Science vs religion, or why I am an atheist

I’m a heathen. An Infidel. A heretic, a non-, dis– and unbeliever, a skeptic, an apostate, a nullifidian and to make matters completely and utterly worse: an atheist.

Why I don’t believe in God

My transition from a little boy that didn’t think about these matters into a slightly larger boy that couldn’t stop marvelling at the beauty of holidays science as well as the oddity (best case), absurdity (average case) and atrocities (worst case) of religion has been a defining event in my life.

For me, it started with an acute what-the-fuck-am-I-doing-here moment in a local church twenty-odd years ago, followed by an equally sudden what-the-fuck-is-that-guy-talking-about moment in the same church five seconds later and culminates today in my sudden urge to start writing on the subject.

My goal here is not to burn any particular religion to the ground (though no expense has been spared by some religions to burn atheists to the ground). Rather, I would like to go over the generic reasons why – even though I’m told the majority of them is furious at me because of this – I don’t believe in any God whatsoever. (Other than Sir Isaac Newton.)

newton_jean-leon-huens-national-geographic-stock-1200x815
Sir Isaac Newton, definitely one of the greatest scientists the world has known so far.

These ideas are not new, they’re just the ones I have come across over the years that contributed most to my personal conversion and conviction. The following is an attempt to state them as simply and clearly as I can.

Reason #1: I’ve never seen him, nor any indication of his existence.

Arguably the most obvious reason and possibly the most important one as well: if God exists, where is he? The only faculties a human being has at his disposal to assert the existence of something are:

The senses – direct observation

Things you see or feel, including stuff other people tell you. These days, we can see pretty far into the cosmos, across the entire electromagnetic range, using all sorts of telescopes. So far, to my knowledge, nobody has made a single credible observation that requires the presence of a supernatural intelligence (not even a stupid one).

BRUCE ALMIGHTY, Morgan Freeman, 2003, (c) Universal/courtesy Everett Collection
“I’m God” – Morgan Freeman in Bruce Almighty

Logical argument – indirect observation

Combining known facts and drawing conclusions from those. I do recognise the fact that not everything can be directly observed by our limited faculties. However, if I can’t observe something directly, as a non-lunatic I require either some sort of observable effect or a sound chain of reasoning that leads to the conclusion that the subject under investigation must exist.

Both approaches have come up empty so far.

Even if we assume God can’t be observed directly for whatever reason: there is not a single convincing bit of indirect evidence or remotely conclusive argument around, especially if we discount reports of people discerning a divine presence in their food.

jesus-toast

If there was any evidence or proof out there, it would be world news instantly, especially in these times. Twitter would detonate. It would take over the planet and shut everybody up (except for the Dutch, who always seem to have something worth yapping about). It would have been rubbed in my embarrassed face ten times over during the past five seconds, and rightly so. This hasn’t happened yet, so I can safely continue to assume nobody has a strong case to convince an atheist.

Reason #2: followers of one religion are atheists of the others.

This is a slightly more subtle point: even the most devout Christian on the planet is an atheist regarding all the other religions that don’t agree with the particular flavour of faith he subscribes to. This is true of the followers of any religion. Even the most isolated tribes in the amazon have their own version of religion, and are equally confident they’ve got it all figured out.

jerusalem-2014-allegorical-oil-painting-of-templars-saracens-by-jason-askey-south-african
‘Jerusalem’ – oil painting by Jason Askey.

Who is right?

Cause all the others are mistaken! No one religion has a better claim to the truth than any other, no religion has features that elevate it to a more likely Candidate for Truth. Cause, again, the world would know about it. So why assume any of the religions on offer is The One, and worth joining?

It’s just as reasonable to assume they’re all equally mistaken.

Whichever way you turn things, the vast majority of the world’s population is wasting their time worshipping a figment of their imagination.

perscheid_cockroach_religion
“He died for your sole” – reddit user spinozasrobot

Were you born correctly?

