Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Creationists are getting desperate

In antiquity the world seemed extremely vast and mysterious. The vast majority of even educated people had only a very limited understanding of their surroundings. Most of what they knew about the world fell under a distance of a few thousands of kilometers at most. Vast seas, mountain ranges, deserts and other insurpassable obstacles both limited exploration and caused the rest of the world to be full of mysteries.

It's no wonder that these gaps in knowledge were promptly filled with fantastic stories of imaginary creatures and godlike beings. Gods were said to live in unreachable mountaintops, under the sea, beyond oceans, and beyond the clouds in the sky.

As human technology progressed over the millenia, we got to explore those previously unreachable places. We reached all mountaintops, we navigated to the other side of the vast ocean, we dove deep under the sea, and we flew high above the clouds. And there were no gods. (There were some fantastic creatures sometimes, but they quickly became rather mundane after discovery.)

Thus the gods receded from us to even farther and more unreachable places. When the whole world had been explored and no gods were found, the gods receded to space.

Then we examined space outside the Earth with better and better instrumentation, and we even sent telescopes to space to see better.

And no gods were found.

Thus the gods receded even more. Now they are outside of this universe, or in other dimensions, or other completely unreachable places (that might not in fact exist.)

In the same way the role of gods in the working of the universe has changed over time. In primitive times gods caused fires, thunderstorms, floods and earthquakes. Then we studied those phenomena and discovered that actually they work by entirely natural means. No godly intervention is necessary.

Then perhaps our immediate surroundings in this planet work by entirely natural means, but surely the rest of space requires divine intervention? Even Isaac Newton, when he failed to understand how the solar system can be stable, attributed it to divine intervention.

Then we studied this further and discovered that it works by entirely natural means. No gods are necessary to explain it.

Ok, planets and rocks are simple objects. But what about life? Surely life couldn't have appeared by these same natural mechanisms that make planets orbit our Sun? Surely the intricacies of living organisms is way too complex to be able to work via natural laws only?

And we studied life, and we discovered how it works, and that no divine intervention is necessary. We understand how living organisms function, and we understand where they come from.

Gods are receding very fast from us, to unreachable places. In the case of life, they are receding to the past. Surely even if life can be explained now, that doesn't mean that the origin of life billions of years ago can be explained by natural means?

Gods always go farther and farther from us. To the outside of our universe, to another dimensions, billions of years to the past... always somewhere that's very difficult for us to observe and examine.

And as science keeps progressing and progressing, it keeps pushing the gods farther and farther. We are starting to slowly get a grasp of how the universe may have formed, we are slowly getting a grasp of how life formed from non-life, we are slowly starting to understand better and better what happened in the distant past and why, we are starting to understand how the universe works from the extremely little to the humongously large.

As time passes, creationists seem to be getting more and more desperate. Decades ago almost nobody cared much about creationism, not even creationists themselves, save for a few exceptions. In recent times creationists are getting scared because of the trend of science pushing their gods away, and are counter-attacking. Science was once just shrugged away, just a curiosity. Now it's something scary, and must be attacked. If nothing else helps, it must be attacked via legislature, censorship and propaganda. Science must not be allowed to push the gods even further away from us than they already are.

Some try to hijack science. They try to reverse the reasons of why science has progressed so much and make the bold claim that religion is precisely the reason for scientific progress, and that it's "evolutionism" that has impeded it, completely reversing the actual events. Apparently, since science is too valuable to be completely shut off, the next best thing is to try to hijack it and convert it to creationism. Maybe that way it will stop pushing the gods away.

I fear that as science progresses, it's only going to get worse.

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