In my younger days, I remember hearing a sermon about the miracle of the flight of the bumble bee. The story went that according to science, the bumble bee should not be able to fly. It's body weight, flapping frequency, and wing span did not add up to an aerodynamic critter. It was physically impossible. Googling around, it sounds like this is still being preached. Obviously the bumble bee flies. Does God propel this bulbous bug from flower to flower so that gardens grow? How cute God operates to create His aesthetic!
If you look at the video, you'll see that it's the way that the bumble bee flaps its wings that it's able to generate vortex swirls to give it lift. These details were first presented in 1972 by Torkel Weis-Fogh in the paper Energetics of Hovering Flight in Hummingbirds and in Drosophila, and the implication was that several flying insects employ this flutter. Why bumble bee flight still persists as an urban legend is hard to tell, but some people like my childhood pastor seem to relish the idea of scientists not being able to solve everything.
When science cannot provide the answers, especially when scientists are baffled by what everyone can plainly see, the implication is that man's devices are puny in the grand scheme. Therefore, there must be a God behind the observation. It empowers believers to romanticize their stories and beliefs...for a moment.
But what happens when the scientist provides a natural explanation? The hand of God is no longer hand-carrying these bees from flower to flower. They're just doing what bees do to survive, unknowingly pollinating more food for themselves. As I said in my Faith in... post, you have to be prepared for the fallout if you are someday proved wrong.
Looking at our physiology, there are still thousands of basic questions scientists cannot answer. What induces a child to start breathing the second it is born? How do neurons in the embryo navigate the spaghetti of other neurons to find the appropriate target cells to form synapses with? If we're just a bunch of molecules that make up cells, what leads to these molecules feeling pleasure or pain? Science can't explain these miracles...yet.
My faith was built on the romantic notion that the complexities of life were too complicated to have evolved and required a creator. Science proved that notion wrong.
Now, for another "Flight of the Bumble Bee" that defies science....
Imagining Futures Past
2 days ago