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“We should take care not to make the intellect our god; it has, of course, powerful muscles, but no personality.” (Albert Einstein)


The topic debated all last week in Stockholm was the information paradox of black holes. Black holes are so dense, they seem to swallow anything near them, including stars they’re formed from to begin with. Then, physicists theorize, these black holes give off radiation and degrade over time, slowly disappearing. Here’s the paradox—If a black hole swallows whatever makes a star a star, then disappears, does the information about that star also disappear? Scientists generally have concluded that information isn’t supposed to disappear into thin air; now some researchers, including Stephen Hawking, are thinking this could upset what have come to be viewed as the basic laws of the universe.


After an exhausting week of thinking about this paradox, their brains cramped by the riddle, there was no real consensus. In fact, they were still debating whether the information paradox is really a paradox. Sunday’s Washington Post article was aptly entitled, “Black holes still a mystery after epic meeting of the minds.”


So are we human beings smart or what?! These academic sophisticates could have just as reasonably spent a week debating the paradox of a falling tree with nobody there to hear it—did it make a sound or not?


Surely their mental acumen would have been put to more practical use if they had focused on possible solutions to the humanitarian crisis in Syria where millions have become refugees seeking to avoid the slaughter of a genocidal thug, the ongoing conflict between Israel and surrounding nations, the intractable warfare in Afghanistan and Iraq, or America’s insanely protracted presidential candidate political slugfest.


Christians have often been stereotyped as ignorant. I once heard “fundamentalist” defined as “very little fun, a lot of damn, and no mental.” Those of us who have placed our faith and hope in Jesus Christ would do well to sharpen our minds—we’re not always well informed about current events or smart about how things work. But atheists who believe that the universe began with friction in a vacuum are not very smart either. All of us human beings have a lot to learn, beginning with two basic lessons—1) there is a God and 2) we are not Him.


“As the Scriptures say, ‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise and discard the intelligence of the intelligent.’ So where does this leave the philosophers, the scholars, and the world’s brilliant debaters? God has made the wisdom of this world look foolish.” (1 Corinthians 1:19-20 NLT)


Johnny R. Almond

Author, Gentle Whispers from Eternity

Interim Pastor, Nomini Baptist Church; Montross, Virginia


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