December 26, 2011

A world lit by science

HD 278942: The "Wreath" nebula.
In Ross Douthat's idiotic op-ed on Hitchens' death, duly eviscerated by many bloggers, he used a phrase I've heard before. It's wingnut phrasing, meant to disparage atheists:
". . . the bloodless prophets of a world lit only by Science."
I love how they call reliance on science "bloodless" or "hollow". These people are so totally confused that they think scientists miss out on the awe factor, something they say their religion provides in spades. Indeed. How strange are these people?
Religion is a dead, dusty archive of useless thinking. It's about nothing and goes nowhere. Awe is completely absent. Instead, there is only fear of death and gods. It's a sad realm, this thing called religion.

On the other hand, science provides awe galore. How can these folks look at the universe and think it pales next to their tired old bible talk? How? I really don't get it. Science shows us what reality is made of, at the tiniest and the largest levels. It reveals the rules by which the universe operates and teaches us the truth: that we are living on a mote of dust in a shockingly huge universe. Awe? It's everywhere you look--except in churches and bibles and believers' brains. 

There, you'll only find a wasteland of nonfunctional ideas about nothing at all. What amazing hubris and blindness these people radiate. And Douthat is a prime example of this. Why the Times lets him churn out his vegetative prose, week after week, is beyond me.

I live in a state of constant awe because science shows me the startling mysteries that are all around me, no matter where I am or what I'm doing. Reality is fascinating. If only religious folks could see it. But they have chosen to live their lives in darkness.

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