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    The Low Carb Luxury Online Magazine  
    January 2, 2004    PAGE 8       > About LCL Magazine      > Cover Page      > Inside Cover      Feature Pages:   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12    

  Featured Articles
 The End of the Resolution
 The Art of Letting Go
 Shades of Gray
 Jo Cordi's  Lifestyle Series
 Cosmetic Surgery: A First Look
 Indulge on Induction
 Harmonic Convergence
 Coming Full Circle
 A Time for Self Evaluation
 Resolutions for Healthy Eating!
 Summit in Denver
 Snapshot: TGI Friday's



         Coming Full Circle by Aaron Gillum

Aaron Gillum's views of society, tempered with a quick wit and an acerbic writing style, make his columns both fun, and unique. With each issue, Aaron offers a fresh perspective into the catalysts that drive society; weaving these observations into refreshing, provocative pieces.

                            "The eye sees only what the mind is prepared to comprehend."
                                                                      Henri L. Bergson

I'm not a particularly religious person. Never is that more forward in my mind than this time of year, when most major religions have a holiday of one sort or another. Oh, I know the Bible stories and I celebrate the major holidays, but I never had that spark of faith that the others did. When others were finding love, comfort, and guidance, I was stuck on the idiosyncrasies and paradoxes. After cornering my Sunday school teacher with unanswerable questions a couple of times, I realized that I was never going to be like the others, simply because I could not be content with an unsolved puzzle. My need to wrap logic around these problems was never going to step to the side and let faith come through.

Searching for spirituality, I set out to make myself well versed with the Eastern philosophies. I tried, believe me, I tried — but I found no clear, concise answers there, either. Much like my earlier experiences, I found that logic could not always hold when contemplating ethereal matters.

Next came the philosophers. Again, no concrete answers to be found. At the end of it all, I never came to any great realizations. I never found anything that fit with the patchwork of questions that were buzzing around in my thoughts.

Left without a pre-written roadmap to understanding, I turned to mathematics and physics as ways of explaining how and why the universe was what it was. It didn't give me all of the answers I sought, but it did, at least, seem like the best way of going about finding them. The deeper I dug, the more intrigued I became. With the huge amount of information available on these topics, that pursuit has continued to this day. Having settled into an uncomfortable stalemate with my quest for spiritual fulfillment, I was content with science and cynicism. I was confident that everything could be explained through science, if only I was intelligent enough to see the answers. Intelligence, unlike faith, was something that I could actively work toward.

The problem, however, with a belief system built around calculus and empirical evidence is that it begs to be disproved. On occasion, that call is answered and the world of science is turned upside down. Einstein's Relativity is perhaps the most famous example of the modern theories that have completely shaken up our understanding of the universe. Just a few weeks ago, there may have been another. A research team from the Australian National University claim to have disproved the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

Stay with me, now. This won't be the school lesson you are afraid it might become.

The law states, in simple terms, that things break… that chaos and disorder are "easier" to maintain, and a more natural form for a system if not acted on by an outside force. The universe hates order, boundaries, and differences. It strives for a perfect uniformity in all things. We can see this by watching a mountain crumble, a house of cards crash down, a match burn, or a star explode. Call it a mantra for every pessimist on the planet. It's the biggest and baddest Murphy's Law on the books.

Recently, however, the researchers at ANU seem to have shown that they can recreate experiments where, for some unexplained reason, molecules spontaneously organize on their own, with apparently nothing influencing this behavior.

I feel obligated to pause here as to not have that last sentence passed over lightly. What was broken, disorganized and random became structured and ordered. To stretch this to an example we can all understand, it was if a handful of sand was thrown into the air and when it landed it was a sheet of crystal clear glass. It appears that a force we can neither measure nor envision is urging these tiny particles to organize as if guided by some unseen plan. The very fabric of the universe seems to have a want…a desire, even…to become something greater. Order from Chaos. Light from Dark. This is the realm of magic, faith, and religion.

Some theorists go so far as to suggest that the anomaly is the flow of time, not the diehard laws of thermodynamics. They believe that time may be reversed when measuring small things over short periods of time, and what we perceive to be this "impossible" behavior is nothing more than the normal decay of things played in reverse, like pushing rewind on your VCR. Honestly, I can't decide which of these theories boggles me the most. Regardless of what is causing this to occur, it is certainly something not able to be explained at this time, which leaves me in a perilous position. The beliefs that I have, which I thought had taken me away from the problems of organized religion, seem to have come full circle. I turned from the church because of its contradictions and I thought myself to be better than "them." I felt, in my youthful exuberance, that I was above those parishioners and their blind faith, and prided myself on a well-cultivated skepticism. Now, I'm forced to realize that I had substituted one faith for another while completely unaware.

Perhaps it is time to end this feud between religion and science. For too long we have been matched against each other, with one side trying to disprove and belittle the other. What if they are one and the same? Religion seeks to understand the entity of God and answer the question "Why?" — science wrestles with understanding the methods of God, and attempts to answer the question "How?" Is that so fundamentally different? They certainly don't appear to be opposed in my mind. I can't help but think that somewhere in this modern day mess of chaos theory, particle colliders and golden rectangles, we are observing the thumbprint of some higher power. In this age of quantum physics, we might be living in what the history books one day call the beginning of the convergence of science and religion. We may not be able to decipher it just yet, but we are edging ever closer to God's very own signature. This is what I think. This is what I believe for no other reason than I can feel it to be true.

If that isn't blind faith…  if that isn't religion…  I don't know what is.


Copyright © January 2004  Aaron Gillum and Low Carb Luxury
Title photo Copyright © 2004  Neil Beaty and Low Carb Luxury

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