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Faith and Science

For the past few months, I’ve gotten really interested in a lot of nerdy science stuff. In particular, I’ve been watching youtube videos about: Quantum Theory, How Gravity Works, Brain Trainings etc.

I must say that I got really hooked on these things. The thought of being able to understand and explain how things works captures my imagination. Some of my colleagues who saw me watching these stuff gave me a “I can’t believe you’re really watching those things” look. :))

Some of the things I learned for the past few months are the following:

1) Gravity

I learned that gravity is not just some mysterious invisible force that “pulls” objects together. The force of gravity is the effect of bent space.

Gravity and Einstein

Ever since I was little, we thought that gravity is a mysterious force that pulls us towards other objects (especially super massive ones). However, scientists, even Isaac Newton who discovered the equation for the force between two objects, were stumped as to how gravity really worked. For many years, they weren’t able to explain the essence of it. It was not until Albert Einstein fundamentally explained it in the early 1900’s. To know more about this concept click on the link below for the explanation how gravity works (also includes the life and legacy of Albert Einstein):

2) Quantum Theory

The laws of quantum mechanics are “SPOOKY” or “WEIRD” and does not follow the regular laws of classical mechanics.

Quantum Theory

I’m used to the idea that atoms resemble a mini solar system according to images I saw when I was young. However, this is not true. The laws governing electrons, protons, neutrons and other subatomic particles are totally different from the laws of super massive objects like the sun and planets.

Electrons can be in two places at the same time, “looking” at an electron affects it’s behavior, determining the location of an electron depends on probabilities. There’s also such a thing as quantum entanglement where the behavior of a certain particle can have an effect on another particle even if it’s light years away. Einstein called this “Spooky action at a distance”.

Quantum Theory hugely affects the way our world works today. To learn more about this click on the link below:

3) Brain Training

Brain training is a relatively new field which doesn’t have a lot of conclusive evidences yet. The goal of this science is to discover if there can be a method wherein we can “train” the brain in such a way that it’ll make us smarter.

Lumosity

I recently watched a documentary about this and mentions that we know so little about the field of Neuro Science. It’s like comparing us looking at the entire ocean. That’s how little we know about this field and are still researching more and more about it.


What I observed

These advancements in science are just utterly amazing! It gives us an understanding of how the world works and have helped our world function better like never before in the history of time. However, after watching, learning and being interested in all these things for the past few weeks and months, I learned that we still know very little about how the universe works.

As much as we’ve seen great amounts of progress in the field of science ever since the 16th century. If you compare what we know to everything we can possibly know about the universe, we’re still light years away from that.

New discoveries in Science only lead us to an infinite regress of questions and mysteries that still needs to be answered.

Because of this, I realized how great and amazing our God is. Science and Technology shouldn’t go against God. Science should actually make us marvel at the greatness of God. Seeing how gravity works, observing quantum mechanics and investigating the brain left me bask at God’s glory and power. The Bible tells us that it is God who made the heavens and the earth by the breath of his mouth. In Jeremiah it’s clearly seen how he’s pretty much involved in forming us ever since we were in our mother’s womb.

Psalm 33:6
By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and by the breath of his mouth all their host.

Jeremiah 1:5
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you;…

There’s just to many things left unsolved in science. After learning about these things, human beings can’t really brag and say that God is no longer needed. I think that’s just pride and boasting, there’s still so many things that are left unsolved which our finite minds cannot fully comprehend.

The Need for Faith

At the end of the day scientists also use faith. Faith is believing what you hope for and being certain of things you DO NOT SEE. There are still a lot of things scientists CANNOT SEE or don’t have any experimental evidences about. At the end of the day, they also resort to faith. Scientists can never fully brag that they’ve figured out everything, at the end of the day faith is still essential for them.

In Physics there’s this emerging field called String Theory. It tells us that even smaller than subatomic particles are string like figures that makes up electrons, quarks, leptons and the like. I learned that String Theory is still purely theoretical and haven’t been experimentally proven yet. Scientists who spent years studying String Theory still resort to faith that hopefully all of their theories and research are true. FAITH is still needed and will always be needed in Science.

StringTheory_shutterstock_24627319

Again, I really appreciate the sciences. I think it’s understanding how God elegantly designed the universe. Science does not need to contradict his existence. They go hand in hand. My hope and prayer is that even as we progress and move forward to the 21st century, all new development and discoveries in the field of Physics and other sciences will continue to leave us amazed in God’s creation. It says in Colossians:

Colossians 1:17
For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

Every single thing that was created in the universe was made for the purpose of bring glory and honor to his name. To God be the glory even in Science and Technology. 🙂

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Posted by on May 11, 2015 in Numbers

 

Four things I learned from my M.S. in Mathematics degree

Don’t worry the learnings I posted here are not related to any of my Mathematics subjects. Read on! 😀

Last Saturday I graduated from my M.S. in Mathematics program which I started to take last May 2010. This has been such a sweet journey for me. I saw God’s faithfulness in my life as I completed the program. I really wanted to take-up PH.D in Mathematics and Statistics but I just know in my heart that God has called me into full-time ministry. The good thing is that God allowed me to finish my M.S. at least which was more than enough for me.

