The most remarkable scientific advances of our times have been in the fields of physics and genetics. Biology has taken major strides since Ernest Rutherford discovered the atom’s nucleus in 1909 and Francis Crick and James Watson announced the double helix in 1953. Among these advances is a new understanding of the nucleus of the atom as, essentially, a vacuum. This modification of our scientific understanding of material reality did not undermine our estimation of science. Rather it demonstrated one of its basic characteristics. No scientific thesis intends to be the last word.
I’ve heard people say, “The value of a human life is incalculable.”
No, it isn’t. We set a value on lives all the time. The valuation requires some big generalizations, is based on hard-to-pin-down factors, and differs with the context in which it’s measured. But there’s no doubt that a life has definable value.
As a person who exhibits dominant African genes, it’s always a privilege to visit the region from which my ancestors were kidnapped about two or three centuries ago. Although they were probably abducted from one of the tribal nations in the west, placing my foot anywhere on the continent evokes an indescribable feeling of belonging. Admittedly, all of my sentiments are not warm and fuzzy, for the African social scape is cluttered by chains of colonization that in many ways appear to be permanent.
(I write my columns in Spanish for the Café Hispano audience, afterward I translate them into English.)
As I mentioned last month, since 1973 I have benefited from the fellowship of my sisters and brothers who share my culture in the Spanish Church of Berrien Springs, Michigan. This is a singular church that provides a Spanish enclave for the many students from Latin America who go to Andrews University.