Reality simplified

Sean Carroll, a theoretical cosmologist from the Department of Physics at the California Institute of Technology, explains reality and renders the supernatural, superfluous.

The end bits are quite humbling.

Science – otherwise known as miracles to religious nutters

We might as well be living in the year 1020, for all the knowledge we have acquired since then, fails to register with people who are fervently religious. Ignorance still rules, in the year 2010.

Just last week Stephen Hawking released a new book he co-authored with US physicist Leonard Mlodinow where he states that a god was not necessary for the creation of the universe. The furore that followed can only be described as fucking ridiculous. On the one hand he was denigrated by various critics as employing deceitful PR tactics to sell his book by re-igniting the god-science debate, and on the other he was castigated as usual by the rabidly religious [see comments for article] for daring to suggest that god was redundant.

While the critics may have a valid argument, the comments from the religious nutters reveals just how much ignorance still exists when it comes to the pursuit of science and the aims and objectives of true scientists. The experiments currently being conducted in the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN came under attack as a waste of money, time and resources. The religious peanut gallery seriously think that the experiments to find the elusive Higgs Boson particle, humorously nicknamed the god particle, is an attempt by scientists to prove that a god does not exist. That is nothing short of being criminally naive at best, and dangerously ignorant at worst. It seems that none of them have considered that scientific experiments lead to the technologies that creates the everyday conveniences that they take for granted.

So, when you come across a claim from the church, that the medical science that led to the quick recovery of a heart attack patient is nothing but a miracle from god, you begin to realize that these fruitcakes think of science as a miracle. This week the Rhema Bible Church claimed that the recovery of their pastor, Ray McCauley was nothing but a miracle. They have deemed it fit to render medical science and doctors redundant. By their reasoning, all patients who survive heart attacks, do so because of miracles from a selective supernatural benefactor. The same benefactor who somehow cannot save helpless people, including children and the aged from natural or man-made disasters, and other illnesses.

As a matter of interest, the procedure that apparently saved Ray McCauley required his brain to be frozen for about 10 hours. Luckily those who follow his every word, and presumably that written by the gods, and continue to enrich the Rhema empire, won’t need this procedure – they have self-imposed it. Now if science could only find a cure for self-inflicted brain freezing, I would be tempted to concede that as a miracle.

The Goldilocks Enigma by Paul Davies

The Goldilocks Enigma by Paul Davies

The Goldilocks Enigma by Paul Davies

Sub-titled “Why Is the Universe Just Right For Life.” Acclaimed physicist Paul Davies reminds me of the many people who have this aptitude for mental gymnastics, in that they see no problem with trying to fit creationism into their scientific theories. Richard Dawkins, in his book the God Delusion, described Davies as someone who “…seems to hover somewhere between Einsteinian pantheism and an obscure form of deism…”

Religiously inclined scientists (and others) have for some time proposed that because the Earth resides in a seemingly perfect zone (the so-called goldilocks zone), it must have been created by some supernatural entity, most times called god. Someone once told me that this was akin to the puddle of water looking around it and proclaiming that the irregular-shaped hole that had formed around it (the water), was just right for it (the water) to fit in.

Although Paul presents fascinating facts about science in general and particle physics in particular, the conclusion he reaches, that the universe is just right for life,  is really annoying to say the least. Considering that we have yet to come across (human) life anywhere else in the known Universe (that is not to say that there is no possibility of life where we have not looked yet), apart from Earth, I would say that the Universe is positively antagonistic towards life.

Notable quote:

It seems to me that there is a genuine scheme of things – the universe is ‘about’ something. But I am equally uneasy about dumping the whole set of problems in the lap of an arbitrary god, or abandoning all further thought and declaring existence ultimately to be a mystery.