Even if there is one religion out there that happens to be the correct one, the chance you happened to have been born into that particular one are very slim indeed. The vast majority of believers have the same faith as their parents, and unless you’re a kid of God himself, it makes even less sense to assume they have chosen correctly in your stead.

Your parents were in the same situation as you with their parents, back in the day. They might have switched allegiance or they might have chosen to trust their parents‘ decision. Both options are error-prone, their grandparents were in the very same predicament way back when, and it’s turtles all the way down.

turtles
This one got away.

Why choose?

So it doesn’t make much sense to choose at all. Even if there is a God: your best chances for a nice afterlife sprout from not sticking to a particular religion since you’ve almost certainly been born into the wrong one.

  • If the God you should have believed in is vengeful and you pick wrong, you’re in trouble.
  • If he is vengeful and you don’t worship another you have a better case.
  • If he is not vengeful he will either forgive you no matter what you do, or just plain don’t care.

So logically, being a devout [insert religious affiliation here] makes no sense at all.

Reason #3: complexity of God vs the universe.

Many people with some sort of affinity for religion and spirituality will object to being chucked into the same bucket as ‘man-in-the-sky’ theists. They are equally unconvinced of these extreme versions of belief, but still feel there must be ‘something there‘ to ‘explain all this‘.

Evolution

To those people I would say: “Evolution.” And then they would ask: “Explain what you mean or go away.” And then I would start explaining, and they would wish they’d have limited their response to “Go away.” And I would go on, regardless:

” The urge to postulate the presence of some supernatural entity usually seems to follow from being flabbergasted by the complexity of the universe. People tend to feel better if they know who made something, so they can understand where it came from. For an infinitely complex and confusing cosmos this urge becomes strong enough that a majority of people feel A Cause must be identified at all costs.

Nobody would postulate a divine entity if the cosmos would have been created by Apple. They would have been able to see Steve Jobs, standing right there. No doubt about it. As it happens, Apple only made a dent in the universe.

I consider evolution to be the most powerful idea science has investigated so far, it gives us the mechanism by which the complexity of life has arisen from extremely simple beginnings. (Evolution applies much more generally, I will definitely talk about this in future writings.) Since we now know how the complexity of life came to be, the need for a creator vanishes in a puff of logic.

A God that designed and created the entire universe must be more complex than that universe, and thus offers no explanation as to where the necessary complexity came from in the first place. Add this to reason #1 (nobody’s ever seen God) above, and the idea of God The Creator loses all substance. Occam’s razor is quite sharp enough to cut it away. “

For those who doubt

For those who have a lack of faith in evolution and would like to use that to undermine the argument above: evolution is absolutely real, there is an overwhelming amount of evidence available. Shouting at the top of your lungs it’s all nonsense is a bit like denying – over breakfast – that chickens lay eggs whilst enjoying an omelette. The evidence that proves your mistake is not hard to find, see or understand. You just need to go have a look in your back yard.

darwin_finches

The inevitability of evolution deserves a separate treatment which I hope to get to some time in the near future.

Reason #4: God does not explain anything.

God is invoked to explain all kinds of things. Why am I here? Where do we come from? How on earth did Trump get elected? But it’s inevitable to not know lots of things.

I don’t want to go to school today

Even though people try to pin everything that happens on God by way of explanation, we still don’t know anything since God himself is not explained. In other words, we’re saying (well I’m not saying that at all!) God explains everything, but we can’t explain God. We still have to cover for him by stressing the mysterious ways he likes to move in. It is a lazy, inadequate and feeble attempt to avoid doing the work and actually learn something about the world.

God of the Gaps

This idea is called ‘God of the Gaps’. It comes down to the observation that God appears wherever there are gaps in our understanding of the world. These gaps have been consistently shrinking for the past centuries, at an ever faster rate, as scientists have diligently been going about the process of filling them with papers.

gap

It seems entirely reasonable to assume that these gaps will continue disappearing in the future, rendering the domain to which God is confined ever smaller, quite possibly ending in oblivion.

