Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Wise investments

Oh no, once again you have destroyed my scientific theory with your expert knowledge of theology and the Bible.... said no one ever.

Can anyone think of an example where modern Science claims X and the Bible/Koran/Torah claims Y and on investigation Y turned out to be the correct/best answer?  No, me neither.

Origin of the universe, the Earth, human beings, flora and fauna, slavery, genocide, global floods, the exodus, Adam and Eve, causes of mental illness, education, medicine, most of cosmology, female emancipation, evolution and most of biology all incorrect in the holy books; all subsequently corrected/improved over the last 400 years through scientific and philosophical enlightenment; it makes you wonder. For books that have so much human capital and emotion invested in them being perfect, they seem to be pretty useless at explaining anything useful.

But... many people still don't accept modernity, they prefer to contort and twist these ancient books in a vain attempt to extract sense from them, they seem to have some inexplicable yearning for an imagined past where such myths and legends were real; a past that never really existed. For most of our ancestors the further back you go in history the more their reality consisted of random and lethal violence, inequality, pain, hunger and terror of a world of disease and natural disaster that made no sense. It can be easily shown that our present day western democracies are, as a matter of fact, the most peaceful, predictable and fair societies that have ever existed (on planet Earth at least..) and the vast majority of people get to live much longer (thanks to science) to enjoy them.

Don't believe me that (sane) people today still cling to superstition and myth? Take a look at this recent BBC program debating religion, science and evidence, the best bit for me is when the scientist asks the Bible scholar "could you clarify what a demon is please?" (he couldn't); is this a marginal viewpoint? Well, unfortunately no, Saudi Arabia, a nation of 30+ million Muslims executed someone for "sorcery" only last year and there still over 30 nations worldwide that will prosecute you for blasphemy (the ultimate victimless crime!) including some Arab countries that will kill you for it.

Some people seriously need to get some perspective on our place in the universe and re-calibrate their beliefs, ethics and goals. Take a look at this latest image from the NASA Hubble space telescope; it shows the Andromeda galaxy at an unprecedented level of detail, every dot on this image is a star, like our Sun, probably with planets circling around it; some of which may well host life. There are something like a hundred million stars in this galaxy which is around 40,000 light years away from us; just let that sink in for a second, then realise that there are over a hundred million galaxies like this in the visible universe, and here we are killing each other over cartoons of a desert war lord that died 1,400 years ago.


A Heron's View said...

So writes the man whose last post in December wrote about having 'Christmas Lunch' two faced or what ?

Steve Borthwick said...

Why is that "two faced" - I don't get it?