Most of people would answer that question with 4 – and wonder why on earth I would ask something as simple as that. Any kid knows the answer…
Is it simple, however?
I wasn’t strong in math back in school. My math teacher and I did not get along (these days I so wish that I actually learned all that back in school!). However, in university, it was an entirely different matter. Our professor Ivanov was (and still is for those who are students now) awesome. It was due to his teaching I started warming up to math and whatever else it brought along.
One day, during calculus, we were studying standard deviations.
“The standard deviation for 2 is .5. Therefore, 2+2 might equal to anything from 3 to 5.”
Another teacher, Bogin, took it to extreme, “Anyone who thinks that 2 + 2 =4 is an idiot.”
It was his explanation that piqued my interest. “Does 2 + 2 = 4? No! Because two cats plus two sausages is what? Two cats. Two drops of water plus two drops of water? One drop of water.”
But my point here is not math.
I have a problem with “correct answers.” Ever since hearing the joke about “I know the right answer is Jesus, but it sure sounds like a squirrel” and even before… I didn’t like simple “correct” answers. Back in Sunday School, I knew the answers to the questions, but they didn’t mean a thing for me. I just knew what I am supposed to say.
As a result, these days, whenever I am trying to teach at Sunday School, I avoid the questions that would immediately give me a “right answer.” I want those youngsters to think.
So for me, 2+2 is exactly the question I am looking for. It requires thinking outside the box when one says “Nope, that doesn’t necessarily equal 4.”
I am blessed by a small group we have formed just recently. It consists of young minds who want to learn. We call ourselves RedShift University. Although one of the main aims is to learn sciences and all kinds of things (last time, we have studied the structure of the atom – fascinating stuff!!!), another aim is to show our non-believing friends that it was indeed God who created the universe – maybe not in the traditional “creationism” way (the pure form of which I don’t actually believe) but to show that the God who created it all is the God we (the followers of Christ) serve.
Do you think the creationism theory (that creation took place in 6 literal days and the Earth is 6,000 years old) can be true? (BTW, while I am saying I don’t like “correct” answers, I don’t like them only when they are used as “Okay, I have to say this or else they will think I am weird”… So if you believe in literal Genesis 1-2 creation, I won’t bully you:)
[learn_more caption=”Squirrel Joke”] TEACHER: All right, boys and girls, what’s fuzzy, has a bushy tail and gathers nuts in the fall? JOHNNY: Sure sounds like a squirrel to me but I know the answer must be Jesus.[/learn_more]
[learn_more caption=”What is Redshift?”] In physics (especially astrophysics), redshift happens when light seen coming from an object is proportionally increased in wavelength, or shifted to the red end of the spectrum. More on the subject of redshift can be found here. [/learn_more]