Nature can often evoke the same feelings you get from religion, a sense of awe or a feeling we might term “spiritual.” “Spiritual” can often be defined as developing your inner life by contemplating something larger than your life. This could be God or the universe as a whole. MSNBC has some natural art in the form of tiny snowflakes that prove you don’t always have to use a telescope to be euphoric. They even have poetic science that explains how snowflakes form and then delight us… as they join together to barricade us in our homes and make the roads unbearable for driving.
Nature’s art is really an anathema to purposeful design/art. It is not planned or a conscious decision to make something that entrances us. If you believe in God you might think the processes were all created for your viewing pleasure and therefore it is God’s art, but unfortunately that would make it God’s art run amuck. Snow is both beautiful and deadly. Mankind had to invent shelters to defend us from this art so we didn’t freeze to death.
Quite a lot of Nature’s art is the result of violent actions. For example, if we were to concede that Noah’s Flood carved the gorgeous spectacle known as The Grand Canyon like the creationists say it did, it would mean Grand Canyon art required a violent flood that wiped away vegetation, animals and sinful humans (including the sinful babies–and don’t forget the puppies! My God, the puppies!). Volcanoes erupt and in their aftermath create new and exciting formations. Ocean waves tear away at cliffs with no regard for the inhabitants above. An avalanche caught on film is magnificent as it barrels down the slopes, skiers be damned. A new lake is formed by drowning the land after a glacial landslide.
Okay, maybe I’m embellishing a bit, but you get the point. We find beauty as a result of destruction. This is not to discount the beauty of growth–new forests, plants, new life–but it is interesting that we find this beauty as the result of what are random forces at work. I mean what artist creates sculpture by using dynamite (I’m sure somebody will figure a way at some point).
According to Wiki, snowflakes are: “… are conglomerations of frozen ice crystals which fall through the Earth’s atmosphere. They begin as two snow crystals which develop when microscopic supercooled cloud droplets freeze.” It sounds so dull and yet the formations are fantastic. You don’t need religion for spiritual awe. It’s right outside your backdoor waiting for you.