Children love to ask “Why?” My friend’s son used to frequently ask “Dad, why is the sky blue?” Gary came up with a humorous answer. “Well son, that is really two questions. “Why” is a big question that people have been trying to answer for a very long time, and no one has been able to answer it yet. Is the sky blue? Yes.” His son would then respond “But why?”
Were you ever told “Because I said so” or “That’s just the way it is”? I never really liked those answers. I usually thought “Who died and made YOU God?” Is that what the “Why Question” is really all about – a questioning of authority? By whose authority is this answer being certified as ”true and correct”? Maybe it’s also about defining “true” and “correct? Adam Savage, from the Discovery Channel show “MythBusters”, radically states “I reject your reality and substitute it with my own”. It’s funny how popular culture defines a radical as one who rejects norms or accepted truths. In mathematics, the term “radical” means “relating to or proceeding from a root, or starting point”. This implies there IS a reference point from which one departed.
National Search and Rescue School taught me how to determine a reference point, or ‘datum”, from which I could commence a search for survivors of marine accidents. The datum calculation takes into account the passage of time and forces such as wind and waves, which cause the search object to drift away from the last reported position. By deploying a datum marker buoy equipped with a radio signal transmitter, no matter how far away from the original distress location we searched, we could always go back to our reference point, or datum – the most likely place to find survivors. Without a reference point, we could have searched aimlessly over millions of miles of ocean.
Searching for answers without a stationary reference point, or truth base, can feel just as aimless. Without knowing the facts, trying to figure out “what” happened can be confusing depending on whom you ask. “When” and “where” did it happen? Just look at the time stamp on the “selfie” you took of yourself with your cell phone standing in front of “what” happened. “How” did it happen? Ask your parents. If you are parents, you should know this one by now.
The “Why? question” is much more difficult to answer. Sometimes, even with a good knowledge base and excellent understanding, we can’t find an answer. Understanding “what” happened, or “how” it happened doesn’t necessarily answer “why?” (just ask a five year old). Things like “cause” and “effect” have to be explained. Physical results explain the “effect”, but “cause” – that implies someone or something caused it – more questions about who or what. Is Schrodinger’s cat really dead? That depends on who you ask and whether the box is opened or closed. Speaking of boxes, shaking a box full of clock parts will not produce a clock. Why? God’s rules make God’s world tick. Ask Him – He’s big enough to handle the tough questions.
© 2013 Curt Savage Media