Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Rainbow

According to the bible the rainbow is God's sign of his covenant with man. That is God's promise that he'll try to control his temper and never again destroy every living thing on the earth except for a few lucky ones. Interestingly, I read a religion blog that seems to think that this is the essence of hope. That God loves us sooooo much that he will only kill 99.999% of us but always leave a remnant of hope. That's the kind of hope that keeps state lotteries going by the way. Forget all the logical problems with Noah and flood myth (Where did the water go? Where did it come from? Really? ALL the animals? How many do you suppose that would be? Only 2 of each. . .that ain't going to work!) and let's just talk about the promise itself.

We were very wicked and had to ALL be destroyed. The animals too for some reason. Seems harsh. Why not invent radio 5000 years ago and get your message delivered a little more efficiently? Wait, are you just crabby because you don't like they way your own creations are behaving? Maybe you should have created them a little differently then. NOPE. They all (save lucky Noah and Mrs Noah who thought she could have married a doctor. Who knew?) have to be destroyed. Were there any good people that got destroyed? Where there any innocent animals that got destroyed? This is the behavior that is supposed to inspire hope? Richard Speck murdered all the nurses in that apartment save one. Thanks Dick!

Now to the rainbow. The rainbow is God's sign of the covenant. Question: were there no rainbows before the flood? It had to rain. The sun had to shine. Given that you're going to get rainbows once in awhile.

When I look at a rainbow (and I do love them) I enjoy those bright primary school colors and the perfect shape of the bow. Through my study of physics and geometry I understand where the colors come from. I can recreate the phenomena in my lab. I understand why they are in the order they are in. I can show why the rainbow occurs at an angle of 42 degrees from the line of the sun. I even can explain why there is a secondary (and even a tertiary) bow. On and on. At no point do I run into a problem where the only path left open is . . . God did it. It just doesn't happen.

And all of this just makes the rainbow more amazing to me. The beauty that it has in itself plus all the layers of understanding that it incorporates when I observe one. Layers and layers of beauty and awe. I don't see this sort of layering if all you got is, "God made it". Done. I guess many among us are drawn to the short simple non-explanation.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Just got caught up with your last two posts. Thanks. Excellent as usual. Still wish you could post to a larger audience. I'm still pissed about the idiot Christian survivors of the Colorado theater shooting spree who say they prayed and god saved them. Once again, god told the other Christians who were diving under chairs and praying, but who died, "nope. You're going down!".

Rich P