“Many races believe that it was created by some sort of God, though the Jatravartid people of Viltvodle VI believe that the entire Universe was in fact sneezed out of the nose of a being called the Great Green Arkleseizure. The Jatravartids, who live in perpetual fear of the time they call The Coming of The Great White Handkerchief, are small blue creatures with more than fifty arms each, who are therefore unique in being the only race in history to have invented the aerosol deodorant before the wheel.”
Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
For thousands of years, all science was based in religion or, used to support religion or, when refuting religious doctrine, suppressed by it. And the moment that someone recorded exactly how God created everything in six days, the battle lines between science and religion were drawn in earnest. In the recent past, this epic struggle for the title of Finder of the Truth has become heated indeed. And the more science learns, the more religion either scrambles to find support for the latest scientific theory in its writings, or decries it as patently false for its inability to explain the Answer. You know, the Answer. To life, the universe, and everything.
Ever since Galileo was found guilty of heresy for supporting Aristarchus of Samos’s theory that the sun was the center of our solar system, (Copernicus didn’t dare publish his findings on the subject until he was practically dead), religion has been using the Word of God to suppress the Word of Science, often with disastrous consequences. Not the least of these consequences is that, in several states in the United States, creationism-math is taught in public schools. Creationism-math uses biblical timelines to demonstrate that God created the universe, and everything in it, approximately 10,000 years ago. On the other end of the crazy spectrum are the Scientologists who believe that humans were seeded by aliens some four quadrillion years ago. That’s quadrillion with a “quad.” One version of the math is off by a factor of 1.3millon and the other by a factor of 3.25 million. (Surprisingly, the Louisiana Legislature is closer. Who wudda thunk?) But, my point isn’t that science is right and religion is wrong; at least, not here it isn’t. My point here is that, as time marches on, and science continues to learn more about the reality in which we find ourselves, religion will continue to diverge from that reality, and cling to whatever is left, in a La Manchan effort to retain its membership. One of the most interesting fronts in this war is the battle to claim heroes. Both sides claim that public figures either believed, or did not believe, in God. Einstein, Stephen Hawking, deGrasse Tyson, etc. The debate on whether these people were deists or not, or whether their deism was spiritual or natural (i.e. a name for the beauty inherent in physics), rages on. The need for scientific heroes is so great that, the argument of whether a particular scientist believes in God, or is religious, is as vitriolic as the larger one. No, not whether God exists, but whose god is the True God. And all this means is that, as long as science continues to find answers about our origins, and our reality, the divergence between it and religion will grow. There will be no reconciliation. And, in case you hadn’t heard, the Answer, to life, the universe, and everything is 42.