Last week’s blog (http://www.catechistscientist.com/blog/clouded-views) introduced you to the beauty and the wonder of “undulatus asperatus” clouds. Would it surprise you to know that this type of cloud was only officially declared a type of cloud a few years ago?
It’s true. It was proposed as a type of cloud in 2009 by Gavin Pretor-Pinney. Then a few years later, in March 2017, it was added to the International Cloud Atlas. This is a book by the World Meteorological Organization which (according to their website https://cloudatlas.wmo.int/en/home.html) “describes the classification system for clouds and meteorological phenomena used by all WMO Members.”
So how do you get into this book? Studying clouds seems like a very difficult field to me. It’s not like most sciences where you can isolate your subject and study it in a lab. I personally don’t know of any way to create specific types of clouds in a lab. This means that meteorologists would have to travel around the world to places that these clouds are seen, but it would be silly for, let’s say, a scientist in England to hear about people in Mexico seeing a type of cloud, hop on a flight, and get there, just for the clouds to be gone.
In situations like these, the world of science is very fortunate to have something called “citizen science”. According to www.nationalgeographic.org:
“Citizen science is the practice of public participation and collaboration in scientific research to increase scientific knowledge. Through citizen science, people share and contribute to data monitoring and collection programs. Usually this participation is done as an unpaid volunteer.”
That means that each day people who are not scientific experts can still help play a part in the future of science. Citizen science played a huge part in the studying of “undulatus asperatus” cloud, but it is currently being used for some great projects like:
- Nurdle Patrol, searching for plastic washing up on beaches to find the source of pollution
- Invader ID, watching for birds to track invasive species
- Urban MicroCSI, collects data on microbial water quality in cities
Having experts in fields is extremely important, but sometimes they need help. They can’t be everywhere and do everything. There is definitely enough scientific work to keep everyone busy.
The same is true in the Catholic Church. There are experts, theologians, who know much more about the faith than any of us, but if they were the only people who talked about the faith or the only people who worked to try to get people to heaven, our religion would not have reached the billions of Christians we have today.
In the gospel of Mark, Jesus tells them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” (Mark 16:15) He is saying that to YOU!
Some of you might be saying, “But Dani, I’m not a theologian, I don’t want to say the wrong thing.” Paul speaks to this point in 1 Corinthians when he says, “For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with wisdom and eloquence, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.” (1 Corinthians 1:17) The Holy Spirit is there to speak through you when you don’t have the words.
Something most of us have learned at this point is that actions speak louder than words. The way you act and treat others is the greatest testament to the truth of Christianity. Paul points this out in 2 Corinthians when he says, “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.” (2 Corinthians 5:20) When you are reconciled to God, when you grow closer to Him, your actions will show it.
No matter how little or how much you know, you can proclaim Christ through your actions. You can also speak of the things you have learned. Then if others come to you with questions which you don’t know the answers, you can always point them towards an expert. Just like science needs citizen scientists, the Church needs citizen evangelists. We all must do our part in spreading the good news of the gospel.
If you want an easy way to evangelize, share this post with a friend or family. Share it to your social media. Don’t be afraid to share the good news with those you care about. And don’t forget to subscribe at the bottom of this page so you can continue to get weekly bits of wisdom on science and the faith.