Of Story and Physics

Grandma and the bird

Can science crack “story”? Science can analyze the paper and the ink, and social science tries to engage the effect of story, but story stands beyond physics.

A young man kills himself because a girl says she doesn’t want to be with him. Story governs biology. It’s an amazing reality that we pay little attention to. Our “self” is only tangentially connected to this biology. When our biological self ends, our story doesn’t. The heat death of the universe is a physical certainty according to everything we know. Yet that heat death cannot touch story. What does that say? I think it says something.

Some physicists are eagerly looking for clues of the multiverse because it resolves the “problem” of the fine tuned universe. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fine-tuned_Universe. Religion has long recognized the power of story over the power of physics. Religion essentially says that physics serves story not the other way around.

Christian resurrection is not simply about people coming back to life, it is about the beginning of a universe where decay doesn’t destroy story. “The fall” in the Christian story is about physics no longer faithfully hosting or honoring story. Christians believe that the resurrected body of Jesus is the beginning of a better universe, one that tells better stories and hosts them more faithfully. It is the place where story is unleased from decay.

If Christians are wrong about this it is a very sad thing indeed because I deeply want your stories and mine to endure beyond our biology and the death of the decaying universe. I could of course be wrong. There are days when I think I might be wrong, but there are days when I think that this happy thought is in fact true, and those days are good days indeed. 🙂 It is a joy to give others good days like these.

About PaulVK

Husband, Father of 5, Pastor
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