Building bridges

In contrast, so far we haven’t encountered a situation where scientific knowledge disappeared and had to be replaced by God.

While I understand the appeal of being able to point at The Cause, the gap between wanting to know something and actually knowing something can only be bridged using the scientific method. Not by stuffing the gap with fluff and sleeping on it. It might be comfortable and cozy but you will not get to the other side, you will only sink deeper into ignorance.

Reason #5: I’m not a Voldemort agnostic.

You might argue that if I don’t believe in God I should call myself an agnostic cause I can never disprove him and know one hundred percent for sure.

Given that I admit there being a tiny chance there is some sort of god, why not believe in him just in case? If god is fooled by my pretended piety he is not all that great, is he? At least now I have integrity, for which he might summon some respect. And if he isn’t vengeful my anti-religious conduct doesn’t matter either.

He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named

To put it another way, there is a tiny chance Voldemort is real as well but I am pretty sure he has been made up. It seems a safe bet to me to live my life ignoring the possibility rather than becoming a death eater just in case. This opens up a lot of free time in which I can do stuff I like better than worshipping.

elder_wand

Which does not mean I wouldn’t convert – with Malfoy-ian conviction – in a heartbeat, as soon as he’d show up on my doorstep. That’s science for you.

Reason #6: It’s free.

Nobody is asking me money for being atheist. It’s the cheapest set of principles around, the alternatives require a lot of time and money to be spent. Really exceptional value for money. Recommended.

Reason #7: I’m free.

Nobody is making me do stuff. Nobody is telling me what I should think or believe.

Trust in me

By definition, if you can’t know what you’re supposed to do to follow a particular religion by thinking for yourself – that would constitute some form of evidence – you are running with ‘facts’ (are they?) that are offered to you by other people, be it through ancient books or through direct interaction with representatives and followers of the faith in question. You are accepting arbitrary claims devoid of any justification whatsoever. This is obviously a very dangerous thing to do.

trustinme2
“Trussssst in me” – Kaa

The great manipulator

It gives other people the power to have you do all sorts of things without having to explain themselves. Which, as far as I can tell, seems to be the main reason religion still exists today: people who realise they can manipulate people into practically anything and don’t have a conscience to stop them keep religion alive to have other people do stuff they would like to happen but aren’t keen on doing themselves.

The extreme case of this has been the main source of terror and bad politics for ages, with a distinct bump around the 9/11 mark in humanity’s timeline.

(FILE PHOTO) Authorities Release 9-11 Emergency Tapes
New York on September 11, 2001 -Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Nobody would dream of handing his or her wallet to some guy on the street because he claims he can talk to an almighty spirit that requires you to part with your cash, and you’re just gonna have to believe that spirit is there cause you will go to a rather unpleasant party when you die if you don’t. Nonetheless, this principle is widespread.

You believe in science. So science is your religion.

No it’s not.

Please do not touch

Religion forces an untouchable set of ideas on you. These rules supposedly never change, they’re ancient and even though the world is changing at dazzling speed, they still apply. Unadapted.

You’re not allowed to question any of these ideas, and if you do, you’re accused of misunderstanding them or you’re told they can’t be analysed in a rational fashion and to take them at face value. You can’t think about them, you just have to accept them. “Don’t you just believe in anything? That’s so sad!” I’ll be alright.

The scientific method

Science poses a fundamentally different way of looking at the world, called the Scientific Method (if God deserves a capital G…). I intend to write a separate post soon to explain the idea in more detail (that post is now available here), but the crux of the matter is to be ready to drop any idea at all, immediately, whenever you meet some beautiful new evidence that tells you that idea is wrong.

