Friday, January 9, 2009

Mutant Replicators

I was driving home last night with the radio on. Often I just like the peace and quiet. But in these short winter days when it's already dark for the commute, and especially at the end of the week when I'm tired, I seem to keep some noise to move the journey along from work to home.

I clicked on National Public Radio to catch up on all the news I'd missed through the day. As they always do, they offered the highlights, and then shifted to some interesting discussions which I don't often find in other media. They are always intriguing enough to keep me awake and move the trip along quickly.

The most interesting segment concerned the scientific investigations into how the first living creatures evolved on the earth. Now you may think it odd that this is of interest to me, or you may even feel uneasy as to how clergy would deal with such a topic. Actually I've never struggled with this so much. I mean, isn't it possible to have a strong, living faith that engages your mind and your heart? Just as mind and heart aren't mutually exclusive and necessary for total health, I believe that science and faith aren't mutually exclusive and can actually learn from one another and together create a stronger community/ nation/ world. But that's for another day and another conversation.

The NPR story found clues in how life began as scientists have been able to identify self replicating RNA in a lab. The key seemed to be in the dish full of various RNA replicators that some RNA would attach to other different strands unlike them and create mutant replicators. Of course, as with much of scientific inquiry, while there may be new understandings and theories related to the first stages of life on earth, there is also typically breakthroughs that help the world in real life applications today and tomorrow. For more of the science story go to

Yet another thought related to the "mix in the dish" as various replicating entities attract to one another and mix to create new mutant replicators strikes a note of truth about everyday life to me. There's something in this that intrigues my creative nature. I know how I'm drawn to others who ask questions, who seek to create and express, who seek understanding, and who are drawn to other similar characters because of the renewal of energy, the new thoughts, the new life that springs from this. That's part of what I enjoy about church work, about university campus ministry, and certainly with the type mission work I am privileged to enjoy.

HAHA Mutant Replicators of Truth, Justice, Mercy, Life and Faith

May that tribe continue to increase!

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