Seeing is believing: macro microscope photographs of snow crystals

Some of us are passionate about our faith and our beliefs. Some of us are passionate about science and things scientific. Some of us are passionate about both. (I belong to this category). Some of us believe that being passionate about both is not possible.

Whatever your particular position in the debate, I would urge you to take a look at these photographs.

I’ve had a childlike interest in science all my life, and I guess I’ve striven to have a childlike faith as well. Ever since I was old enough to read and understand anything at all, I’ve found snow crystals fascinating.  Over the years I’ve had quite a few opportunities to see snow crystals under a microscope, some botched gloriously, some mildly successful. Over the years I’ve seen many blown-up photographs of snow crystals, and I’ve been pleasantly taken aback every time.

This time, “taken aback” is too weak;”fascinated” does not do it justice. “Entranced” is not enough. Neither is “spellbound”. Even the vernacular “gobsmacked” is woefully inadequate.

So I’m going to go back to my Sixties roots and claim I was “blown out of my mind”. Seeing the photographs conjured up other images in my mind, images of military-industrial artifacts covered in a fine dust and made part of a majestic monochrome world.  Seeing the photographs reinforced my passion for science, and further reinforced my belief in a creator.

Let me know what you think.

6 thoughts on “Seeing is believing: macro microscope photographs of snow crystals”

  1. I think that the pictures are fascinating and spellbinding. Not “beautiful” though – if they were indeed pictures of a dusty, abandoned industrial complex, that would make me think about waste and pollution, not beauty.

    I am not sure what you find in those pictures that makes you think about a creator. Do you care to elaborate?

  2. Luca, Marshall, thanks for the comments.

    Luca, you ask why the pictures make me think of a creator.

    There was something about them that made me think of architecture on a massive scale, an attention to detail, something that conjures up images of industrialisation and mechanisation, something that evokes passion and emotion.

    It’s like visiting Iceland, something I’ve never done, something I really want to do sometime.

    Sometimes I think weird things. Like when I looked at the photographs, I tried to imagine what it would be like if we had found things that resembled what was in the photographs, but a million million times larger. If we had found them on the dark side of the moon.

    What would we have thought? That we had stumbled on a hitherto unknown civilisation.

    That’s the way it felt. Hope my words make sense to you.

  3. I’m amazed at the structure of the flakes, I thought there was a general assumption that you can never find a straight line in nature. The patterns look so very specific.

    Nerdy I know, but looks like Supermans home planet lol.

  4. I find the pictures interesting but what interests me a lot more are your comments regarding science and faith, a topic that could run and run. At times in my past I would have said I have faith in the ‘classic’ sense. Now I rationalise faith from a scientific point of view; I believe faith is an emotion.

  5. I read the following recently in a book my father in law loaned me… makes an interesting comparison to your original comment.
    Of course just my personal observation and thoughts and this is not meant to fuel the ‘run and run’ debate :o)

    If there was no Creator, then life must have started spontaneously by chance. For life to have come about, somehow the right chemicals would have had to come together in the right quantities, under the right temperature and pressure and other controlling factors, and all would have had to be maintained for the correct length of time. Furthermore, for life to have begun and been sustained on earth, these chance events would have had to be repeated thousands of times. But how likely is it for even one such event to take place?

    Evolutionists admit that the probability of the right atoms and molecules falling into place to form just one simple protein molecule is 1 in 10113, or 1 followed by 113 zeros. That number is larger than the estimated total number of atoms in the universe! Mathematicians dismiss as never taking place anything that has a probability of occurring of less than 1 in 1050. But far more than one simple protein molecule is needed for life. Some 2,000 different proteins are needed just for a cell to maintain its activity, and the chance that all of them will occur at random is 1 in 1040,000! “If one is not prejudiced either by social beliefs or by a scientific training into the conviction that life originated [spontaneously] on the Earth, this simple calculation wipes the idea entirely out of court,” says astronomer Fred Hoyle.

    On the other hand, by studying the physical world, from the minute subatomic particles to the vast galaxies, scientists have discovered that all known natural phenomena appear to follow certain basic laws. In other words, they have discovered logic and order in everything that is taking place in the universe, and they have been able to express this logic and order in simple mathematical terms. “Few scientists can fail to be impressed by the almost unreasonable simplicity and elegance of these laws,” writes a professor of physics, Paul Davies, in the magazine New Scientist.

    A most intriguing fact about these laws, however, is that in them there are certain factors whose values must be fixed precisely for the universe, as we know it, to exist. Among these fundamental constants are the unit of electric charge on the proton, the masses of certain fundamental particles, and Newton’s universal constant of gravitation, commonly denoted by the letter G. On this, Professor Davies continues: “Even minute variations in the values of some of them would drastically alter the appearance of the Universe. For example, Freeman Dyson has pointed out that if the force between nucleons (protons and neutrons) were only a few per cent stronger, the Universe would be devoid of hydrogen. Stars like the Sun, not to mention water, could not exist. Life, at least as we know it, would be impossible. Brandon Carter has shown that very much smaller changes in G would turn all stars into blue giants or red dwarfs, with equally dire consequences for life.” Thus, Davies concludes: “In this case it is conceivable that there might be only one possible Universe. If that is so, it is a remarkable thought that our own existence as conscious beings is an inescapable consequence of logic.”

    What can we deduce from all of this? First of all, if the universe is governed by laws, then there must be an intelligent lawmaker who formulated or established the laws. Furthermore, since the laws governing the operation of the universe appear to be made in anticipation of life and conditions favorable to its sustenance, purpose is clearly involved. Design and purpose—these are not characteristics of blind chance; they are precisely what an intelligent Creator would manifest.

Let me know what you think

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