Scientists have discovered that there are between 10 and 100 timesmore types of bacteria in the world's oceans than they previously thought.

I am always interested when it becomes clear either in space or on earth how much we do not know. For instance, it is probable, according to scientists in on such matters, that we have not yet identified one-tenth of the insects which inhabit the earth.

To people possessed by theological certainty, knowledge of the world around them may be interesting, but only peripherally so. Their interest in natural wonders is shallow and unconvincing. Nature is not particularly relevant to their lives or their philosophy. Natural phenomena merely provide additional evidence of the power of a Creator who they already have pretty well pinned down. "A God powerful enough to make the Alps can certainly help me find a parking space," seems to be a typical train of thought of many prominent pop preachers. To be fair, their followers are more interested in finding a parking space than viewing the Alps.

To me, the existence of all of these wonderful forms, living and dead, organic and inorganic, is the first philosophical fact. We are given eyes to see, ears to hear, minds to think, and we have appeared in the midst of all of this wonder to do our best. Who knows why we arose, who knows why or how life billows out everywhere on earth, and who knows to what end? It is wonderful, and is best viewed with innocent awe untainted by dogma. I find it spiritually arid to accept a formulaic answer to any question which we cannot research with our senses. The mystery and the ambiguity, and the process of accepting the mysterious and ambiguous, are simultaneously difficult and salubrious.

It is only within our perview to question and study and live out our existence as best we can, refusing to accept facile explanations which offer the appearance of certainty. Certainty is religion's ally, but spirituality's foe.