Enlightenment and Fundamentalism

I’d like to open with Patton Oswalt.

The reason for civilization is religion.

“Sky Cake!”

This bit is about gay marriage, and that is not my point here, but his prevailing argument is.

“I’m glad you like a book.”

As I’ve shown in a previous post, I love science. I think science is a beautiful way to tap spirituality. I think everything about nature, every natural phenomenon, is magick. The sunrise, a flower opening, a baby’s smile…these are all natural, beautiful, magick.

Without the enlightenment, and the advancement of science as we know it, we would not have religion as powerful as it is today. Science and religion could work wonderfully, beautifully, hand-in-hand.

Take this quote from Dinesh D’Souza about the Big Bang for instance:

“When the discovery of the big bang came — this, by the way, was at a time when most scientists believed the universe was eternal, the steady state universe was the prevailing doctrine of American and Western science — so it came as a shock that the universe had a beginning. Why? because, in a way, it wasn’t just that matter had a beginning, but space and time also had a beginning. In other words, this was something that the ancient Hebrews had said thousands of years ago and without conducting a single scientific experiment. By the way, this is not the same as other cosmologies. Other ancient cosmologies posited the universe being fashioned by a kind of carpenter god who made it out of some preexisting stuff, but the ancient Hebrews said, “No, first there was nothing, and then there was a universe.””

Science proved what the ancient Hebrews merely believed.

Look again to the Old Testament. The whole universe was created in seven days. Time is a human invention. It is the categorization on a concept. It means nothing unless the person observing it gives it meaning. Time flies when you’re having fun because you’re not concerning yourself with time. Likewise, ten minutes of waiting in line at the check out when you have an appointment within the hour can feel like forever because the only thing you are focused on is time.

The time presented in the Old Testament is just one perspective of time. The Big Bang happened (as is seen in both science and the OT). Stars and planets were formed. Eventually the Earth was formed. Later life appeared. Then evolved. Finally humans evolved. Eventually, there was recorded history to tell the rest. Seven days to one perspective was millions of years to another.

To a child playing, an hour seems like nothing. To a nanny watching the child pay, an hour seems like an eternity.

My point of all this, is I’m going on the defensive. Not that he needs any help from little old me, but I’m putting it out there anyway.

I’m a huge fangirl of Neil DeGrasse Tyson, which was also shown two posts ago.

NDT is the host of the resurrected science show Cosmos, first hosted by Carl Sagan. I have watched this show regularly every Sunday night. It’s my wind-down, laundry folding TV viewing. Only I’ve been spending more time glued and less time folding.

Many viewers, myself included, think he and the Cosmos writers have done a great job. The material he is presenting is for the non-science-minded and is done so in a way that elementary school viewers can understand most of the episodes. It is done in such a way that those who are indifferent can become curious and those who are curious can become enthralled.

But not everyone has taken a liking to this series.

Despite the benefits modern science has provided for them (medicine for instance), the American Right, the very Right- the Fundies, like to pick apart science when it pleases them.

People like Mary Cooper…

Their latest target is one Neil deGrasse Tyson and his show Cosmos because he is providing scientific education (on Fox no less!) and they are up in arms because he is presenting scientific fact as, well, fact.

If you don’t like it…change the channel…

And while I’m on the topic…you can give back the medicine and medical treatments, TV, phone, computer, internet, lights, cars and other forms of transportation, electricity, the printing press [used to make the bible], building materials and processes [used to make, hospitals, schools, churches, homes], food and agriculture…I could go one for days…all of these things were brought to you by science (and probably someone who was shunned by the church as a heretic).

If you don’t like it, then you can opt out of it.

Here is the full article about Tyson v The Right, referenced above.




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