The 1 Remarkable Thing About Fighter Jets
The one remarkable thing about fighter jets has nothing to do with its capabilities. For the most part, fighter jets are unremarkable.
Fighter jets go incredibly fast and fly extremely high. They fly at supersonic airspeeds in three dimensions while detecting, tracking, and guiding weapons toward other aircraft miles away. They withstand G forces several times the force of gravity while maneuvering via digital control systems and redundant flight control computers. But that is not what’s remarkable about a fighter jets.
Fighter jets process vast amounts of information. They carry a host of sensors designed to be fully integrated with displays, targeting systems, and communications suites. Fighter jets conduct airborne refueling, maneuver at high speeds at low altitude in the dark of night, and land on the pitching decks of an aircraft carriers on the high seas. But we have yet to reach remarkable.
Fighter jet software is filled with code. Thousands and thousands (and thousands) of lines of code. And it works (usually). Still, that is not what makes fighter jets remarkable.
The one remarkable thing about fighter jets are the minds behind the machines.
Unharnessed internal combustion is a waste of energy, an airfoil cannot lift without the proper placement and design, and airspeed is useless without direction and intention.
Radars do not spontaneously pop into existence out of nothing from nothing because gravity exists (sorry Dr. Hawking). A missile cannot be fired without a human decision to launch. And even if unmanned aerial vehicles contained software to make launch decisions, the software requires design by: the human mind.
Sensors are useless without human interpretation. The code in a fighter jet’s mission computers is nothing but random ones and zeroes if not sequenced properly. Artisans, engineers, and mechanics integrate rivet, wire, and steel to form a weapons platform from which pilots pit their mind against another’s. The only thing remarkable about a fighter jet are the minds behind the manufacturing.
What could possibly be more remarkable than the human mind?
- the mind from whom humanity sprang forth out of nothing
- the mind owning all the necessary attributes required to be the creator of all thing material existing in time (immaterial, timeless, powerful)
- the mind with the intelligence required for the apparent design in the universe
Your plan may be to deconstruct the miracle of the mind to nothing more than random fortune, but as they say in the Marines, no plan survives first contact.
When your plan falls apart, you may look up to find contact not with an enemy, but a friend. And what a friend we have in Jesus. He’s not wearing sandals and petting a lamb–he’s shouting into your life with authority and truth. He’s calling you out to take a single step in the direction of faith. He’s asking you to put him on and try him out. The psalmist encourages us:
“Taste and see that the Lord is good;
blessed is the man who takes refuge in him” (NIV, Psalm 38:4).
The deeper we delve into the human body, the more it resembles a machine brimming with design. The human machine is impressive and filled with potential. But like a mind is required to pilot a fighter jet, our bodies can do nothing apart from Jesus Christ, the one in whom “all things hold together” (NIV, Col 1:17).
The human mind is worth more than the machines it can build, but the worth-ship of the mind of God–the uncaused cause and creator of all things–is immeasurable.
Photo Credit: Michael Thorn, PD / http://www.marines.mil/Photos.aspx?igphoto=2000761963
About Jason B. Ladd
Jason is an author, speaker, Marine, and father of seven. He has flown the F/A-18 Hornet as a Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron 1 (MAWTS-1) Instructor Pilot and the F-16 as an Instructor Pilot. His award-winning book One of the Few: A Marine Fighter Pilot’s Reconnaissance of the Christian Worldview has been optioned for film adaptation. He is represented by Julie Gwinn of The Seymour Agency.