The marvels of science put it in stark contrast with religion. “Scientific thought produces technology. Religious thought produces art.” I want to poke giant holes all over that but I don’t know where to start. Technology is starting to produce art these days, so there’s that.

fake_rembrandt
This painting was generated by a computer based on an analysis of other Rembrandt paintings – nextrembrandt.com

The mountain

Science does not deny God outright. Rather, if he exists, science would be the way to find out. As it happens, science didn’t stumble upon any indication of his existence so far. It did stumble though, and fell face first into a mountain of facts that unanimously point to the opposite conclusion.

It just works

In any case, you can see for yourself – everywhere around you – that science works. If it didn’t you would be reading this carved into a rock on the town square. Even the most fundamentalist jihadist acknowledges this by happily using the product of the very ideas he loathes so deeply to orchestrate and execute the most vicious acts of destruction he can think of, in order to eradicate the very notions that led to the development of the technology he, too, uses every day.

twitter-hack
The US Central Command twitter account was hacked by religious extremists a few years ago

Who’s gonna make their cell phones when they’ve reached their goal I wonder.

Free thy children!

This limited listing alone – there are many more forms of justification scattered all over reality, waiting for people to ignore them – leaves me no other option than to be a radical atheist.

To close, a point Richard Dawkins never fails to highlight, and I think this might perhaps be the most important message for humanity to take to heart if it cares to survive for a good while longer: teach your children to think for themselves.

Don’t raise them to be manipulable and naive, but have them question the reasons for what other people request of them (not for what you request though, they’re gonna eat those carrots!) This would undoubtedly eliminate a tremendous portion of misery from the world and skew the scales towards a world population that has enough common sense to save itself as well as its pale blue home.

Prison break

Help your children to be free instead of chaining them to the wall of the same prison cell you might happen to reside in. You live in there only because your parents did, for no good reason. Instead, open the door. Leave them free to wander around, to see what the other cells look like and who’s in there, if they want.

child_in_playpen

And then let them leave the prison building altogether, to roam the earth and experience the cosmos like nobody intended it to be.

Reading recommendations:

There’s a plethora of excellent reading options available, these are some famous personal favourites of mine.

The God Delusion – Richard Dawkins

the-god-delusionAs some readers will no doubt have noticed, a huge portion of the ideas described here have been treated in much more detail by Richard Dawkins, and many of them in this book. It turned me from a curious agnostic into a full-blown heretic. The lucid reasoning throughout is inescapable and by the end of the book you either didn’t understand it or you’re an atheist.


The Blind Watchmaker – Richard Dawkins

117047I can’t not recommend most of Dawkins’ bibliography, but this work in particular made the concept of evolution really click for me and had an immense impact on my world view. I wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone.


God Is Not Great – Christopher Hitchens

godisnotgreatThis famous book makes a great case against religion as well. Hitchens’ style is quite direct and unapologetic, though, which usually puts off the people he would have liked to convince most. This trait is shared, to a slightly lesser extent, by Richard Dawkins.


A Short History Of Nearly Everything – Bill Bryson

bill_bryson_a_short_historyA beautiful bird’s eye overview of the sciences. Perfect for people who are not very familiar with any of them but would like to get some idea of what has been found out so far, through some light reading.


On The Origin of Species – Charles Darwin

220px-origin_of_species_title_pageIf you’re brave enough to jump in at the deep end, try Charles Darwin’s very own masterpiece. It’s quite readable but obviously misses more than a 150 years of progress in the field. The core idea is there though, in all it’s glory. To get a more modern treatment, read The Blind Watchmaker (mentioned above).


The Greatest Story Ever Told … So Far – Lawrence Krauss

the-greatest-story-ever-told-so-far-9781476777610_hrThis is an upcoming book by Lawrence Krauss, one of the most prominent physicists of our time. Krauss has a great track record in popular science writing, so I’m very much looking forward to his new book which promises to be a true celebration of the scientific method and how it is used to learn more about how the universe works. Already recommended.

Feel free to leave a comment in case you have anything to add to (or subtract from) this post, I’m all ears (a horrible condition science hasn’t been able to find a cure for that doesn’t kill the patient).

