Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Chess and Michael Farady

About noon today my former wife called me and asked if I was near Basil's school.  He was sick and waiting in the nurse's office.   As it happened, I was just leaving one of my dealers not 3 miles from Basil's school. When I got him home I medicated him (he has an ear infection, I think.) I made him lunch, played a game of chess with him, and helped him with is chess homework (he's working on mating in 2 moves) before I went back to work.

At 4:30 I picked Anselm up at his school and we drove to Los Gatos where I visited with one of my dealers.  It was kind of a useless visit since my bank specializes in serving dealers who sell to people with bad credit and this dealership is in one of the richest areas of California.  But I still have to visit him.  Anselm sat in the car and read an electronics textbook while I was seeing the dealer.  When my meeting was over we drove to my parish for the Vigil of the Annunciation.

Anselm is a boy of ever changing enthusiasms.  He has moved from painting to wood carving to coin collecting to Rubik's cubes to ceramics to stamp collecting.   Now he is very interested in electronics. The table in his room is covered with diodes, bits of wire, circuit boards, solder, switches, batteries, speaker parts and lights.  While we were driving to church tonight he said, "Dad, will you buy me a Faraday switch?"

"Anselm, I am very poor, and I am saving as much money as possible to buy a van or a truck to live in.  I will buy you one if I am able.  But tell me what you know about Michael Farady."

Anselm said,"I know he invented the Faraday switch and the Farday cage."

"Yes, and he proved the link between light and electricity, and discovered benzene, and made the discoveries that lead to the electric motor, and is called the Father of Electronics, but do you know the most important thing about him?"

Anselm said he didn't.  So I told him.

"He was a Christian.  And it was his his faith in the rational God that lead him to make all his scientific discoveries."

"Was he Orthodox?"

"No.  There were no Orthodox left in his country when he was born.  But he believed in the Trinity and that Jesus died on the cross for our sins and came back to life, and he believed the Bible.  And that is the most important thing about him.  It's why he was able to be a scientist.  There is a reason why science did not develop among the pagans.  Hindus think their god Brahman, if he is aware of the universe at all, is just dreaming it, the Buddhists are not even sure the universe exists, and the animists, such as the Chinese, worship a chaotic bunch of gods and spirits who have no order and make no sense.  You see the Chinese folk religion..."

"You mean like accupuncure?"

"Yes, that's part of it, but also fortune-telling, the black dragon, astrology, and tens of thousands of spirits and gods,   It's a crazy and unpredictable mess.  But the true God is a God of order and....

"Natural law!", Anselm interjected.

"Yes, natural law.  He is reasonable and His creation is knowable.  And it is because of Faraday's faith in God (he was a deacon in his church) that he had the theological and philosophical foundation to do science."

So we talked about God making sense, and our faith being rational until we got to church.  And at church during the vigil, when we sang the Polyeleos we smiled at each other when we sang the line "To Him who by understanding made the heavens, for His mercy endureth forever, hallelujah hallelujah".

2 comments:

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GretchenJoanna said...

I didn't read this post when it was current, because it was the day my husband fell asleep in the Lord. Tonight it is a great blessing, reading about how you take advantage of all sorts of situations to lead and guide your children. THEY are blessed. You are being instant in season and out of season.