From the mindful blog of Cathy Haustein in Pella:
The heavens are telling the glory of God
Creation declares God’s handiwork.
Day after day speaks out of God’s wonder and night after night declares holy wisdom.
The words are not heard, their voices make no sound
But their silent message fills the earth, their unspoken truth is everywhere.
[moderator’s insert] “There is a voice that doesn’t use words. Listen.” by Rumi
Analytical chemists are humble scientists. None has ever won the Nobel Prize. We have been the handmaidens of chemistry & the servant hearted investigators. Our questions are “what’s in it and how much?”
We were the at the forefront of the environmental movement. Before analytical chemistry came along and souped up equipment and methodology people thought that when pollution was poured into the air and water it went away and didn’t hurt anything. It was effectively gone. But it wasn’t gone; the testing for these chemicals was too unrefined to catch them. Now we can track these pollutants and this has angered some of the greedy selfish types who see the world as their wastebasket. At times, we’ve got to give some bad news such as “there are old pesticides in farm house carpets.”
But the questions of God and Humanity have skipped over us until now.
We are stardust
Billion year old carbon
We are golden
Caught in the devils bargain
And we’ve got to get ourselves
Back to the garden
from Joni Mitchell’s Woodstock
Maybe the hippies were right. We are stardust after all. It appears that the universe speaks in the language of chemistry and comets can bring the seeds of life.
The idea behind “we are stardust” comes from the knowledge that all elements larger than hydrogen and helium are made in stars. Now it appears that comets mix solar dust throughout the solar system, taking pieces of the sun and swooping them out into space.
In a December of 2006 Science magazine I read some amazing things about the Stardust Discovery Mission. It was full of stuff analytical chemists dream of. The clever trapping of dust from a comet’s tail in a foam and the subsequent analysis of the particles brings us closer to solving the mystery of the universe and answering how life began. And to be a spoiler and jump ahead, we are all connected parts of each other. The same minerals in a comet’s tail can be found on the beaches of Hawaii.
Comets contain more than minerals. The building blocks of life, organic chemicals are part of a comet. There is speculation that comets travel space and sew the seeds of life.
Before this seeds of life idea gets a bad name and people are burned at the stake or the idea is censored, I want to nip opposition in the bud.
Scientists are in awe of everything God has created. And if it appears that God uses a big periodic table to create us and speak to us, it makes us more in awe and humble than before.
Intelligent Design claims that complexity is a sign of a Divine Creator. This is a problem for scientists. It is a leap of logic that few can buy. It seems presumptuous to a lot of us. We don’t want to pin God down. From a chemical point of view, an explosion is more complex than a solid and very few of us consider an explosion as proof of divinity. The most powerful and abundant elements are the simple ones-H and He, hydrogen and helium. The universe is mostly filled with simplicity. Does Intelligent Design mean to say that the universe is devoid of God?
And if the universal language speaks in just 92 naturally occurring elements, and we are connected to the vast regions of space, then I feel humbled. And what this tells me is that we owe it to ourselves to honor the stardust in each other.