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Folly Beach South Carolina

By Dr. Dick Wieder

     Once, when he was troubled, a man drove down to the beach. A storm had just recently passed by and the ocean and sky were both still visibly shaken by the impact of Nature's power. Dark, billowing clouds were rapidly streaming across the sky. The waves, huge and harsh, were pounding the continental shelf. The wind, in constant gusts, lashed at everything. The man, standing alone, literally bathed in Nature.

     The sand was wet where he stood. Footprints lasted for brief seconds before the onrushing tide erased them forever. Kneeling and taking the sand in his hand, he marveled at the number of grains. A google of particles. His eyes moved from the sand to the sky. It was clearing. A few small lights could be seen above the clouds. The stars. How massive. How distant. How innumerable. It has been said that there are more stars in the heavens than grains of sand on the earth-- some more massive than his own sun. All out there. Millions and billions of light years a part. All flying apart as he, contemplating them, rides out the grand explosion of creation. While gravity, chomping at the bit, does its damnedest to keep it all in check.

     And in his mind's eye, he transports himself to the very edge of the Universe. Out there somewhere is the crest of the Big Bang. The far flung forward frontier of what is. A point distant, perhaps beyond the quasars. And riding that edge he peers out to see the beyond. The Grand Nothing that surrounds the Universe. But his quantum leanings tell him that it is folly to contemplate the beyond. But in the macroscopic world he sees the edge of the continent; he sees the edge of the horizon, and he therefore knows the edge of the Universe. It simply has to exist. He struggles for a word to describe the sheer unfathomable size of creation. There is no such word. Not in any language is there a word that conveys such grandeur.

     And beyond, into the vast indescribable nothingness, perhaps some faint distant glow might reveal another universe rushing toward him. Perhaps not. But the edge is there. Because he is - it is. And a joy is felt that he had a chance to be a part of it all.

     Turning at the edge and facing inward, he wonders at its beginnings. Back through time to the Big Bang. And then beyond, where again he is faced with a vast nothingness from whence all has come. He wonders why. And here, his science--in all its greatness--has failed him. For science cannot and never will be able to answer the one supreme and final question of "why". It is here that Faith and Science unify into one. Here, beyond the "symmetry-breaking" that made energy to form quarks.

     In that primordial soup of energy, a rippling occurred that brought time and space and matter into being. Science as a distinct & viable body, begins and ends there. The question "why" must seek elsewhere for an answer . The lock on this door has no physical key. Science can explain the process but not the why. It cannot open the door . The secret key to this entrance is called Faith.

     In man's desire to find purpose, he progresses. It is as much a part of him as his hands, or his feet, or his brain. Take away purpose, and man ceases to exist. He is a purposeful animal. Without purpose, he has no heart. No warmth. No love. Purpose gives direction and meaning. To say it is all merely an accident is a pure and simple wastebasket answer. It tells man nothing. So, standing on the beach, it all comes down to purpose and result. Is not the result of certain forces the universe? What, then, can be said about its purpose? That is the "why" that science alone cannot answer. One of the basic tenets of classical physics is determinism. "Determination" is a word used to define the word "purpose". Quantum physics has thrown out determination It speaks of chaos and randomness, and probabilities at the quantum level. But man does not live at the quantum level, He lives in a macroscopic world. And this world demands purpose. It demands purpose because man exists. And man must exist for a purpose. Here, at Folly Beach, South Carolina, a man stands on the precipice between his ancestral home and his present home. He call gaze upward and contemplate his future home. It is here that he can find the answer to " why " . For , back into time at the moment of creation, forces took a turn that resulted in a real macroscopic world that differs markedly from the microscopic world of leptons and quarks. God is the "why". Is it folly for a man to say, "I do not believe in the electron because when I am not looking, it disappears into a haze of probabilities" : Surely, the electron exists when one looks for it. It is still there when one turns his eyes away. And so it is with God. He is there whether one seeks Him or not . Descartes once said, "I think. Therefore, I am. " I maintain that, "I believe. Therefore, He is,"




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