Nature Loving

While I appreciate the natural world, with it's wonder and beauty, I also marvel at the amazing ways we've been able to manipulate the natural world and take advantage of it's often astonishing properties.

I'm awed not only at the fact that things we find in the earth like copper and silicon, when arranged in certain ways and charged with electricity can be something like a computer or a radio, but that we have figured it out.

By figuring out how to arrange dirt in different ways we've been able to do remarkable things, like fly and shoot lasers. Whenever it seems like we've figured out the basics of how particles behave, someone discovers a new aspect of reality allowing us to manipulate the universe even further.
And for all we know, this trend might continue forever.

In one sense, none of this is really that amazing or weird. The fact that anything exists at all is weird and mysterious enough that there is no reason we should have any expectations of it's properties. Suppose one day we discover that a certain musical note causes all the atoms in the universe to suddenly arrange themselves in a straight line, while that would be shocking based on our current experience, it seems no more weird than the fact that the inherent properties of matter causes it to self-assemble into galaxies, planets, plants, animals and people.

Who knows what sort of yet unknown properties nature has. I would be surprised if we have come close to discovering them all. Or if the current human mind even has the capability to comprehending them. Since we have evolved to only perceive a tiny fraction what we have already figured out exists. How much more might we never even have the ability to conceive of looking for?

In one sense valuing science and technology is a high form of nature loving. It's appreciating the hidden aspects of nature. The aspects which don't reveal themselves unless asked. By evolving into intelligent life, nature not only is able to experience itself, but also to express herself.

1 comment:

Heather said...

Your blog has come up in conversations with my mom, Whitney, and Luke lately (all separately). While I've always enjoyed reading your blog, lately I find the things you've been discussing particularly interesting. Way to go!

I have always been disappointed at how hard it is for me to grasp a lot of scientific concepts (the entry and low-level chemistry and biology classes were some of the harder classes I took in college (interestingly, I didn't have the same level of difficulty with neurobiology. For some reason, that stuff just made sense to me)), because I share your opinion that valuing science and technology is a high form of nature loving.

One thing that I think makes my mom a good science teacher (and a cool mom to grow up with, though I appreciated it most when I was quite young and then in the more recent years, not in the middle) is the wonder that she finds in science. More than once, I've seen her get teary-eyed when she discribes with awe the way cells work. She seems to delight in sharing the wonder that she finds in the natural world. I think that's really cool.