Monday, December 3, 2007

I just don't understand

I just don't understand why people feel the need to believe in some sort of higher power when we've got such an amazing natural explanation for life on Earth.

Most people on Earth used to believe that the Sun, moon and stars revolved around the Earth. Now, most people don't seem to have a problem believing that the Earth is a tiny speck orbiting a relatively average sized star which is hurtling along on the inside edge of one of the spiral arms of the Milky Way galaxy, which is one of hundreds of billions of galaxies in the universe. There is strong evidence for these theories.

Up until very recently, most people believed that the continents were static and had always been where they are now. It was suggested in the late 1500's that they might have once been joined, but it was generally considered "just a coincidence" that they looked as though they fit together like a jigsaw puzzle. Since the mid 1900's, most people understand that the continents were once one, and have split and moved apart or crashed into each other over billions of years, and are in fact still moving. There is strong evidence for the theory of plate tectonics.

I understand that evolution is threatening to a lot of people's religious beliefs, but the evidence for it is overwhelming. This is a completely natural, elegant, and powerful process (yes, the Richard Dawkins influence is showing). This evidence includes the obvious fossil record, as well as genetics, comparative anatomy, and species geographic distribution among many other things. I don't understand why people will accept other scientific evidence, but not these.

I really can't understand why scientists, biologists in particular, can understand all this and still feel a need to believe in the supernatural. Maybe someone can tell me. I feel that the natural process is so much more incredibly awe-inspiring.


DJD said...

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.


Laurie said...

Yeah. I don't believe in ghosts, either...or astrology, accupuncture, bigfoot, aliens who have visited the earth (other than the resident and illegal kind), feng shui, homeopathy, taking vitamin C for anything other than scurvy, or chiropracters-ok, I believe in them but they don't do anything except give you a good massage. The pseudoscientific and completely non-scientifically supported list goes on. And I agree with my friend M., I would probably have to smoke pot to get through a philosophy class...

Maybe I should make this one of my next blogs! Thanks DJD!

Stephen Bain said...

There may be more things in heaven and Earth than are dreamt of, however, we are undergoing the gradual inexorable process of finding and understanding every single one.