Monday, August 1, 2011


Wailua Falls
Aptly located on the Garden Island of Kauai
(Photo courtesy of Silas K. Aqui)

The scientists will say that the rainbow in the picture above is caused by white light from the sun passing through one side of the curtain of water vapor from the waterfall and getting bent as it passes through the other side.  This phenomenon of bending is called the REFRACTION INDEX of a given particle.  In the process, the white light disperses into the seven-color spectrum visible to the naked eye.

I remember as a young boy learning from my science teacher how to remember the seven colors.  The instructor taught us an acronym that was the name of a boy--ROY G. BIV.  The letters stood for Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, and Violet.  

Honestly, I forgot until just a few minutes ago about the process of refraction.  But I never forgot the name of the little boy.

It's mnemonic devices like acronyms that make learning easier for me.  And when it comes to nature, I especially enjoy what I call the God element.

Back to ROY G. BIV, for example.  God cleverly put the seven visible colors in the very order with which an observant individual would someday come up with an acronym that little kids like me could understand.  

I mean, the colors could just as well have been arranged in such a way that the resulting acronym would have turned out to be:

  • GORY B. I-V (gory b(loody) intravenous shot?)
  • BY VIGOR (not by feebleness, but by vigor!)

  • BI ORGY V. (fifth reunion of indiscriminate lasciviousness?)
  • IVY BROG (a sharp stick from the wall climber?)
  • IVORY B. G. (anemic b(lood) g(lucose)?)

  • RIV. GOBY (freshwater big-eyed fish?)

Okay, I'm getting mentally fatigued.  But you catch my drift.

God intended the exact order of those colors in the rainbow spectrum.  And He surely anticipated the appropriate acronym that would someday help millions of schoolkids remember the majesty and splendor of a rainbow.

So while the scientists--obsessively compelled to organize, classify, and define nature--scramble to come up with theories and terms like refraction index, I imagine God adorning His landscape with creation after creation.

Chuckling every now and then at man's incessant and futile attempts to categorize even Him...

And pausing to leave His indelible humor on the whisper of a tradewind

or on the crashing percussion of waves against rocks

                                                       or on the muted slate of desert sand--

His comedic counsel in the form of--you got it!--another acronym:

K * I * S * S

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