What does a snake with iridescent scales, a 16-foot-long beaked whale, a mushroom that grows next to Heathrow airport, and a tiny spider named after Joaquin Phoenix have in common? They were all new scientific discoveries in 2020! According to London’s Natural History Museum, over 500 new species were catalogued last year.
Even after thousands of years of observation we are still discovering new life on this planet—life as big as a 16-foot whale. How could we have missed that? Conventional wisdom says such discoveries shouldn’t be happening now because it always acts as if all the good stuff has already been discovered. In reality, as technology evolves, our ability to understand and uncover new life grows with it. Thanks to things like satellite mapping, DNA sequencing, and drones so tiny they can fly inside a beehive, scientists can study areas of the world that were previously unable to be studied.
The creation story overflows with hope, joy, creativity, and curiosity. As God takes on the role of Chief Creative Officer of All Living Things, God creates things easy to observe—goats and robins and bees—and God creates things that could only be known as humanity creatively explored new ways of observing the world. Last year, for instance, DNA sequencing revealed that the Greater Glider in Eastern Australia is actually three distinct species.
God’s power of creativity and our ability to explore it is an infinite resource and a trait we inherit from our Creator. Scientists estimate the total number of plant and animal species in the world to be between 10 and 50 million—but so far they have only described about 1.9 million. There are at least 8.1 million more things that God is waiting for us to discover and explore.
What areas of my life hold new and unexplored possibilities just waiting to be discovered?
God, continue to ignite the spark of curiosity in me so that I will keep exploring and discovering the goodness you create. Amen.