tell you that we have it all figured out (or that we’re about to). Or that science has explained away God. There’s still plenty of mystery left in this old world of ours 🙂 We’ve just given the mystery new names to make it sound like science. But there’s still plenty of room for a certain someone who is “upholding and maintaining and propelling all things [the entire physical and spiritual universe] by His powerful word.” (Hebrews 1:3, amplified)
2 thoughts on “Gravity”
Loved this article. You gave me plenty to think about…that I had never thought about before. I still haven’t figured out how to describe the taste of a banana. 😉
Great post on a subject that more should be written about.