Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Science Sundays: Raising a child with both Science and Faith


“Science investigates; religion interprets. Science gives man knowledge, which is power; religion gives man wisdom, which is control. Science deals mainly with facts; religion deals mainly with values. The two are not rivals.”-Martin Luther King Jr.


    I have been blessed with a bright little boy that is passionate about many things. Music, Art, MMA, Science, and God are his biggest passions. He can spend hours drawing and coloring. He can listen to a song and pick out every single instrument played, his ears in-tuned with every detailed sound. Wide eyed and curious he comes to me on most days asking to do a science experiment, something we have been doing together since he was barely two years old.  As the day winds down and he is snuggled in bed, the sound of crickets playing a sweet lullaby over the soft hum of the humidifier, he turns to me every night and asks if we can pray. We pray for our families and friends and give thanks for all God has given us. 

     In the past few years I have seen many things circulating on various social networks, one topic in particular hit a nerve within me. Masses of opinions regarding the fact that science and religion do not and could not coexist. When it boils down to it, these opinions stressed that if you were religious and believed in God you were a moron and oblivious to science. On the contrary these opinions also stated that if you believed in evidence based science you automatically are an atheist. That got me really digging deep into my personal beliefs and I mediated long and hard on this topic. 
     As a nurse I rely on science every single day. I know that when taking a blood pressure the systolic pressure is the pressure in the artery during the ventricular contraction phase of the heart cycle and the diastolic pressure is the pressure in the artery when the ventricles are relaxed. I know the complexities of balancing electrolytes in the body and the affects on the body when these levels are off. Electrolytes are minerals in your body that have an electric charge. Sodium, calcium, potassium, chlorine, phosphate and magnesium are all electrolytes. I know that I am to advise a patient to avoid Vitamin K when taking Coumadin as the two have opposite effects on the body. Vitamin K causes the blood to clot and the Coumadin is taken to prevent clotting. What most people don't know, however, is that many of us nurses also turn to God on many occasions. We pray for our patients and for their families. We pray for guidance and strength. We have heard and seen miracles happen that science could not explain. We are trained to be compassionate to all faiths and religions and offer guidance when needed.
     My conclusion? Faith and Science indeed go hand and hand. I believe in God and that he created all that surrounds us. This is my FAITH. Although I can not see it right in front of me, I feel it in my heart and have had many blessings in life by our Lord. I believe in science, cold hard evidence placed before our eyes. This is my KNOWLEDGE. These I can touch, study, see, and test. Perhaps God created evolution and placed the stars in the sky. He designed our detailed and magnificent bodies, like well oiled machines. Perhaps God is the greatest engineer of all time. Mayim Bialik, a well known actress and neuroscientist wrote, "For example, if they ask me, “Why is the sun sunny?” (yes, my 4-year-old asked me this a few weeks ago), I give an explanation about the sun being a giant ball of a hot gas, like the kind that fills up a balloon. If I’m asked the proverbial “Why?” the answer is, “Because that’s the way HaShem made the world.”

     So can I raise my children learning both about God and Science? The answer is yes and that is why I have started Science Sundays in our home. Every Sunday after church we will reflect on one simple bible verse and then try out a new science experiment. Since I am working this weekend we started our project a few days early this week. I will be documenting our weekly journey here. 

Week One:
Science: About The Lungs
Faith: Psalm 150:6

This fun experiment teaches you the role of the diaphragm when inhaling and exhaling. We have done this project once before, and still remains a household favorite.We start our lesson by reading about the specific topic we will be learning about.

You Will Need:
  • Play Dough
  • Empty plastic water bottle
  • Scissors
  • Straw
  • 2-3 rubber gloves
  • Tape
How To: 
Cut the bottle in half keeping the part with the bottle neck and tossing the bottom.
Cut two fingers off of a rubber glove for the lungs. Try to cut it high enough so that they will inflate together. 
Tape the lungs to the bottom of the straw as shown in the video below.
Place straw with lungs attached into the bottle and affix with play dough. My son likes to pretend the play dough is the epiglottis, even though that would be up before the trachea.
Affix an intact rubber glove around the base of the bottle.
Project complete! You can now see how your lungs inflate when your diaphragm contracts and deflates when your diaphragm relaxes!

Here is the bible verse we reflected on tonight:"Let everything that has breath praise the Lord."

Next week a robotic hand to learn about ligaments and pretty soon a real live working robot. Stay tuned!

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