Saw something worth sharing on the most excellent Bad Astronomy blog today. It’s a series of images by reddit user, jerfoo. Click the picture below to open a window on the whole thing (it’s very tall and skinny, so restore it to 100% magnification and scroll down as you read the “story’).
Basically, it’s an illustration of the difference between science and an inflexible dogmatic approach to reality. The punchline, the last image, is what is particularly telling. (If nothing else, it illustrates why people with a grounding in science get annoyed with a common response from folks who oppose climate change or who support creationism.)
Science doesn’t always find all the pieces right away (or sometimes ever), but that doesn’t mean we can’t see the picture clearly enough to know what isn’t correct or that we can’t make a pretty good guess as to what is correct.
If you’ve read my posts last year about spirituality you know I don’t think science necessarily excludes a spiritual reality. (If you haven’t read those posts and would like to, see The Spirituality Series on my Reading List page.) But I do believe that ones spirituality needs to include science, because science obviously works. If it didn’t, neither would our cell phones, cars, TVs or computers. If you accept that an MRI machine works, you believe in some pretty serious science.
The big problem with creationism is that it requires believing in a Trickster God. A God that has created a universe in which science clearly works… but which tricks us into believing it’s 13+ billion years old. I simply don’t believe—and, in any event, would want no part of—a lying, trickster God.
The speed of light is established fact, except when it comes to light sources many billions of miles away. Our knowledge of radioactivity works, except when it comes to carbon dating. Our understanding of life and biology works, except when it comes to evolution.
I’m sorry, but that’s just stupid.
To me creationism isn’t just stupid, it’s unnecessary. And incredibly vain. It is a very human conceit that we imagine God doesn’t work on a scale of billions of years, a scale of billions of light years, a scale of billions of other worlds and other life.
Any God that created all this… is so, so, SO much bigger than that.