Marvels of Creation as Recounted in Today’s Science

Today’s science is rediscovering the immensity of the awe and wonder built into the cosmos. David Brower, for example, marvels at the wildness within all human beings–how our eyes operate with 120 million rods and cones that allow us to see Creation as well as pages of a book in 3-D. The human ear appears almost too complicated to work and the human body carries out 100,000 different chemical reactions—all without our having to think about it.

“The Invisible Universe Of The Human Microbiome” An exploration of the ecosystems of non-human cells that govern the health and functioning of the human body. Video by NPR.

As for our immune system–”You’re especially impressed if you’ve been kept more or less intact for eighty-two years,” he comments.

But we are ridding the earth of its many miracles of wildness when we destroy species, many of which hold real medicines for our ills. The miracle of our existence did not come about from civilization. It came from wildness itself since that is all there was. Says Brower:

We need to tire of trashing wilderness. It’s not making us happy. It’s not making us healthy. It is making us miserable and despairing. Killing trees, habitat, and animals, and separating ourselves from nature is making us all a bit crazy. We need to restore the earth because we need to save the wild. We need to save the wild in order to save ourselves.

George Monbiot explains how the reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone National Park after nearly 70 years’ absence brought about a cascading regeneration of the ecosystem. Video from Sustainable Human.

He compares our destroying the earth with the act of burning books. The earth contains our history, our knowledge and wisdom. Why harm it so? We are inheritors in our genetic code of a long and beautiful history.

We all possess a little fragment of the first bit of life on earth. Consequently, everything that’s alive is related—and a microscopic part of us all is three and a half billion years old.

Intrinsic to Creation is creativity. Creativity and Creation go together. Only recently has science learned how thoroughly occupied the universe is in giving birth—a star is born every fifteen seconds! 

“Certain aspects of quantum mechanics… predict that spacetime would…have a foamy, jittery nature and would consist of many small, ever-changing, regions for which space and time are no longer definite, but fluctuate.” NASA Telescopes Set Limits On Spacetime Quantum “Foam.” Illustration: CXC/M. Weiss

Meister Eckhart asks: “What does God do all day long? God lies on a maternity bed giving birth.” The universe is biased in favor of birthing and generativity.

Cosmologist Brian Swimme writes about this bias as a seething:

Even where there are no atoms, and no elementary particles, and no protons, and no photons, suddenly elementary particles will emerge….The base of the universe seethes with creativity, so much so that physicists refer to the universe’s ground state as ‘space-time foam.’

The Sun and its planets (sizes to scale, but not positions). Wikimedia Commons.

Swimme urges us to meditate on the vast creativity of the universe revealed in how the sun is whipping the earth and all the other planets through their annual arcs.

Awaken to the fact of the Sun’s gravitational power. The earth is one immense planet [though only one millionth the size of the sun] and it is being whipped around the Sun by the power of the Sun. This is something the Sun is doing in every instant of every day. We are held by the Sun. If the Sun released us from our bond with it, we would sail off into deep space.

Adapted from Matthew Fox, One River, Many Wells: Wisdom Springing from Global Faiths, pp. 41f.

Banner Image: Nature’s recycling: a fallen “nurse” log serves as a nursery for a new Western hemlock tree on Schooner Trail, Pacific Rim National Park, British Columbia, Canada. Photo by Wing-Chi Poon on Wikimedia Commons.

What do you think Brower means when he says destroying the earth is like burning books?  What follows from both?

Recommended Reading

One River, Many Wells: Wisdom Springing from Global Faiths

Matthew Fox calls on all the world traditions for their wisdom and their inspiration in a work that is far more than a list of theological position papers but a new way to pray—to meditate in a global spiritual context on the wisdom all our traditions share. Fox chooses 18 themes that are foundational to any spirituality and demonstrates how all the world spiritual traditions offer wisdom about each.“Reading One River, Many Wells is like entering the rich silence of a masterfully directed retreat. As you read this text, you reflect, you pray, you embrace Divinity. Truly no words can fully express my respect and awe for this magnificent contribution to contemporary spirituality.” –Caroline Myss, author of Anatomy of the Spirit


Join Matthew Fox for a thought-provoking 7-week course: Answer the Call for an Uncommon Life Through the Mystical Teachings of St. Hildegard, Tuesdays, 6/15 to 7/27. While the course has begun, registration remains open, with recordings of past classes available. Learn more HERE.

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3 thoughts on “Marvels of Creation as Recounted in Today’s Science”

  1. Avatar

    I have always been an ecologist/ecotheologist. But now I have adult children that ecologist, cosmologist, neuroscientist respectively. Our conversations are deeply enlightening. }:- a.m.

  2. Avatar
    Jeanette Metler

    Thomas Aquinas, as Mathew Fox has spoken of, states that all of creation is the other Bible, the other Sacred Text of the Word of God. Saint Hildegard of Bingen was one of many spiritual mystical writers, poets, artists, musicians, prophets and healers… whom knew how to contemplatively read and understand the language of this other book. We too can open ourselves to all of creation and learn how to read and understand the language of this book at anytime, in anyplace… just be still and know that I Am.

    1. Richard Reich-Kuykendall
      Richard Reich-Kuykendall

      Thank you for your comments Jeanette. You are right, Thomas Aquinas, Hildegard of Bingen, and I might add Meister Eckhart, St. Francis of Assisi–and I might even the Neo-Orthodox theologian Emil Brunner and the 19th century prophetess, Ellen White–all taught that God speaks through two books: the Bible and creation.

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