33 thoughts on “Science vs religion, or why I am an atheist

  1. Wow. I genuinely did not expect it to be articulated so concisely. “God is an ever receding pocket of scientific ignorance” Neil DeGrasse Tyson on God of gaps theory.
    I’ve actually read God Delusion and it’s one of my favorite books. I haven’t gotten to others you mentioned though I’ve heard of them. I probably should get around to reading them soon.

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  2. You realize, that “Sir Isaac Newton, definitely one of the greatest scientists the world has known so far” was a devout Christian who studied the Bible as much as other subjects? You wrote in the “about” section of your blog, that religion is an alternative world view to science which is such arrogant and absurd claim that I don’t even know what to say to that. You have read some Dawkins’ books and you think that you have everything figured out, don’t you? Searching for answers is a noble goal but when you claim you already got them after reading a few of the most popular books criticizing religion (or mostly Christianity tbh) you don’t come off as a scientist but rather as an ignorant. Keep looking man, but get off your high horse first. And read more books.

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    • You are absolutely right. Religion is not an alternative world view to Science. To paraphrase Christopher Hitchens, religion is the attempt of an adolescent species to explain things it does not yet know. However, after at least 100,000 years of existence, with over 4000 other deities that have claimed divine rule and explanation, it is time to shed religion entirely as our species can no longer be considered adolescent, and it is time we discard the fairy tales for facts.

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      • I called it an alternative world view only in as far as a large number of people subscribe to it. I absolutely agree it is high time to consider it obsolete, and not a serious alternative. As I see it, a scientific world view is the only option.

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  3. Neil Tyson talks about God of the Gaps but defenders of Christianity don’t use that argument. Christian apologists defend belief in God because of what they DO know…….not because of gaps. For Tyson to still be using that criticism shows that he is grossly misinformed. Evolution does not explain changes of kind…..one species to another. No evidence. Nor is there evidence or an explanation for the origin of life. Christians believe in evolution if you are talking about adaptation over time, which is all the finch beaks show. If you deny God on the basis of evolution by positing that science will one day figure it all out, you are engaging in a sort of “science of the gaps”…….blind faith to be sure.

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    • Could you give me one example where god is used to explain something we know? There is tons of evidence for evolution, and the principle in itself is inevitable. You can see it at work EVERYWHERE, and I will dedicate a post to this soon (stay tuned! :)). There not being an explanation for the origin of life is no license to postulate the existence of a God, that’s exactly what god of the gaps means. Science of the gaps: the point is that religion fills gaps in our knowledge by making stuff up and taking it as true (faith) while science fills gaps in our knowledge by thinking and reasoning (the OPPOSITE of faith, and certainly not blind!). So I can’t agree at all with any of the points you mention.

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    • Not being able to understand the evidence does not mean a lack of evidence. It means you are just scientifically ignorant. You’re just attempting to invoke Baconian ideas of science which died out in the early 19th century when we proved that observation and study of left over past events, even though we did not observe them first hand, is evidence as well. The fossil record displays perfectly well Darwin’s theory of evolution. And you claim to know, but you provide no evidence for your claim. Such claims are called testimonials, and they are useless for anything other than asking for exploration into the claim itself. But that requires you to make a hypothesis, determine what should be tested for, use the scientific method. But you don’t, and you won’t because you already know the results of such a thing. It will be null. And thus is will be discarded as unnecessary by Ocean’s razor and the Null hypothesis. The religious always try to dance the same dances, and they get tiresome and boring.

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      • I would be happy to accept any evidence of a change of kinds if you think you can provide one. Use your observation, scientific method or evidence of past events. You said a lot of stuff but you said nothing that proves to me that there is evidence of a change of kinds. I’ll take anything that shows evidence of a connection between fish and retiles, birds, or amphibians. If you know, and are sure there is no question, please share. Don’t give me adaptations within a species.

