In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
I was listening to one of my favorite programs, NPR’s Fresh Air, and the show was about the Nobel Prize in Physics, which was awarded to two teams of scientists who showed that the expansion of the Universe is actually accelerating. It is quite fascinating, and I encourage you to listen to the show.
Astrophysicist Saul Perlmutter, who was interviewed in the show, said:
When we started getting results that showed that it was not slowing … [that] in fact it wasn’t slowing at all — it was speeding up — it was a pretty big shock. At the time, when you first get those results, it doesn’t worry you too much … because you know you haven’t finished doing the calibration. The more we did the calibration, the more the results didn’t go away.
He explained it this way:
It would be a little like throwing an apple up in the air and you would expect that it would be pulled back down due to gravity. What we were seeing was a little bit like throwing the apple up in the air and seeing it blast off into space.
These findings have led scientists to hypothesize that “empty space” is not empty at all:
The results of Perlmutter, Riess and Schmidt’s research may suggest that the empty space in the universe isn’t really empty — that it might be filled with what scientists called dark energy. The dark energy, spread throughout the universe, is thought to be associated with all empty space and is somehow working against gravity to push the universe apart faster and faster.
You know, there has been so much that has been said and written about the conflict between religion and science. In the minds of many, I suspect, religion and science are polar opposites. I see it quite differently.
In the wonders of science, I see the wonders of God and His creative powers. When I was listening to the show, I could not help but remember this verse of the Qur’an:
AND IT IS We [God] who have built the universe with [Our creative] power; and, verily, it is We who are steadily expanding it. (51:47)
In that expanding Universe, in “them thar hills,” I see the Lord Our God.