Thursday, December 29, 2005

Scrabbleman left a rather strange comment on my blog about the earth. What he said was "It is astonishing that intelligent people continue to think this way in modern times. Despite rock-solid scientific facts you continue to ignore all evidence and career down a path of make-believe with the soul aim of making yourself more interesting. The wordl is a mundane place unless you are into science and then it is absolutely fascinating."

I find the narrow-mindedness of this comment absolutely startling. It is hard to believe that people still exist who see the world in just one dimension. Science is absolutely fascinating, and I regularly read Scientific American and New Scientist for exactly that reason. But so is spirit fascinating. And I personally see no reason why they can't co-exist, because they are simply examining different sides of the same question. Seekers of truth keep an open mind.

There has been a long war between science and religion. By religion, I do not mean spirit. I have long defined religion as the imposition of man's culture on God's word. Spirit is the quest for inner truth. Science is the quest for physical truth.

The Christian bible says God created earth. It doesn't say how or why or when. Written when it was, for the audience of the time, it used language and similes that people understood then. And so it created a system of belief rather than facts.

Science currently says earth was created in a big bang. It doesn't say by who, or why, though it tries to address the when. And even then, science isn't entirely sure. It's all theories, with scientists trying to find the proofs that will justify their own beliefs.

Neither side has all the facts. Both sides are building on beliefs and theories, on incomplete information. And neither side accepts anything from the other, when to do so could open some interesting new paths of thinking.

Let's take the existence of a cake. It's on the table and you would like a slice. "Have some cake", say the religionists. "God made it." "Rubbish!" say the scientists, "this cake was made by creaming together butter and sugar, then adding eggs and flour." "Heresy!" scream the religionists. "How can you dispute God's word that God made it!" "Actually," say some other scientists, "this is a sponge cake and it doesn't have any butter in it."

Silly, isn't it, when you apply the arguments to a cake. Just as silly when you apply it to the earth, science, religion etc.

One could simply take the view that it doesn't matter who made the cake, or how, as long as it tastes nice. Sit down and have a slice and stop arguing. Enjoy it. Live for the moment.

But if all you know is the cake, it is interesting to wonder not only who made the cake, but how. When? Why?

I think I know the answer to the last question. So that mankind can spend out its days pointlessly arguing the answers ...