I have been touting Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, a reboot of the late Carl Sagan’s Cosmos: A Personal Voyage that aired back in 1980. The 2014 version referenced above is narrated by Neil deGrasse Tyson. Both presentations represent pure science at its best. And I highly recommend viewing the 2014 version. It airs on Fox each Sunday and Monday evenings.
But, right on cue, the “God People” have emerged from the woodwork armed with ignorance and their virtual bullhorns demanding equal time from the TV networks.
I, personally, have received over 125 emails from last week’s post—a few of them (31 to be precise) accusing me of gross crimes against humanity, using language that not even I would repeat.
It won’t happen, but the apropos reply from TV broadcasters should be an unambiguous retort explaining precisely into which body cavity they should stick those demands. That was MY response to those 31 emailers, but in the interest of clarity, let me explain!
I have a nasty habit of using the descriptive, “God People” in a pejorative way. I shouldn’t do this because I know far more people who believe in God than DON’T.
They’re intelligent, kind, sincere, rational, and engaging people for whom I have abiding respect. They don’t see Evolution as being in conflict with their faith; in their minds, it’s not something that makes Jesus cry!
As well, they’re too intelligent to believe that any of their ancient ancestors frolicked in uninhibited sex with MONKEYS; only IDIOTS believe that they did. I covered this in last week’s post as well.
My real beef is with the folks at the Creationist Museum, the CLUELESS “God People” who are demanding equal time. The site tells its visitors; “Prepare to BELIEVE.” Note: it does NOT say anything about LEARNING.
Science takes no OFFICIAL stand on God; people may believe whatever they wish. But this piece isn’t about God; it’s about applying a scientific method to Evolution, Creationism, and its secular alternative, Intelligent Design.
Faith is what people BELIEVE, not what they KNOW. Even though the late Carl Sagan trumpeted Evolution at every turn, contrary to popular belief, he was NOT an atheist. In fact, he believed that claiming that there is no God is as irrational as claiming the contrary.
Here’s a direct quote from him. “An atheist has to know a lot more than I know. An atheist is someone who knows there is no god. By some definitions atheism is very stupid.”
Continuing… “My view is that if there is no evidence for it, then forget about it; an agnostic is somebody who doesn’t believe in something until there is evidence for it, so I’m agnostic.” Me TOO!
I have written this more times than I can recall over the last 35-years. But here it is once again. And note that it’s the result of centuries of scientifically falsifiable hypotheses-testing by oodles of legitimate scientists.
“Geology shows us that fossils are of differing ages. Paleontology is the scientific method by which we defined a fossil sequence, a list of species that represents changes over time. Taxonomy has shown us irrefutable biological relationships among species.
And, SO FAR, we have the most robust explanation as to how Nature ties it all together: Evolution.”
Mind you, however, none of this has ANYTHING to do with God; even Pat Robertson—an individual I rank right up there with the best of the pernicious hypocrites on the planet—understands the role of Evolution.
But, blindly insisting that God did it all, based purely on anecdotally-driven emotional investment, amounts to nothing more than the childish behavior of squeezing the eyes tightly shut and wailing; “IS NOT!”
A scientific theory begins as a falsifiable hypothesis. The greater the number of internal consistencies inherent within it, the more apt it is to graduate to the status of a credible theory. The more conditions that a theory explains, the more robust it becomes.
However, the INSTANT that any theory fails to explain something that it’s claimed to have explained, it goes down in flames, no matter how reputable its author or how robust it’s been.
Darwin’s Evolution ranks every bit as high on the robustness scale as do Einstein’s theories on Relativity. Legitimate scientists have done their best to debunk ALL of them since the day they were published. ZERO luck, so far!
So here’s some advice for Mr. Ham of the Creationist Museum. Instead of wailing on ad nauseam about how science is stealing Creationism’s thunder, look for fatal flaws in Evolution’s armor—you only need to find ONE as long as it’s scientifically legitimate. Then create a falsifiable hypothesis so that the rest of legitimate science can thoroughly test it.
If you want scientific credibility, sir, this is the only way to obtain it. And PLEASE; don’t set up elaborate mathematical models to do it. They simply make their users—scientists or otherwise—look incredibly stupid whenever it comes to “proving” or “disproving” the existence of God.
Albert Einstein covered this nicely when he said, “God does not care about our mathematical difficulties; HE integrates empirically.”
But, hey; good luck anyway.