Faith and Science


Willy Brant’s Diary


Joe was lamenting the decline of our kind of society, what he calls ‘The Roman Empire’, blaming it on our failure to produce enough offspring to keep our numbers up.  Not that he has exactly done his share in that department.  He said it has to do with modern society’s unquestioning faith that science has all the answers, and we can learn nothing from our history.

I offered, “Well, it’s just human nature, we have to believe in something to put a structure under how we think and relate to one another.  So, with the decline of traditional religion, science fills the gap.  A lot of people believe the science that says there are too many people in the world, so they do their part by not propagating”. 

“The thing is”, says Joe, around a mouthful of nails, we are putting new panelling in his living room, if you can call it that, “Science is taken as immutable fact, when so much is just theory, or junk science, designed to promote a political stand or sell a product”

I go “yeah, like medication to reduce the cholesterol reading in a blood test, and now we are told that cholesterol in the blood really doesn’t matter.  Or global warming, a phony club to beat us into accepting a reduced standard of living”

“I’ve been thinking about this”, says Joe, “the best example is nuclear physics.  Let’s run over the history there”.  I can see this is going to be one of his rants, so I set my end of the panel down to wait it out. He goes on to say that in his parent’s time, a hundred years ago, they invented atoms, everything was made up of atoms.  There were say 280 kinds of them, each bigger than the last, sort of like billiard balls of different sizes, and they would stick together in various combinations called molecules, and the whole world was made up of these molecules.  Neat and tidy, but of course nobody has ever seen a molecule, much less an atom.  Then when he was in high school, they changed their minds a bit, and decided that actually atoms were not little solid balls, but sort of like a popcorn ball, different atoms made up of different numbers of even smaller particles called neutrons and protons, with a swirl of energy called electrons around them.  These lumpy atoms clumped together to form molecules.  Then they discovered that there are even smaller particles that shoot around the universe, just ignoring the atoms that make up solid stuff, like a neutrino can shoot right through the earth without even slowing down.  Then they decided that protons and neutrons are not solid like billiard balls, but just, well, sort of like a smear of energy.  So, everything is made of nothing, just energy. 

  Now they have come up with the theory that,  well, actually the universe is made up of light matter, stuff we can see, and ‘dark matter’.  They have no idea what that is but claim that the universe is only 4% stuff we can see, and 96% ‘dark matter’.  Now, to top it off, they tell us that empty space isn’t empty, after all, they can detect waves in it, sort of like shaking a bowl of jello.  All this is to satisfy their mathematical equations, they can’t prove any of it experimentally.  And we still think science has all the answers?  

I butt in “Dark Matter?  Space full of something like jello?  So, what you are saying is that when science can change its mind so much, and claim ideas that look like fairy tales are scientific fact, why should we base our beliefs on science rather than traditional religion?”

“Exactly,” says Joe.  “Maybe we ought to go back to living in families, we know that kind of a society succeeds.”

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