Tuesday, January 03, 2006

A Letter To a Certain Co-Worker: Your Brain is Your Friend (Please Use it).

I've been wondering lately: who was the first person to notice the possibility of life after death--recognize that "Bob" was there and is a person, but now he's not in there. Instead of discarding the corpse as refuse, it's now hallowed and given a ceremonial burial. Where did Bob go? Will Bob ever come back? Who's taken Bob? Will this thing happen to me? Is this not the beginning of myth? These are rhetorical questions. I know that most will believe that it was either Adam, Eve, or Cane (Able didn't have a chance). I'm sure that a few of those kids raised by wolfs would tell you something along the lines of "Bark, bark, bark...awhooooo!" Getting back to the subject, Neanderthal buried their dead. Of course, any bones found in the earth that are older than seven thousand years were put there by Lucifer to trick us, right? So, let's discard the Neanderthal. No, let's go with this: when humans were put here on this earth they knew all the basic civilized stuff already and lived to be like 800 years old. At some point we realized that having babies with our siblings, and parents was bad (I'm curious at what point, biblically, that happened). Oh yeah, there all of a sudden popped up all these other people and cities (because we know that the truth doesn't have to make sense). Don't forget that evolution sucks and will only lead to unhappiness. Use this one too, it rocks: scientists are smug, self serving demons, who's only purpose is to undermine the faithful with "theories" ( Boy, I hope they die of gonad cancer and leprosy).

Okay, I hope that this is not taken seriously. I'm just tired of having people at work try to convince me that Darwin/scientists, Evolutionary theory, and bees are evil. Somehow, they think that if Creationism or Intelligent Design is not taught in schools, fire will rain upon us and Slurpees will not quench our thist. I believe in God, and all that goes with that. Those that know me personally need not fear that I've discarded any of my beliefs, wear my clothes inside out, or generally flipped my lid. Only thing that is different is that I'm a 3rd degree Mason, now. But, I figured out long ago that there are little things called history, science, and critical thinking that get in the way of taking a story literally. Evidence is a bitch. When you read Genesis, is there a point where you start to wonder if the purpose for it is to tell us the "why" and not the "how"? I figured that out long ago, too. Those things are there to teach us a lesson. Yes, there can still be a man named Adam and a woman named Eve that really did live, but if God wanted us to know all the literal and physical aspects of Genesis, the pages would fill the cosmos. Why is this so hard for some people to grasp?

I had a professor (tool of Satan) ponder the creation and this is the gist of what he said:
How could God create something out of nothing? How can you create something without any knowledge of all the chemicals and molecules that make up anything that is something? Did he just say "sheep" and a sheep popped out of thin air? "Wow, it worked! Where the heck did that thing come from anyway?" No, if there's a God of creation he must know how everything works scientifically first, before he could do anything at all.

So, to those that don't know the ass-end of a hypothesis or a theory (anybody who says "it's just a theory" clearly does not understand the scientific process) ask yourself this: is it wise to discount something completely before you have any understanding of it in the first place? In science you can prove something wrong, but you can't prove it 100% right (you can come close, though). That is the fundamental that separates science from religion. In religion, you can't do either, really. You can come to a personal and spiritual confirmation of what is right, but that is beyond science.

Now, let's ask ourselves another question: is it productive to stop our scientific research of earth's and mankind's origins and just say "God did it; let's kick back and drink Kool-Aid"? That's a cop out. If you think science is the tool of the devil, then I hope you also reject medical science, physics, and chemistry too. As long as we're playing the all or nothing game, remember, it's not the research and design of the brakes that stop your car from crashing, it's the asbestos Bible! For 2006, reduce your cognitive dissonance by accepting and integrating a measure of intelligence into your everyday life. Try realizing that God will allow you to learn about mysterious things through the miracle of science, and also be able to worship him and obtain spiritual knowledge through scripture. Novel concept, I know.

Okay, I promise that I'll get back to the funny stuff.


Thomas said...

I wish the religious right would stop using electricity to run their megachurches. Because scientists figured out how to harness electricity and stuff.

And let them pray themselves better when they get sick. Because scientists created all those drugs.

The Grunt said...

(Rolls out red carpet)Ah, thanks for dropping by, Thomas. I refer to my blog as a "boutique". Hardly anyone drops by and buys anything (yeah, the stories do seem far fetched, but are based in fact).

All my regulars* have good blogs: Maura, Scott, RJW, Pokey, DaBugg. Thomas may not be a regular here, but I check out his blog quite often. It's worth the visit.

*regulars are people who have left more than two comments (pathetic, I know).

maura said...

Gotta say, Grunt, that sounded *slightly* cynical. In defense of the people who adamantly refuse to believe that evolution has any credence, they truly believe it to be a threat. The automatic reaction is hostility.

I used to believe that the earth was 6000 years old, up until and including my high school graduation. Later, as I started taking university level biology, I began to wonder. How could an enormous section of this branch of science be based on a false theory? I decided to start searching, and so far evolution is winning by a landslide.

Who was I going to believe? My Sunday School teacher, who I'd known my whole life? Or my biology teacher, a man with a red beard who looked like a lion? (He really did. Or maybe more like a hippie.) Really, they were both feeding me information of which I knew little of the back story. But I knew God, so I bought into the false dichotomy of "Science vs. Religion," "Creation vs. Evolution" and went with religion.

