While flipping channels with my family between football games one recent Sunday, I stumbled across an amazing report on 60 Minutes. It was about the Pentagon’s efforts to develop a “bionic arm” that will enable amputees to regain use of their missing arms through hi-tech prosthetics. There has been little advancement in prosthetic arms since the Vietnam War era and most are little more than crude hooks. But scientists are now on the brink of developing technologies that will enable amputees to do everyday things that were once impossible; such as picking a single grape from a bunch without crushing it.
I couldn’t help but sneak the occasional glance over at my six-year-old son who was watching the report with us. He was equally as excited to see such amazing technology on display as my wife and I were. He was even more excited about it all once I explained that the robotic arms these scientists were developing were similar to the one Luke Skywalker received after Darth Vader cut off his arm in The Empire Strikes Back. Only this was real. It took me a few minutes to really grasp that.
As I talked to my son I couldn’t help but wonder what amazing advances in science, technology and medicine his generation will develop. What diseases they’ll cure. What obstacles they’ll overcome. I got a sense of what God must feel when he looks at what we’ve accomplished as a species. He didn’t exactly give us any instruction manuals or diagrams of the human body to help us along the way. He just blew the breath of life into man’s nostrils and said, “Here’s Creation. Have at it.” And here we are thousands of years later using the intelligence, curiosity and creativity he gave us to do some truly remarkable things. He must be delighted.
There’s no doubt that we’ve also used science and technology to do some pretty horrible things to one another over the years. For example, the wars we fight which turn some of our brightest and strongest young men and women into amputees. And there are certainly some areas of scientific study where we should be concerned about the ethics of our progress. But I’ve never understood the constant friction between religion and science. I don’t think that God feels threatened by our advancements in technology or our achievement in science. I think he delights in the fact that we’ve used science to gain a greater understanding of his Creation. And in countless cases we’ve used that understanding for good.
We’ve used technology to explore the vastness of the heavens and to split the smallest molecule. The more we learn about ourselves and the world around us through research and discovery, the more we learn about our Creator. The one who placed the vastness of the heavens within a single molecule and said, “Here’s Creation. Have at it.” Today that means helping war amputees pick up grapes, or developing vaccines for diseases so that people in developing countries can have a fighting chance at survival. God only knows what our children will discover. Let’s pray that he’s delighted.