Sometimes Science Makes me Smile

Sometimes Science makes me smile….. like Christianity it often takes itself very seriously. Who hasn’t heard and witnessed the people in pinstripe suits going head to head beating their little brains out. Both trying to outdo the other for supremacy as king of the intellectual jungle and guardians of truth. The worst example of Science and Religion resembles the dark years in South Africa when a paranoid government with a giant inferiority complex imposed apartheid on the country. The pathetically dysfunctional notion that ethnic differences are grounds for separate development – Whites live in their suburbs and Black live in their slums.

Science and Religion have camps that would advocate such ‘apartheid’ – of course each relegates the other to the inferior slums. Just as apartheid crumbled as untenable and the Berlin Wall fell so the barrier between Science and Religion is a fictional edifice propped up by knee jerk emotional reactions to one another on both sides of the ‘issue’…. when in fact there is no issue. Scratch beneath the surface of a sophisticated intellectual proposition presented by a stern-faced advocate and you will invariably find the facts of the brain suspended in treacle-thick ’emotion’. Such a statement will be denied of course – in both camps – humor me on this one please – we humans are not nearly as ‘sensible’ as we think we are.

Science suggest and explains ‘how’ the world works – from the perspective of humanity trying to make sense of it from the ground upward. Religion – at it’s best – tries to explain why life has meaning from the perspective of heaven. There’s ample room for both interest groups to enhance, enrich, and explain within the context of friendship – without needing to demolish or threaten the other – most of the time – where reason and respect prevail.

Which is why a story in the Globe and Mail this morning made me smile. It reads….

The secret to a long life may be to have a higher purpose, according to a new study.

Researchers at the Rush University Medical Center in Chicago found that older adults who have a purpose in life – those who are goal directed and have an overall sense that life is meaningful – have a reduced risk of dying earlier.

Patricia Boyle, a neuropsychologist at the Rush Alzheimer’s disease centre, and her team surveyed 1,238 community-dwelling participants in the Chicago area, ranging in age from 55 to the upper 90s. During an up to six-year follow-up period, they discovered that a person with a high sense of meaning and motivation was about half as likely to die compared with a person without a purpose…..

After all these years Science is finally discovering a truth the Psalmist wrote about over 3,000 years ago…

“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. he will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.(Psalm 91:14-16)

John Cox

Christian Author

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