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Entry 579, on 2007-07-26 at 14:33:47 (Rating 2, Science)
In my discussions with religious people I often encounter the idea that God's creation is glorious and they often indicate a certain amount of sympathy for me because I allegedly miss out on that experience. I have mentioned this idea in past blog posts but I want to do so again to show that science is more glorious than religion ever could be (at least more glorious than Christianity which is the religion I know most about).
So let's do a comparison of the Christian's Universe with the scientist's. First, let me say that I am aware that different types of Christians have a wide variety of views on this. Some literally believe the Bible (that's the belief I will use here) and at the other end of the spectrum some believe the complete scientific view but somehow superimpose God and Jesus onto this (but is that really Christianity?)
Let's look at the age of the Universe. The Christians is 6,000 years but the scientist's is 13.7 billion. How much more glorious is it to contemplate the huge stretches of time that the real Universe has existed instead of the ridiculously short few millennia the Christians believe in?
How about the size of the Universe? Genesis talks about the Earth as if it was the most important part of creation. Then it mentions the Sun and the Moon and makes a passing reference to a few stars. The real Universe is composed of enormously powerful stars which "burn" millions of tonnes of fuel a second but still burn for billions of years, and these form beautiful galaxies which contain hundreds of billions of stars. But there are hundreds of billions of these galaxies too! And even they only make up a tiny fraction of the material in the Universe.
Let's look a bit closer to home. How about life? The Biblical view is nice in some ways because Christians feel like they have a special relationship with God having been created in his image (what this actually means depends on who you talk to). But science knows that the reality is that we aren't related to some mythological supernatural being, we're related to all the other forms of life on our planet. We're related to the Blue whale (quite closely) and the magnificent redwood tree (a bit more distantly). I find this relationship with life on Earth far more inspiring than some nebulous connection with a supernatural God.
And just to finish off there's the incredible subtlety of the Universe's physical laws. Quantum mechanics and relativity make any religious myth look childishly simplistic in comparison, and they have the additional advantage of being true!
God's glory? Give me a break. I'll take the true glory of the Universe any day!
Comment 1 (742) by Tamy on 2007-08-02 at 19:30:13:
"I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.
Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them.
Sing unto the LORD a new song, and his praise from the end of the earth, ye that go down to the sea, and all that is therein; the isles, and the inhabitants thereof.
Let the wilderness and the cities thereof lift up their voice, the villages that Kedar doth inhabit: let the inhabitants of the rock sing, let them shout from the top of the mountains.
Let them give glory unto the LORD, and declare his praise in the islands."
Comment 2 (744) by OJB on 2007-08-02 at 20:31:00:
And what exactly is your point Tamy? Quoting mindless nonsense like this hardly compares to the true beauty and glory of the real Universe, don't you think? And another thing: are you Christians capable of thinking for yourselves, or can you only quote junk like this from the Bible?
Comment 3 (745) by Tamy on 2007-08-06 at 18:04:00:
You're right, Owen. I should get to the point. What is more beautiful and glorious is that God loves you, even though you do not know him. No matter how religious and non-religious men "add to" the truth, the truth still stands, just as sure as the law of gravity.
All that you say about the glory of science and the universe is true, except about our relationship with other living things. While your body will die some day, as do the trees and animals, part of you is eternal, Owen.
Comment 4 (746) by OJB on 2007-08-06 at 20:06:45:
Well I see no evidence at all that God loves me or anyone else. If God loved us why is the world not a better place? Why do we have natural disasters, horrible diseases, etc? That doesn't seem like a loving god to me.
We can prove the laws of gravity using experiments. What proof do you have of religious truth? That's right, absolutely none.
There is extremely good evidence to show we are related to other life on the planet. What do you know about evolution? And what evidence do you have about any eternal part of me, or anyone else? Again, I strongly suspect none. Its a nice little myth, but nothing else.
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