My Faith-Based Belief In PhysicsPosted by Nicole Chardenet on Jul 27, 2012 in Geeks/Nerds, Religion, Science/Technology | 4 comments
I’m reading Stephen Hawking’s A Briefer History Of Time and honestly, I’m beginning to understand why some people simply prefer nutty explanations for universal and human origins like Creationism. It’s just easier to deal with. And less eye-goggling-inducing. Also, it requires less faith.
Anyone who says they don’t have a faith-based belief system is lying. I don’t care if you’re Richard Dawkins or Sam Harris, there is something you put faith in. It may well be modern science. But whatever your level of expertise, you have faith in others because no one can wrap their heads around all the scientific bodies of knowledge. Don’t tell me Stephen Hawking understands the granular discoveries coming from mapping the human genome. Don’t tell me Bill Gates has the foggiest idea how Barth-Niggli norms work. At the end of the day, it comes down to this: I have no idea if there really is an Intelligent Designer or a bunch of science behind our very existence. Intellectually, I’m really just gonna flip a coin. Tails it is. Okay, I’m a believer, Dr. Sagan!
But look, read any physics book and ask yourself if the average reader doesn’t suspect they’re being asked to swallow a gigundously ridiculous amount of tomfoolery about how the world got started. I mean, when scientists tell you the universe started out as a single speck or particle or something and then exploded – for no reason that we know of – and became the universe we know, which is constantly expanding every day – just try and tell me that’s sooooo less insane than the story about a bearded guy who loves you except when you’re bad for which he has no one but himself to blame, because he made you that way, with free will, and on top of that gives a couple of innocents who’ve been alive for all of fifteen minutes a talking snake who gives them bad advice when they really aren’t old enough to know better, and that’s why there’s evil and poverty and war and Rupert Murdoch in the world.
Yeah, sure. Then note that the Big Bang happened billyuns and billyuns of years ago and look at the frackin’ size of the universe – our closest star is 25,689,592,881,950.7 miles away (41,343,289,408,638.5 kilometres if you’re a Canadian) and tell me that Stephen Hawking and his string theory buddies don’t sit around Ye Olde Pubbe in Cambridge after like 14 pints of Guinness going, “Hey, I know, we’ll say there are eleven different dimensions! That’ll really fark ‘em up. Who the hell can imagine anything behind the spatial Big Three and Time?”
“We gotta give it an esoteric though silly-ass name,” sez Michio Kaku.
“I know! Let’s call it string theory!”
“What the fuck’s that supposed to mean?”
“Who cares? These idiots were dumb enough to buy super-symmetry, they’ll believe anything we say!”
Look, even the Church of Scientology can’t come up with anything even half as weird as modern physics, and L. Ron Hubbard was a science fiction writer.
So, you know, I flipped the coin and decided to believe in physics rather than religious cosmology because, let’s be real, even physicists and other scientists are cuter than most evangelists. And added being a Carl Sagan Pagan just to mess with the science fundies for whom the difference between themselves and Jerry Falwell is, like, one god.