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  4. “Donald Page of Princeton’s Institute for Advanced Science has calculated the odds against our universe randomly taking a form suitable for life as one out of 10,000,000,000 raised to the 124 power—a number that exceeds all imagination. Astronomers Fred Hoyle and N. C. Wickramasinghe found that the odds of the random formation of a single enzyme from amino acids anywhere on our planet’s surface are one in 10 raised to the 20th power. Furthermore, they observe, “The trouble is that there are about two thousand enzymes and the chance of obtaining them all in a random trial is only one part in (10raised to the 20th)raised to the 20,000 = 10 raised to the 40,000, an outrageously small probability that could not be faced even if the whole universe consisted of organic soup.”

    This is science that we DO know and the best explanation for it is a Creator. This is not a gap in knowledge. It is knowledge that says time + matter + chance is inadequate to explain the findings.

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    • I’m just going to ask you this: what do you think is the probability of a creator, capable of creating life, spontaneously coming into existence? Don’t you agree it would have to be a lot smaller than the chance of a single enzyme coming into existence? Furthermore, you still give me a God of the Gaps: “I can’t see an explanation, so God must exist to fill it for me.”

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      • If time + matter + chance is an inadequate explanation due the astronomical probabilities and science has shown that a key feature of life is information, how do you answer the question of the origin of life without positing an alternative explanation? Origin-of-life researcher Stuart Kauffman says “Anyone who tells you that he or she knows how life started on earth some 3.45 billion years ago is a fool or a knave. Nobody knows.” That’s an expert in the field. A scientist. He has taken the available information and made an inference to the best explanation, namely intelligent design, and continues to seek new scientific information. You cannot devalue his science simply because you disagree with it.

        I am not denying science or the scientific method, I’m relying on it. To discount intelligent design is to discount the very method of inquiry that you all say is absolutely necessary. To say that an intelligent designer is the best explanation for the available information is not god of the gaps. Is it possible for anyone to invoke God as an explanation where you wouldn’t call it god of the gaps?

        Space, time and matter had a beginning. The cause must therefore be outside of space, time and matter. God is eternal. Space-less, timeless and immaterial. The law of causality cannot be denied.

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    • It is always a joke when the religious try to use math and science against mathematicians and scientists who understand the concepts being explained. It is like a dog trying to bake a cake. They don’t have a clue what they are doing so instead they just shit into the batter. You describe the number as exceeding imagination yet you can list the number, albeit you failed to do so in scientific notation, proving that the number is not even imagined. It is real. Further, the claim to enzymes limits their creation to just earth. But the laws of the universe are not limited to just our planet. They occur everywhere in the universe. So 10 ^ 20 is not that large of a number in comparrison. As for the fine tuning of our universe, that is quite speculative based on our definitions of life. Is the universe fine tuned for life under different fundamental forces? No, but another universe may be, and that life may calculate the same number based on what it knows about the laws of its universe and its definition of life. This does not prove anything other than a self centered religious view point that still promotes life as we think of it as special and that other life, in universes with other laws of physics is not life.

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      • Don’t forget that a large proportion of scientists in all fields are in fact believers. Probably more than are willing to say so due to attitudes like the very one you represent in your comment.

        My improper notation of numbers has nothing to do with the question at hand.

        Civil discourse. Look it up.

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  5. Three features of the fossil record that are at odds with Darwinian evolution:
    1. The Cambrian explosion shows that the majority of phyla appeared in a geological blink of an eye without any trace of prior evolutionary history.
    2. Once a life form is identified in the fossil record, it persists largely unchanged throughout geological history.
    3. The fossil record fails to support common decent. For example, it does not show a series of gradual fossils connecting fish to amphibians or reptiles or birds. Fossil discoveries over time have not provided evidence of transitional forms.

    This again is not about gaps in knowledge. The evidence we have says that evolution does not account for what we DO know. And this isn’t a case of science needs more time. The facts are in, and actually additional fossil discoveries are making the weaknesses of evolutionary theory more pronounced.

