Saturday, April 8, 2006

Once Upon a Time...

So I've been thinking... a dangerous pastime, I know.

Thinking back to my whole post on Imagination vs. Reality, what is the whole basis for a belief in a higher power? Everything we think we know, everything we have faith in, everything we dream about, is based on two things:
  • Our own imaginations, and
  • The imaginations and thoughts of other men

Now, I think we've already established that anything man can think of has a base in reality. Granted, the things we imagine change as time goes on. To use an example that my friend Ergo pointed out:


However, those things that we CANNOT imagine AND those for which we have no concepts for, necessarily DO NOT exist. (Note, however that this does not mean that certain things cannot come into existence in the future. For example, cavemen had no concept of a computer, probably never imagined of the existence of one, and it did not exist at that time, however it has now obviously come to exist).

Now, one "imaginative" theory that has persisted in all of mankind's history, that we can measure, anyway, is the possibility of god or gods. Man has always searched for meaning, reason, and logic to his presence, and this always leads, at least culturally if not always individually, to a concept of a god. Something beyond our perception, yet based on our observations of reality and our imagining about that reality.

But man is faulty. Memory itself is never, ever trustworthy, especially after the first 24 hours. Our mind changes things, details, images... But a lot of today's religions are based on past perceptions, past observations, past writings, and even a lot of things that were passed down verbally for generations upon generations before each culture developed a written language.

Obviously, a lot of the things of the past that mankind used to hold as a universal truths have been demolished by advances in knowledge and science. New observations have removed the old, and come to the fore as a "new" universal truth. Such as whether the earth rotates around the sun, the earth being flat, that a rotting piece of meat gives rise to the creation of maggots...

But one thing that persists, despite the advances of science and knowledge, is the concept of a higher being. Even though science continues to point out explanations for life, the universe and everything, man continues his evolution of the higher being, sometimes incorporating the views of science between the lines of their holy book, and at other times disregarding science entirely for the lines in their holy book.

So the question arises: Which is truly correct in reality? Ex nihilo (out of nothing), or Creation? Certainly creationists can point out, based on nothing, that God, being who and what he is, based on their own perceptions and imaginings of reality, that God can create something out of nothing, and there is no need for the science of looking at the building blocks of life and how they may have arisen based on universal "pollution," space dust, and time. Or they can argue that God could vary easily "create" life simply using the space dust he left there after he initiated the "Big Bang" or what-have-you. These theories are based on nothing but faith, of course, but without faith, there is no point in most religions.

One thing science will never be able to do is disprove a creator, or god. It's is a logical impossibility based on the fluctuations of the human mind, and the evolution of perception. All science will ever do is say why. Give answers to observable questions. Science's job is not to disprove a creator or god, but to simply answer the why of light refraction, the how of worm-hole physics, the possibility of life arising from the building-block amino-acids observed on Earth (and recently discovered to exist on Titan--the building blocks, not life).

And as long as our imaginations allow for the creator to fit into this equation, being the limitless, immeasurable presence we view him or her to be, there is no way to measure the reality of this being. Then it simply becomes a question of faith and perception.

Then, when it comes to the "teaching" of creationism as science, it is easy to point out how "creationism" is not a science, but a philosophy. Science is measurable, provable, observable, and replicable (if that is a word :D). And since there is no way to observe, measure, test, or even ask god about this "creation," it is not science. And while I certainly believe creationism does have a place in philosophy and religion, it has no place in the realm of protons, carbon dating, amino acids, DNA, and such. Creationism allows for a hypothesis for which no theory can be proven or disproved.

Many people disagree with me, I know. But science always has been, and always will be, based on hard, observable, measurable facts, something that our evolving perception of god can never be put into and will never be allowed to put into, and thus, can have no part of. A simple "because we do not have all of the answers yet" is no reason to attribute them to "god." That is simply a reason to make sure that science continues to explore, ask, and find answers. It used to be that God was the reason the sun revolved around the earth. God was the reason we didn't float off into space. God was the reason some people died from the plague and others didn't. Science has told us that god was not the reason, but gravity, bacteria, viruses, and physics were the reasons. And while one may argue that it was all those things "due to god's plan," or "due to god's will," god has no measurable place in these answers.

And never will.

4 comments:

The_Gay_Dude said...

very interesting, dude!

Kelly said...

Hmmm...neither religion nor science can be proven. Sounds like a good argument for agnosticism to me.

:)

Jason Hughes said...

Okay, okay, so instead of saying "science can be proved" I should have said "science can be tested and replicated and produce working models and theories..."

or something along those lines...

and I think I'll keep killing the bacteria in my kitchen while allowing Horation free run... but that's just me...

Jason Hughes said...

Okay, okay, so instead of saying "science can be proved" I should have said "science can be tested and replicated and produce working models and theories..."

or something along those lines...

and I think I'll keep killing the bacteria in my kitchen while allowing Horation free run... but that's just me...