DayBreaks for 7/09/18: Bertrand Russell’s Mathematical Equation
From the DayBreaks Archive, July 2008:
What lies at the heart of all things? The answer you get will depend on who you ask and what their world view is. An evolutionist would pretty much have to say that at the heart of all things is blind chance and some principle that came from who knows where, that champions “survival of the fittest.” Given enough time, the evolutionist claims, all things are possible. Theoretically, I suppose that’s true – but not nearly enough time has passed since the so-called “big bang” for the diversity and complexity of life as we can observe it on this planet alone to have taken place. So – don’t let this next statement alarm you – we shouldn’t be here.
Closely akin to an evolutionary point of view is that of a more sophisticated scientist, or an atheist, such as the late Bertrand Russell. It was Russell’s belief that if we were able to strip away all the mystery we see all around us in the universe so that we could get to the real heart of things, we would find a “mathematical equation.” 2+2=4, or something like that, only probably much more complicated. Now isn’t that exciting? Doesn’t that just warm the cockles of your heart to know that behind all this is math? I hate math!
I certainly don’t want to, nor do I believe, that this world and universe is all predicated on something that is as cold and impersonal as a mathematical equation. I can’t accept that. It isn’t possible to my way of thinking. For one thing, it fails to explain this: if there is no Creator possessed of personality and intelligence but only cold math, how can human personality have come from something as totally cold and impersonal as that? We speak of people having personalities (and I know some real characters!), we even talk about our pets having character. On rare occasions we may even say that a building or some other non-living thing has “character”, but we mean it in a different way than when we’re talking about something alive and breathing. Has anyone you’ve even known say of a rock in their yard that it has character, i.e., personality? If they did, you’d gently put them into your car and drive them to a padded room somewhere. How can personality come from something inanimate and as dead as a mathematical equation any more than personality is passed on to people by touching a rock?!
I prefer to believe that behind all the mystery of the universe is something much more than a mathematical equation. I prefer to believe that there is a Creator possessed of infinite wisdom, capacity, of PERSONALITY that is not totally comprehensible, and that you and I have personalities because the Creator is a Personality, and He has given something of Himself to us – a spirit that is in His very image. He made us all “characters” and gave us personalities so we could have a relationship, a personal relationship, with the One who made us. Now that’s something to be excited about!
PRAYER: Thank you, Lord, for the delight of personalities! Thank you for the rich variation in your creation. Thank you that you want to have a relationship with us who were made from the dust of the earth – and given personality by the God who made it all! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
COPYRIGHT 2018 by Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.