Scattershooting Again: The B-flat of Life


 “As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.

                                                                                                                                       Isaiah 55:9 (NIV)



Well, I feel the need to scattershoot again…. while scattershooting, just wondering about time and space and all of those things. What is it with B-flat? Have you heard about this? During WWII the New York Philharmonic was in rehearsal for a concert at the American Museum of Natural History. The musicians played a note that upset a resident live alligator named Oscar, a longtime resident of the museum, causing him to suddenly bellow. Naturally, with so many scientists in residence, they brought musicians to play various notes. It turned out the culprit was B flat, one octave below middle C. In 2003, astronomers at NASA discovered sound waves emanating from a supermassive black hole located 250 million light years from Earth. One scientist analyzed the waves; the sound he found translated to the note B flat. It’s not a sound you or I can hear. It is 57 octaves below middle C.

While scattershooting, just wondering if scientists who really do believe that they know most everything, really do? I read today of the CDC’s reorganization to improve American’s trust in the agency. Perhaps the most harmful factor of all in the COVID-19 pandemic (aside from the virus itself) was the lack of any trusted source of information. With new policies and mandates pouring out daily, many contradicting yesterday’s news, no one knew who to trust.

As a physician, I would like to think of myself as a scientist. And yet I must admit that there are far, far too many things I don’t know and can’t explain. That means that I can testify that there are things that, in my scope, are supernatural.

A B-flat played throughout the universe. A virus that couldn’t be contained or explained. If we must believe in something, and I think that we all agree that we must, shouldn’t it be in someone whose scope is far beyond what we can see and prove? Shouldn’t a creator God be big enough to enjoy a B-flat (that, by the way, He created)?

NASA scientist Robert Jastrow famously wrote in his book, God and the Astronomers, “For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance, he is about to conquer the highest peak; and as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.”

I call it, “The B-flat of life!”

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