Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Tsunamis and the God of the gap

After yesterday's earthquake off the coast of Indonesia, I read an article quoting a scientist who stated that there was a 100% chance of a tsunami in the region:
    "My personal view is that a tsunami has a 100 percent chance of happening," US Geological Survey earthquake expert Kerry Sieh told journalists in Los Angeles.
Whoops! Now there's this article today: Scientists Puzzled No Tsunami After Quake:
    Tsunami experts could not understand why Monday's forceful earthquake off Indonesia failed to produce massive waves similar to those generated by the Dec. 26 quake that killed at least 175,000 people in the same region.
    ...There was no tsunami, but a small wave was detected by a tide gauge on Cocos Island near Australia, about 1,500 miles south of the epicenter, according to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center on Oahu. "I'm baffled an earthquake this size didn't trigger a tsunami near the epicenter,'' said Robert Cessaro, a geophysicist at the center, which is operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
But what this ought to be screaming to us is how little we humans know about the day-to-day operation of the universe God created. If the amount of data out there to be learned is infinite--and it most surely is--then the gaps in our knowledge must also be infinite. Scientists and Christians alike (the two are not mutually exclusive) sometimes need to learn this lesson, because surely there gaps in our knowledge of God as much as in our knowledge of what He made.

Although everthing has been revealed that is necessary for life and godliness, what we don't know far surpasses what we do know. This means that a little humility ought to be in order.

Christians are often ridiculed by the secular humanist/materialist for having a "God of the gap," or invoking God only when there is something we don't understand. I, for one, am happy to proclaim that God is truly the God of all that we know and what we don't know. All that we know about the physical universe declares the glory of God. The gaps in our knowledge, when you really think about it, also tell us a lot about Him--if we're listening. Hopefully, when we recognize those gaps, we'll be spurred on to further seek Him.

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