I've now seen past that, and can truly believe in both without fear of compromise. For anyone with questions about it, I recommend checking out http://www.ualberta.ca/%7Edlamoure/beyond.html ; an interesting lecture on the subject. (And if you're as nerdy as me, you could even take notes.)

And for the record, I am a regular.

Scott said...

K, got to start off with saying that I am not really a religions fellow, but I actually like the theory of intelligent design. It seems to make a lot of sense. I wouldn't even have a problem if they taught it in school, as long as it is taught as simply one theory that people have. I can not be presented as fact, but hey, neither can the big bang really, i mean you always get back to the "In the beginning" question... where did all those gases come from? Where did God come from? It is all based on some level of faith I guess. Fun to see the Religious wackos take it all so seriously.


MHN for short said...

I love your tag line! got here via Thomas!

The Grunt said...

Great to see Scott and Maura, my regulars, here and in full force. Welcome to my blogmare, mhn for short.

Maura, I think that I originally started off the post in a serious, introspective tone, then my usual tainted humor mixed in with some aggravation and things might have past into the red. I'm only a cynic because I truly want to believe the theistic way, but am confronted with the brick wall of hard science. Ultimately, tests of faith can lead to transformation and increase your spirituality. I'm hoping that is where this struggle leads me. Even Darwin took his bible with him on the H.M.S. Beagle.

Pokey said...

So these are the kinds of "Christians" that really get on my nerves and make me not want to go to church.

They take everything in the Bible at face value and refuse to have an open mind. I honestly believe that for anyone to believe in God they would need an open mind and be able to understand the world around them and the possiblity that the Bible could in fact be nothing more than a book of fairytales.

rjw said...

It's fascinating to me (perhaps as a non-American) to witness how hot a debate this is in your land; the reconciliation of the notion of a creator-God and "the findings of modern science." I suppose it all came to a head in Darwin's age when serious doubts about the age of the earth troubled eminent Victorians who were, hitherto, comfortably men of science and God. The idea of evolution - new species (including humans) evolving under their own steam - must have been shattering. Some went with science, some with God and others settled on absurd compromises eg Divinely - placed fossil records.
Surely people must now see that their particular faith is one of many on (God's) Earth and is rooted in a place far away in time and space, subject to centuries of historical forces, schisms and myth-making. Science, only really the mapping out of observable forces governing the material world, is something we have always done. The problem seems to be in basing one's cosmic view on an understanding of the world generated in ancient palestine and admitting of no further developments. Today's magic is tomorrow's science. A motor car trundling into Judea 2000 years ago would have qualified as a supernatural event yet today's 'fundamentalist' Christian would presumably not regard it that way. The point is - Science need not compromise Faith - if you believe in a Creator then he created all this.
It's getting tricky now that many atheist scientists are actively insisting that the universe spontaneously arose. If they had just been content to MEASURE things and count insects we might not be in this pickle.
One thing I'm sure of though - if God does exist - he surely isn't playing absurd games with us. That's our own doing.
Grunt, you've set me off.....

The Grunt said...

Hi pokey, it's good to hear from you. I've learned that it only takes a few wackos to distract or irritate the flock.

RJW said:
"Grunt, you've set me off....."

Hey, It looks like I did my job! I hope that it was in a good way, though.

This is a touchy subject, for sure.

Science is just a systematic process of collecting evidence and data, interpreting that evidence and data, then making conclusions based on the interpretations. You then revaluate everything and do more studies. Anything that is found to be factual should not contradict the process of creation that God uses--assuming that God (take your pick) exists.

We may not be there all the way, but if the research continues to evolve we'll get closer to the truth. This is why scientists shouldn't just lay back and settle on "God did it". They have no physical evidence of God. Their hands are tied in this matter; therefore, a scientist cannot include God into their theories. So when science is taught in the classroom, it should be done in a manner consistent with the processes of science. Intelligent design and creationism could be taught in social studies as part of a philisophical/cultural subject, but not in any of the sciences.

I think that there are separate realms in which religion and science exist. They serve different purposes. Just as many scientists become dogmatic and fanatical as there are of the garden variety religious zealots.

I once studied Parapsychology for a brief period and found that my professor for those courses was shunned by his peers (other psychologists) for exploring these things (TK, PSI, ESP Ghosts, Aliens). His scientific method was nearly flawless, but because of his interests, he was treated as a joke. I admit, the guy was a bit of a goul, but I learned and experienced some interesting things going out and doing investigations with him. It just goes to show that even some groups of scientists are clannish and unwilling to revolutionize thier own fields by attacking previously held notions, hypothesis, and theory. Everybody needs to exercise some humility in this matter, including me.

maura said...


Darwin's theory did shake up some Christian theologians, but some actually had no problem with it. They saw God as the maker of all things, regardless of how he did it. There are Christians who feel the same way today, and recognize that the Bible was based on the science of the day. However, there are others who have unfortunately and wholeheartedly adopted the idea that evolutionary biology (not necessarily science itself) and religion cannot coexist.

I totally agree with you; science need not compromise faith.

The Grunt said...

I'm finding all your comments to be thought provoking and reveals that we're not shallow, superficial creatures talking here. It has been a good exercise of our minds, I belive. I like thinking about the great mysteries of the universe.