I've been pretty busy the past few days. With that comes the unfortunate (or fortunate depending on perspective) side-effect of having less time to just think. Since I have gotten into the habit of blogging every few days that has become a problem because I have had no new topics to really talk about. That is until I thought about maybe borrowing ideas from others and talking about those. Ahhhh, there we go, what about that topic?! It set me off thinking about creativity and originality.
When you really think about everything we as humans have done, none of it is truly original. What I mean is that there is nothing completely new that did not exist before. Everything we do in terms of creativity is manipulation and change of what already exists. Our ideas and creations are bounded by what God has created already. I'm about to use an old cliche example, but try and think of a new color for the rainbow. Try and come up with an animal that has no relation to or similarity to any known living thing. We can't do it. It is something truly beyond us. We can do amazing things with what is already there, but we can do nothing out of nothing. Just read Ecclesiastes sometime and Solomon will repeat on several occasions, "There is nothing new under the sun." We've made amazing advancements in technology over recent years. But even those completely "novel" ideas that men from hundreds of years ago would completely marvel at are simply manipulation, adaptation, and use of what already exists. We have a greater understanding of the physical universe and so can use it to a greater extent than ever before, but by no means did we come up with anything new. I wonder if we ever would have thought about building planes to fly if God had never created birds. Many of our technologies nowadays are adaptations from the world of animals like velcro and solar power.
When we have to write papers at universities, in light of these things, I find it humorous that we have to cite things as much as we do. Basically if the idea isn't yours and is not original you have to cite your source. I think it would be infinitely better and easier for everyone if we all could just assume that the idea wasn't original to the author to begin with. After all, originality is a quality that I think only God possesses.
For His Glorious Name,