In my estimation, the most important scientific advancement, has been the detailed information we have uncovered about the magnificent story of Creation. Science has provided factual data that supports the story of creation as described in the first book of the Bible, Genesis, and allowed us to understand that creation is an evolutionary process with the creation of the Universe community followed by the Earth community and finally the creation of the human community. This has been an exciting revelation for me, as I now believe a detailed understanding of creation is required if we hope to support life in the future. This, I am convinced is the missing link in science, particularly forest science.
The most compelling fact about our scientific and technological advancements is the acceptance that these enormous achievements have resulted in major destruction of our vital natural world! Almost every process you can name is designed to produce wealth and affluence. If it provides more food, more production, faster travel, softer life styles or more profit, it must be okay. Somewhere along the trail we lost our intimate relationship with the land and our natural surroundings. Todays goal is to eliminate regulations designed to protect our natural surrounding so we can improve profit margins, even if it will result in the death of some organisms and even humans.
Where did we go wrong and can we change so as to prolong life on our planet? Based on historical evidence, science is not going to provide for the future but only accelerate and shorten the time remaining. I recently talked with a pastor who informed me that his purpose was the redemption of the individual in preparation for what will happen in the future. As I thought about it, I began to realize this was part of the problem. Certainly, leading people to a religious belief is needed but, understanding our mission of stewardship and caring for this magical gift of life is equally important. I am also aware that there are people on both sides that believe there is a significant difference between religious and scientific understanding of the Creation story. I am concerned that this separation is standing in the way of initiating the changes required for the future. Personally, I believe this separation is based upon the interpretation of a few words written by the ancient Jewish religious scholars thousands of years ago. For example, the word day originally simple referred to a period of time which could be a minute to a million years. It wasn't until 3500 BC, when the Egyptians were attempting to create a system to tell time, that the word day was used to define a 24 hour period, and the day was divided into two 12 hour periods. So, why does all this matter?
If science will not provide our desired future than where can we expect to find the leadership required for the future? Somewhere along the line we lost our intimate relationship with nature and the appreciation of the detailed story creation! If we fail to re-establish this relationship, both the scientific and religious communities will experience unacceptable consequences. Both the scientific and religious communities must reach out to each other and find common ground that can lead us on a mission of stewardship and caring for this majestic planet we inhabit!