Wednesday, January 19, 2011

an unseen reality

I’m listening to On Being this afternoon. Today I’ve chosen the show, "Quarks and Creation" and am really enjoying Krista’s conversation with physicist and theologian John Polkinghorne. I’m also happy to learn the scientific term “quark” was borrowed from a line in James’s Joyce’s Finnigan’s Wake. Here’s a comment from Polkinghorne I found especially encouraging as I looked at the semi-ordely chaos that is my dining room table:

“There's a very interesting scientific insight which says that regions where real novelty occurs, where really new things happen that you haven't seen before, are always regions which are at the edge of chaos. They are regions where cloudiness and clearness, order and disorder, interlace each other. If you're too much on the orderly side of that borderline, everything is so rigid that nothing really new happens. You just get rearrangements. If you're too far on the haphazard side, nothing persists, everything just falls apart. It's these ambiguous areas, where order and disorder interlace, where really new things happen, where the action is, if you like. And I think that reflects itself both in the development of life and in many, many human decisions.”

3 comments:

little green guy said...

I can't believe I'm the first. I've always wanted to be the first at something really, really meaningful. So glad you have a blog. I love your first post and can't wait to read the rest!

Rebecca Martin said...

So my question is how to foster that life environment where order and chaos meet. It seems one or the other (really, for me, the latter) can be worked toward. But how to achieve the balance?

Elizabeth Dark Wiley said...

Rebecca, I hear ya. And I'm not sure. I feel I shy away from chaos and am never really able to achieve order. I don't think we can necessarily foster the rub, but maybe its just in recognizing it. I think of a line from Mary Oliver, "Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it." If we could achieve the balance... well, that would be order I guess.