Masters

I really enjoy Mathematics (Advanced Mathematics) which is not what 99% of the world’s population would say HAHA! Even as I learned so much from the advanced Mathematics courses like Abstract Algebra, Linear Algebra, Combinatronics of Finite Geometries, Game Theory and other fields. This M.S. journey also taught and reinforced in me a lot of other intangibles which I know I’ll bring wherever God will lead me. Here are four intangibles that my M.S. taught and reinforced in me:

1) The power to create

This is also known as creativity but somehow that word is not associated much with Mathematics. The reason being is that people think Mathematics is a closed science, meaning there’s no more new discoveries in this field. This is a wrong mindset because Mathematics will never run out of things to discover. It’s been there ever since the dawn of time and will continue to have new fields and new discoveries as long as time is in existence.

When I started working on my Thesis, this was the most difficult part of my M.S. because for the other subjects: I just have to study my notes and make sure I pass the tests. For the Thesis however I have to produce something original. At first I was thinking how can I do that? Is it really possible? I started this year just brainstorming and thinking of ideas which I can use for my thesis. By the grace of God he led me to ideas and concepts which my Thesis adviser approved and allowed me to work on. I presented and defended my paper with no reference papers as a starting point. I got nervous when one of the panelists asked me for references, but I said that I didn’t have any and based my paper on the nature of my work. Praise God it was approved though!

Screen Shot 2014-10-13 at 1.10.26 PM

Creativity is something that human beings are designed to do! After musing on this I remember that verse in Genesis saying:

“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” – Genesis 1:27

We are created beings made after the image of a creator! God gave us the ability to create and be creative. Amazing! Of course I’m not saying that we can create out of nothing, only God can do that. 🙂

2) Thinking analytically

As someone who loves Mathematics and was an undergraduate of Statistics, I would think that I was already someone who thought analytically. When I was taking up this M.S. I realized that I was far far from someone who was one. The challenges and problems that my M.S. gave me was a far cry from the problem sets in College. I thought my M.S. in Mathematics was going to be easy but it was not. I really have to think hard and deep when we’re given problem sets. There were times that I’d almost give up but by God’s grace I didn’t go down without a fight.

This is a very powerful intangible for me because my boss would always tell us that we should always think about the things that we do. We ought to make sure that we have enough reasons and evidences whenever we’re going to initiate a new project or make a change. My training in my graduate course helped train my brain in thinking deeply and analytically. 🙂

Gears

3) The limitation of the human brain

I remember during the first term of my M.S. in Mathematics. We were given problem sets to solve. It was take home! I’d imagine all college students rejoicing whenever you have a take home exam. However, for those taking up M.S. in Mathematics. That may not automatically be good because whenever you have take home exams it only means that the questions will be way way harder that what will be given in a 3 hour test.

There are some questions that I’m not able to answer, it was just so difficult. The proofs of some questions can be seen online but even if I read the proof I still have a difficult time understanding it! We had a basic subject like Real Analysis which was just out of this world. There were moments wherein I thought to myself why did I ever take up this course!? It was so difficult!

9781482216370

I realized that our human brain has its own limitations. If for the field of Mathematics alone, which is a pure science and where subjectivity is almost null, how much more limited our human capacity is to understand the complexity of life! I’m reminded of the verse in Isaiah:

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LordFor as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” – Isaiah 55:8-9

There will just be some things that we will never fully comprehend because of our limitations. That’s a fact and the sooner we admit and surrender to that the more we’ll trust in God in his plans and purposes for our lives. In this life, understanding and science are good but both are limited. God never called us to try to understand all the complexities in the universe anyway. He calls us to trust in him.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. – Proverbs 3:5-6

4) The grace and sovereignty of God

Relating this point to my two other previous points. The more limited I see myself the more I’d be reliant on the grace and sovereignty of God in my life. There were moments in my M.S. exams where I thought to myself “How can I possibly pass these subjects!?” They were just too complex and complicated. If a professor gives us a problem that are just out of our league I don’t know how we could have ever passed those exams. My Thesis got delayed for one year because of my work. It was very tough to manage both at one point. For three terms I would start out by saying “I’m going to start on my thesis” but for three terms there were no original ideas that were popping out of my mind. This 2014 I was able to start and finish it, but looking back and pondering on the journey of my thesis, I knew that I couldn’t have done it on my own. It was just the grace of God that I was able to finish my M.S.

That’s where I realized that it’s true that it’s not by our own works but it is the grace of God alone. The grace of God is the reason why we can do all the things that we do right now. We can never be too arrogant in life. Hopefully our response will be to continually thank him because of his grace in our lives. 🙂

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. – 2 Corinthians 12:9

Hope you find these learnings helpful for you! Always trust and depend on the grace and sovereignty of God in your lives. That’s the best thing you can do in your life every single day for the rest of your lives. God bless! 🙂

 
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Posted by on October 13, 2014 in Life Lessons, Numbers, Personal

 

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By Faith or By Chance? (The God of the Impossible)

524475_364673023579749_1771604223_nChristians have been criticized sometimes because of our faith. This faith I’m talking about is not just the overall belief system that we subscribe to, but more so it’s how we practically live our lives. For example, when a Christian is the recipient of a good news, Christians would most probably say: “praise God!” or “Thank you Lord for the favor” almost always attributing everything to the working of a higher entity in the universe who orchestrates things.

Now for skeptics sometimes this would turn them off because for someone who’s very smart they’d have a way of explaining how things naturally work. I am guilty of this because a lot of times, especially for the little things, I would attribute them to chance or a summation of finite decisions that were chosen correctly.

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Posted by on May 12, 2012 in Numbers