Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Who needs you, God? Not Moses at the Red Sea

"The parting of the Red Sea during the Israelites' exodus from Egypt usually attributed to Moses could have been nothing more than a natural phenomenon, not a miracle, says a team of researchers," reports Newser in a story headlined "Parting of Red Sea Linked to Ma Nature, not Moses."

The actual Colorado researchers who made the findings weren't quite so anti-Moses as the Newser report indicates, but their findings do point to a natural phenomenon that, unlike previous theories, actually allows water to remain stacked up on both sides of a particular spot of water in that biblical area just as Exodus describes.

It should be pointed out that not even the Bible says Moses parted the Red Sea -- God did. And it says he sent a strong east wind to do it, just as the latest theory espouses.

To be fair, some news organizations reported the same story noting that the laws of science back up the biblical account. But Newser's tweet of the story read: "Sorry Moses; Scientist uses fluid dynamics to explain the parting of the Red Sea."

As more spiritual people see a less antagonistic relationship between science and faith, a surprisingly large number of non-spiritual people are moving in the opposite direction.

I've always been awed by science's explanation of God's creation, rather than troubled by it. I've heard it said that theology's role gets smaller as science's role gets larger. I disagree.

In the "all truth is God's truth" vein, scientific explanations inform our understanding not only of the natural world; sometimes it gives us a spiritual truth as well.

If you haven't read my piece on predestination vs. free will, I'll try to summarize quickly: I believe in them both. They are compatible by God being able to consider infinite universes to create, then picking the one that provided free will for his creatures while also working out his plan perfectly.

This being said, God chose to call the universe into being that perfectly timed the Israelites' need to cross the water with the weather pattern that allowed it to happen.

It's rather a simplistic explanation, true, but add that to the googolplex upon googolplex of computations necessary for God to bring about everything from the freeing of ancient Israel to me finding my wife and you've got quite a headthumper.

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