“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge;
fools despise wisdom and instruction“ — Prov 1:7, ESV
Right now I am reading an article (obtained from the online Britannica subscription service accessed through Community College of Philadelphia, where I currently attend) about the invertebrate phylum known as annelids, or segmented worms. I have learned tons of neat facts about these critters, but for the sake of space (and relevance to the real point of this post), I will only mention a few very striking ones.
-Leeches, a class of annelids, known for their “medicinal” species used in centuries past by sucking blood, actually can be a source of a “real” (i.e., chemical) medicine! Known as hirudin, it is an anticoagulant (blood thinner) that might be a better natural alternative to popular prescription blood thinners like Xarelto and Pradaxa (claimed to cause serious risk, including that of death). Maybe this natural remedy could be better, but since I’m not a medical doctor, who am I to compare? But hey, it sure is practical and thought-provoking!
-Some “sedentary” members of a class of annelids known as polychaetes actually make tubes into the ocean floor. Their skin secretes a substance, which may include components such as mucus and calcium carbonate (known in various common forms such as limestone, marble, and chalk), which binds to marine sediment. Wow, this is a marriage of the inanimate with the animate! (I now pronounce it tube and worm.)
-Wait! You may think a “defecation dilemma” may result from this since the anus is trapped in the tube. Guess what, no problem, a side groove is the way for the feces to be expelled into the waters.
-Finally, earthworms have minute, perhaps microscopic, eyes all over their body. Yikes!
So much for the annelids. Now, reflecting on the Scriptural heading, you really don’t know anything unless you know God. If you fear God (i.e., worship and have awe for him, out of love, not terror), you will gradually increase in your intimacy with Him. After all, God created nature, and science is simply its interpretation. Science is to nature as theology is to Scripture.
Many readers think many substantial detail in scientific discussions can be overwhelming, trivial, technical, unnecessary, whatever. Or as the old cliché goes, they could be “gory.” (Quite a strong word, isn’t it?) While I am by no means pushing memorization of the entire material (very few people have truly photographic memories, and I doubt, IMHO, I would even qualify). But they shape a piece of writing (fact or fiction), and give substance to it. And when detailed to a substantial (though often not excessive) degree, instead of dismissing the ins-and-outs, an interested reader should appreciate God’s creative power therein, to the best of his ability. One’s awe and recognition for God will increase, regardless of the information’s practicality, or lack thereof.
Yes, atheist Stephen Hawking can go on and on about his knowledge and insights on astrophysics, but he (most likely) may just be hoarding knowledge to impress. Or some other motive. But as a fellow human, it’s not my prerogative to judge him. Only God knows his motives. Ditto for secular scientists dead and alive, like Darwin, Haeckel, Svante Arrhenius, Linus Pauling, Ernst Mayr, Richard Dawkins, the list goes on and on.
Incidentally, as for the second part of my verse, atheists, according to the Bible, are cited as “fools” (Ps 14:1). Fools would rather act as “know-it-alls.” Whether instructed directly by another person, or indirectly from written material (which can often be posthumous!), a believer will appreciate it more than an unbeliever.
So, no matter what your brain capacity or “tolerance” for details in a written work, make the most out of those that you can. Always jump “in and out” of whatever you read!