There are Bible verses that could not have been properly interpreted until Einstein published his theories. The fact that these verses were written almost 2,000 years ago is astonishing.
The story of Jesus walking on the water is one that most Americans have heard. Yet, few realize the importance this story gains in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. This is because theories of physics that could apply to these stories were not known at the time the stories were written.
The excerpt below is from Mark 6:47–50 (GNT)
When evening came, the boat was in the middle of the lake, while Jesus was alone on land. He saw that his disciples were straining at the oars, because they were rowing against the wind; so sometime between three and six o’clock in the morning, he came to them, walking on the water. He was going to pass them by, but they saw him walking on the water. “It’s a ghost!” they thought, and screamed. They were all terrified when they saw him.
Jesus spoke to them at once, “Courage!” he said. “It is I. Don’t be afraid!”
This is the same old story we have already heard. There is nothing new here. Jesus was able to defy the laws of gravity. The story gets far more interesting when we turn to John 6:18–21 (GNT) as shown below:
By then a strong wind was blowing and stirring up the water. The disciples had rowed about three or four miles when they saw Jesus walking on the water, coming near the boat, and they were terrified. “Don’t be afraid,” Jesus told them, “it is I!” Then they willingly took him into the boat, and immediately the boat reached land at the place they were heading for.
What makes this version much more interesting is the addition of ‘immediately the boat reached land at the place they were heading for.’ Why does scientific knowledge gained over the past century make this more interesting that the version in the Book of Mark? The boat had ‘only traveled three or four miles’ when Jesus walked up. It is difficult to determine the departure and destination point other than they were somewhere near Tiberius and Capernaum. These towns were 7–8 miles apart in a straight line over water. The books of Matthew, Mark, and John were written a few decades after the actual event. Presumably, the story was passed by word of mouth from the actual disciples on the boat. If the boat instantly reached its destination from the perspective of those on the boat, that is an example of faster than light travel.
Einstein suggested that gravity is the warping of space and time. Jesus displayed the ability to overcome the law of gravity by walking on the water. Then, he used a similar mechanism to bend space and time to reach the destination at faster than light speed. Could Jesus have created a wormhole over the Sea of Galilee?
Now that I have many scientists jumping from their seats in protests, I will move on to another aspect of the story. I have included an excerpt from Matthew 14:25–31 (GNT)
Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.
But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”
‘Faith’ is a very interesting concept. Faith is the primary difference between fact-based science and faith-based religion. There is some overlap here. Faith in the form of the ‘placebo effect’ can cause a person to become more physically healthy based on belief alone. On the other hand, an example of ‘negative’ faith would be when physical wellness is affected by a psychosomatic disorder.
I can only think of one other possibility for the intersection of faith and science and it is more of an intersection of consciousness and science. The Schrödinger’s cat thought experiment and the idea that the mere observation (or measure) of a phenomenon changes that phenomenon is very interesting. Robert Lanza proposes an interesting theory based on this ‘observer effect’ in his book, Biocentrism, How Life and Consciousness are the Keys to Understanding the True Nature of the Universe. While Robert Lanza is only educated as a medical doctor, he does have very impressive credentials within his work experience.
If mere observation can cause a change, can sufficient faith result in the desired change in matter, energy, or space-time? Christ implies that faith can do just that when he scolded Peter for having little faith and that being the cause of Peter’s sinking into the water.
Similarly, Christ also states at Matthew 17:20, that if one has faith as big as a mustard seed, he or she could tell this hill to go there and the hill would do it. We, humans, are too primitive of a species to have this power of the mustard seed. I would hate to see what a mess of this planet we would make if we all had such faith. This lack of faith on our parts proves what I often say; ‘do not judge those who are agnostic for even the most religious among us are agnostic to some degree.’
Science and Religion
I absolutely love science. I am amazed by the constant breakthroughs. I do not worship science. For example, the fact that 99% of scientists say climate change is man-made does not impress me. Telling me about the experiments that prove climate change is man-made impresses me. When it comes to fossil fuel usage, it amazes me that humanity continued to use fossil fuels even before man-made climate change became a major issue. There were known health reasons to curb fossil fuel usage decades before climate change became an issue. There have been serious geopolitical issues with the use of fossil fuels that have been obvious since the 1970s. Fossil fuels are a scarce resource that leads to economic instability. There are available renewable resources that are better than fossil fuels. The clear choice of the superiority of renewable resources hasn’t been obvious until recent technological advances were made. Had we devoted sufficient resources to research and development, we could have reached our current technological level in the 1990s. What amazes me, is that anyone is still bickering in favor of fossil fuel usage. Their arguments in favor of fossil fuels used on a massive scale are nothing but foolishness. Yet, I do understand how some people could believe the ‘climate deniers.’
Scientists once told us that eggs were bad for us. Then they said eggs are good for us. Then, eggs landed somewhere in between. Scientists told us that alcohol was bad for us, then it was good for us in moderation in the form of red wines. Now the latest study shows that alcohol is bad for us again. The latest study on the benefits/dangers of alcohol was a poorly designed study that did not properly isolate the many variables involved. The out-of-sample data proves this latest study is not reliable. My point is, science is to be based on fact, not faith. Do not tell me something is a fact just because ‘science’ says it is so. Show me the data.
While science is based on fact, religion is based on faith. Any scientific study of religion will only find anecdotal evidence. There will never be sufficient evidence to scientifically prove or disprove a point of religion.
