I am an avid fan of the TV series “Bones”. Having been living in South Africa for the last 12 years I discovered it by accident at a DVD rental store and then went out and bought the seasons as they became available. I do this with all the series I enjoy as I – unlike my wife – enjoy watching them repeatedly. Incidentally, my thanks goes out to the inventor of headphones – I think you saved my marriage.
While watching an episode from Season 9 tonight, “The Spark in the Park”, I found myself drifting into a thought that rarely happens when I’m watching. I generally use amusement in the classical meaning – muse being thought and therefore a-muse being without thought. It’s a way to relax at the end of a day.
The plot of the show concerns, as all the shows do, a murder. In this case, the murder of a Physicist’s daughter. Naturally, the protagonists, Booth and Brennan, gradually peal back the layers until the killer is identified. The end of the show left me thinking, however, that something was missing.
The father is visited by Bones, Brennan’s nickname, to see how he is coping. His way to get through is to calculate his daughter’s life as a mathematical equation from body at rest in her crib at birth to body at rest at her death.
He misses the point in doing so. I don’t doubt that somewhere out there is someone who could do the same for me with regard to my brother’s life, but life has so much more to it than mathematical equations can express. Maths cannot explain a smile, a memory, love. It cannot even begin to fathom the depths of a person’s Soul.
The father draws comfort from science.
It can only last for so long. The solace he finds will be short lived because his own equation goes on, her being a part of it, influencing every interaction that follows. My whole personality changed when my brother died. I had been driven and was learning focus at the time. I would have developed into a type “A” personality, and there are a few tendencies in me that still show that, but in Robin’s loss I found a need for type “B” traits as a means of survival. They allowed me to access my Soul and accept Christ, something I may not have been able to do had I not made the change.
Of course, we don’t see the ongoing timeline of the victims in the show. That kind of loss is often too difficult to portray. I find it hard 30 years after Robin’s death to explain my feelings about it. There is great sorrow and great joy intertwined in the loss. I was lost emotionally for some time. That led me to make BAD decisions about girlfriends in particular. I jumped in with one when there wasn’t any real feeling – sorry – just that it was convenient. I had power in the relationship, not love. My next relationship was similar, just shorter. In between I missed out on a wonderful person because I didn’t want to have the hurt of the loss of the relationship when it ended, so I live with the loss of it never having happened.
Maths may describe my life. Or Robin’s. Or the existence of everything in the universe. But to truly explain my life takes more than numbers. It requires something that transcends mere science and enters the realm of Faith.
“Pure” scientists are often agnostic or atheistic in my experience. There are always exceptions of course – something “Bones” touches on in that one intern is a devout Muslim – and they are often left with more questions than answers as their knowledge grows.
Science can only explain so much, then Faith has to fill in the missing pieces. Questions such as “if there was nothing before the Big Bang, what caused it?”can’t be answered by science alone. But Faith is the substance of things hoped for we are told in Hebrews. The universe is a result of God’s Hope and Faith producing the Big Bang. Scientists can’t deal with this concept because God doesn’t fit in the microscope.
Relativity, from my limited understanding, suggests everything happens at the same time for light, so at the speed of light there is no passage of time. In that context, Jesus describing Himself as the Light of the World so many times makes sense of his saying “before Abraham was I am” in John 8:58. He, as God, is light, so for Jesus everything is now. As He hung on the Cross in linear time 2000 years ago He experienced every sin and thought we would ever have and took it into Himself from Adam to the day of His return and Judgement. God as Light makes this possible. Time as a linear progression only does not.
Science has missed the point by ruling out religion and Faith. I know very devout Christians who are also scientists, my wife among them as a doctor is able to see God’s hand in the bodies she treats and His life in the lives of others.
As Christians we must be careful not to go the other way and disregard science. Evolution is a hot potato we often don’t touch, and I find it hard to believe I’m descended from algae, but we see evidence of it in everything around us. Wolves were tamed and selectively bred into the dogs that sit at my feet while I’m writing this over hundreds of generations. Cats, rabbits and goldfish are all included, there’s no denying evolution within species.
I don’t know where to stand on some issues so I keep an open mind as far as I can. I agree with some teachings from other beliefs, but not all of them.
We need to stay on point, and keep our eyes fixed on Jesus. We have to keep ourselves open to the possibility of anything changing at any moment.
Maths can’t give us the point of life, only the equations of the physical.
As Christians we must look beyond that.