The science and religion debate is probably one of the most long lasting in our society.
It probably started with one of our ancestors finding a way to harness the power of fire and someone else telling him that wasn’t a good idea.
Because it interfered with the will of the gods, of the deities.
Okay, okay, I’m just making things up here, but I think you get the gist.
Debates are important, or not?
Indeed, the science and religion debate has been, and still is, a lively one, even too lively sometimes. Just like it is the debate about the role or art, or whatever other prominent aspect of our society that is of some import.
In general, I think the best way to delve with debates and discussions is to avoid them. But about the religion and science debate in our society I do want to share at least this quote:
“God created two acts of folly. First, He created the Universe in a Big Bang. Second, He was negligent enough to leave behind evidence for this act, in the form of microwave radiation.” — Paul Erdos
The reasons I find this quote about the science and religion debate in our society interesting, are simple:
– It shows clearly how futile it is to join any debate believing we can put the word end on it. How naive of us is to believe we can show something to be the case beyond any doubt and win a debate.
In fact, the opposite is true. Because our language is so powerful we can really use it to create something out of nothing. And then we can even give to our creations all sorts of characteristics and meanings.
– It’s like the famous example Bertrand Russel used. The one about a china teapot orbiting between our planet and Mars. I mean, both the quote and the fictitious teapot work quite elegantly for just about any assertion about the universe. However, they fail exactly about the one assertion they both were meant to confute, I would say.
Namely, the existence of some supernatural beings.
In fact, if we ask a scientist what was before the Big Bang the scientist will tell us that question is wrong, Because it doesn’t make sense. Because before that moment there was nothing.
Now, it doesn’t take a lot of brain power to remain puzzled by that answer. I mean, if before the Big Bang there was nothing and an instant later there was something–a whole universe–then something still need to be explained. For example, how can be possible that from nothing emerged such a massive amount of matter.
On the one hand, this question cannot be dismissed saying that it is badly formed, or devoid on any sense. I mean, such answer would appear to me just as dogmatic as any assertion related to religion.
On the other hand, it would be really too simplistic to jump in on the supernatural bandwagon without carrying out any research.
After all, even if we’ll never reach a final answer, we’re bound to obtain a lot of partial and useful answers along the way.
For example, the simple fact that Asimov wrote The Last Question is enough for me to consider the science and religion debate in our society a fruitful one.
This debate is worth joining also because, if carried out properly, it can help us and other people as well to make better decisions in the future. It can help us to think better, deeper, and be open even to the most outrageous arguments.
Science and religion debate – a writer’s perspective
On a lighter note, I love the above mentioned quote also because it unburdens us authors of a big load. I mean, the responsibility to write a perfect book.
After all, if even god makes mistakes, then for us writers it should be quite normal to write books that, no matter how hard we try, are peppered with typos, with plot holes, and whatnot.
By the way, these problems don’t affect only the works of beginning writers. Chandler forgot about a lot of things in some of his works, just to cite a name. However this article is a bit too harsh on him in my opinion, and in the comment section you can read some interesting interventions.
However, more than the debates, more than the beliefs one holds, more than everything else, what matters most is the amount of sweat we put in what we do.
In fact, irrespective of the end result, I believe that beyond a certain threshold, we must learn to look at ourselves in the mirror and say, hey the book you just wrote isn’t exactly perfect, but you gave it all to it. Next time around it will be better.
Because we have one life. And living it in perennial regret isn’t a very constructive choice. Ever. And debates, just like reality shows, don’t help us to get the job done. Procrastination isn’t any better than regret after all…
Then what is the role of the science and religion debate in our society, you ask?
For me it’s apparent. That of preventing writers from focusing on what they should do, writing the damn book. Just like this post proves.
Picture by Alan9187