Updated: Jan 28, 2021
You’ve likely felt it, that inimical sensation that comes when you close the pages of a great book. The written words transport you to another place where, through the characters and their stories, you learn something of substance about the world and yourself. In such a moment you’ve likely looked up to the ceiling, too, and sighed; after all, great literature spurs us to look “up” towards that which is true, good, beautiful, and eternally so.
While you may not associate experiences like these with scientific study, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t. Mrs. Gildersleeve, the Academy’s Science Chair, would quickly remind you that, while there are many great books, only two are divinely authored: The Bible, composed of the New and Old Testaments, and the book of God’s natural revelation, or otherwise put, the created world and all that is contained in it. This second book is one in which we are everyday characters and is, in fact, that which we explore in science.
What does such scientific exploration look like? Recently, Mrs. Gildersleeve and her sixth-grade class dissected a young deer heart that had been brought in by one of the class’ students. Excited to touch and observe their studied specimen up close, the students marveled at the sophistication and inter-connected nature of the organs. Their reaction, one of awe and wonder, coupled with a more complete, clear-eyed understanding of God’s created world, embodies the core direction of the Academy’s science curriculum.
Mrs. Gildersleeve explains, “What I really want the students to take away is that what God has made is intricately complex, perfect and intentional.” She turns and points to the young deer heart and continues, “The parts of the cardiovascular system – the chambers of the heart, the alveoli of the lungs, the vessels – are all masterfully designed to carry blood; and in turn, the blood is perfectly suited to carry the oxygen, nutrients, and minerals that every one of our trillions of cells need. What’s more, the water molecule, which is the primary component of blood, is designed to make all of life possible.”
Just as her students had displayed earlier, Mrs. Gildersleeve had a look of tremendous excitement on her face. She stopped, let out a sigh, and finished, “This is all only one paragraph in the great book of God’s general revelation that we have the privilege to study in science.”