Science is a powerful tool that tries to understand how the universe works. It doesn’t ask why the universe is here; that’s a philosophical or theological question. Science is only interested in the mechanics of nature and how systems relate to each other.
Think of science as a pair of glasses that you put on, and when you look around at the same world that everyone else sees, the ordinary becomes extraordinary.
A green leaf becomes an energy factory that turns sunlight directly into food for the plant. You can see down to the infinitesimally small world within an atom and discover the powerful forces at work there. You look up and see billions of other worlds, exploding stars, galaxies, out to the edge of the universe and back to the beginning of time. An odd-shaped rock becomes the leg bone of a giant creature that walked the Earth, long before humanity.
Perhaps most importantly, science sees relationships, the interconnectedness between systems. Ocean currents affect weather patterns, the weather affects life on land, volcanoes cool the climate.
As the great American naturalist John Muir wrote: “When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.”
Now, it seems that humanity is picking out just about everything in sight and affecting everything else on the planet.
And that’s why we need science to see those effects and remind ourselves that we are an intimate part of the whole system."