There is one religion that claims it can disprove the existence of God or gods. This religion is known as Atheism. Atheism is a religion because it is faith-based. Atheists believe that all other religions are wrong except for their religion. I am only aware of one small Christian sect that has a similar belief about being the only ‘true’ religion.
I know that the Atheists claim that they are not a religion and use the excuse of ‘not being able to prove the null hypothesis.’ That is fine. But, it still means that Atheism is a belief system based on faith, not facts. Before I go further, I will mention that there are some great and good people who are Atheists, just as with most other religions. The first person that comes to mind is Stephen Hawking.
Arthur C. Clarke once said that religion is the ‘Most malevolent and persistent of all mind viruses. We should get rid of it as quick as we can.’ Arthur C Clarke defined himself as an Atheist. Mr. Clarke derided the atrocities performed by members of other religions. Yet, he lost sight of the atrocities committed by those of his own religion such as Stalin and Mao. Every religion has bad actors. The only truly sufficient way to disassociate oneself with all religions is to be Agnostic. Agnosticism is the only belief system that is based completely upon logic. I do not see any similarity between Agnosticism and Atheism.
Arthur Clark’s third law states ‘Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.’ A variant of this law is ‘Any sufficiently advanced extraterrestrial intelligence is indistinguishable from god.’ The Universe is a very large place. It is extremely unlikely that our planet harbors the only life in the cosmos. Recent anomalies discovered near Tabby’s Star and VVV-WIT-07 have sparked speculation of the construction of alien megastructures. See this article in Scientific American for more on these stars and their anomalies. If these are alien megastructures (something I do not expect us to know in my lifetime), I am not impressed. At our current rate of accelerated technological advancement, we humans could start construction on a Dyson Sphere within a few thousand years. The same can be said for all the ‘UFO’ stories. This ‘UFO’ technology appears to be only a few centuries ahead of us.
The Universe has been around for billions of years. What about the civilizations that are billions of years beyond us in development? It seems highly likely that these civilizations do exist somewhere in the Universe. We would consider the citizens of such planets to be gods. I will use this evidence for the existence of gods to rebut the ‘factual’ assertion of Atheism. Could Christ as well as the deities from history have been members of such an advanced civilization? It is possible, but I will take it on faith that the God of Abraham existed before the Universe.
Why Are So Many of the World’s Most Intelligent People Atheist or Agnostic?
The lack of a belief in gods is very common within the tech and scientific communities. These people often have to completely focus their minds, sometimes to the point of exhaustion to solve very difficult issues. Einstein was so obsessed with his ‘Unified Field Theory’ that he continued to work on it while on his deathbed. The day before Einstein died, he had his latest notes on this theory brought to him. This obsession on the part of Einstein was not a bad thing. Such good obsessions are often necessary for breakthroughs.
The problem with such workaholism is that it takes a terrible toll on the individual. While the level of total focus and long work hours necessary for science and technology does not hinder all professions and careers, workaholism is common in all professions and careers. Life should not completely revolve around work. Many of those in our most mentally intensive careers succumb to workaholism with its tunnel visioned effects. There is a need among these scientists to ‘separate the wheat from the chaff’ as Brian Cox says in his book on Why Does E=mc²? The wheat is the fact-based science whereas the chaff is the fantasy of other distractions such as religion.
Whether you are a scientist, a software developer, a small business owner, a school teacher, or part of any of countless careers, you can succumb to ‘workaholism.’ The Bible says God created the heavens and the earth in six days, then He rested. For the evolutionists (I am one myself) reading this, I will note that nowhere in the Bible does it say that the Heavens and the Earth were created in six days. A thought experiment based on the simplest geometry can explain the difference between ‘God creating in six days’ and ‘everything having been created in six days.’ That thought experiment is for another story. The point of this story is the need for all humans to rest.
Part of the cure for workaholism is for everyone to take one day off every week and that the day off should always occur on the same day. As for me, I call this special day ‘the Sabbath’ and it always occurs on Sunday. When I make it to Mass, I usually go on Saturday night. On Sunday, I do as near to nothing as possible except for some light reading, biblical study, entertainment, and most of all — sleep. I do not open my computer on Sunday unless it is for something as simple as clicking the publish button for writing completed on the previous day. I find that this mental resting increases productivity during the remainder of the week. This mental resting period also helps to remove repetitive thoughts and replace such thoughts with fresh insights.
I would advise the wisest among us, our scientists and technologists, to observe their own personal Sabbath. It doesn’t have to be a religious observance. The mere act of doing nothing for a day serves everyone’s need for mental rejuvenation. If all scientists observed whatever version of a do-nothing sabbath they choose, their productivity might increase to an extent that humanity could enjoy the benefit of even more scientific breakthroughs.
To paraphrase Arthur C. Clark’s description of religion as a mental disease and then apply it to workaholism, I will state that workaholism is the ‘most malevolent and persistent of all mind viruses; We should get rid of it as quick as we can.’ I agree with Barbara Killinger’s assertion in this article in Psychology Today, ‘Workaholism is a soul-destroying addiction that changes people’s personality and the values they live by. It distorts the reality of each family member, threatens family security and often leads to family break-up.’ I suspect that many of our more recognized psychological and physical disorders stem from workaholism. One part of any cure for workaholism is to observe the Sabbath.
Perhaps a little rest will remove the tunnel vision that many scientists must endure. Maybe a few scientists would even start to wonder if Jesus manipulated gravity in order to warp space-time to travel at faster than the speed of light across the Sea of Galilee.