Creation, Beauty, Science, Art

Can these all work together fruitfully?

Ours is a world teeming with beauty. How could it not be? It was created and is upheld at every moment by Him Who is the very definition of beauty (Heb. 1.3). So inevitably beautiful is our world, so shot through at every point with breath-taking wonder, that even those parts of our world most of us will never see are stunningly beautiful. And the scientific community agrees. 

In her photo essay, “Living Large,” Kate Wong shows us, as her subtitle indicates, how “Microscopes find beauty in the most unexpected places” (Scientific American, January 2015). In twelve photos, taken under microscope, Ms. Wong employs the skills and language of art to the work of science, thus effectively demonstrating the possibilities for a closer cooperation between these two avenues of revelation – even a “marriage of science and art.” The photos she exhibits, taken by various scientists, comment on the role of proportion, color, line, similitude, metaphor, and variety in evoking wonder and conveying beauty. Whether the object under consideration is a cancer cell, a crustacean’s skeleton, an insect’s joint, the tongue of a cricket, or the brain of a rat, beauty is hidden and packed in unseen places throughout the world.

As Ms. Wong explains, “microscopy continues to expose the extra-ordinary in the mundane, deepening our understanding of the world we live in – sometimes to great aesthetic effect.” Or as Solomon might have put it, “It is the glory of God to conceal beauty.” Our duty, following the lead of people such as Kate Wong and the editors of Scientific American, is to discover and celebrate that beauty, to the praise of the glory of the grace of our beautiful Savior and King (Prov. 25.2).

Christ’s rule over the cosmos is a rule of beauty. As His beauty obtains in even such places as identified in this article, so He intends that His rule on earth, as in heaven, should abound in beauty. We understand Christ’s intentions for His rule in our lives and churches and communities if we study His rule of the creation, to learn how beauty works throughout, so that we may emulate that beauty in our own spheres.