    Once again……no one denies change over time meaning adaptations to environment within a species.

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    • Evolution is nothing more than the adaptations to environment you mention. The only step you refuse to accept is that once species start adapting to their environment, there really isn’t a ‘base species’ that can’t be strayed from. Once a population starts adapting to a changing environment in small steps and given enough time (this isn’t a few years we’re talking about!) the various organisms that stemmed from a common parent will no longer be anything like that original parent, if their environment put enough pressure on the population over time. Little pressure gives you the stasis you mention, a lot of pressure gives you Cambrian Explosion.

      The fossil record: it’s not because there isn’t a photo of something happening that it didn’t happen. (Though in times of Facebook this mentality seems to have become the norm.) Of course there are humongous gaps in the fossil record, the circumstances to fossilise organisms must be exactly right. The ‘blink of an eye’ you’re talking about is an interval of time of 20 million years or thereabouts. That’s ample time to generate significant changes if the circumstances are right.

      And so, because only once in a while a fossil is preserved plus the fact that we then have to FIND said fossil before we can add it to our record (only a time portion of the earth has been explored + you need to know what you’re seeing or you will discard many a fossil as a ‘funny rock’) humanity only gets a very limited glimpse at a very limited subset of the history of life on earth. This more than adequately explains why we don’t see fossil evidence of every variation of life that ever existed. And in any case, once we start looking at DNA of the species that survive today the fossil record doesn’t even matter much anymore since genetic similarity, scars and synonyms make a clear-cut case on their own.

      On top of all that, evolution is simulated in computers and has proven its power on a huge variety of problems, finding complex solutions for problems we can’t solve any other way. The mechanism is cast-iron, it works whether you like it or not 🙂

      And whichever way you want to twist and turn my words above, even if none of what I said would be true (I will never claim absolute truth on anything I say – or anyone), claiming ‘God did it’ explains nothing at all. Making the jump from ‘not knowing’ to ‘God must exist to explain all this’ is nonsense.

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      • Your refusal to admit the weaknesses of evolutionary theory puts you at odds with many scientists, many of them agnostics. Is it possible that you are one of those that will not follow the evidence where it leads if it leads to God?

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  6. Religion does not fill gaps by making stuff up. Though you could say that scientists sometimes do. For example the multiverse, which never had and never will be supported by evidence. There’s your fairy tale created to deny the possibility of a creator.

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    • Which particular religion do you subscribe to? How do you know which principles you should be living by and who explained/taught them to you? Unless God himself came to explain them to you, any principle you adopted originated with either your parents or a representative of your faith, or both. And they got it from their parents and the representatives that were around when they were younger, or a book. Point being, they were made up at some point.

      The multiverse is a possibility implied by or derived from some potential models of the universe that are currently under consideration by the scientific community. Scientists work hard to validate their models experimentally and will reject any of them if they contradict experiment (if not, they’re not scientists). The concept of a multiverse is absolutely not a confirmed fact, just a possibility that’s not ruled out but hasn’t been proven at all either. There is nothing wrong with making something up as long as you don’t consider it true based on nothing at all, claims (=hypotheses) need to be validated and verified to agree with established facts (ALL of them).

      My next post happens to treat the scientific method, I’ll let you know when it’s been published 😉

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      • The multiverse theory is driven more by the need to defend naturalism than by actual evidence.

        As for my belief system, I am a Christian. Christianity is empirically verifiable, unlike any other religion. It is based on verifiable facts. If the death and resurrection of Christ is not true, Christianity has nothing to stand on. History has proven that Jesus is an historical figure and that he was crucified. Forensic evaluation of the evidence says the resurrection is true.

        The bible is the most well-attested book of ancient times. It had been the most persecuted and scrutinized and vilified book in all of history, yet it has survived the scrutiny. A work of fiction would not have survived. Even skeptics admit the reliability of the scriptures.

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    • The multiverse hypothesis will never have evidence, because you fail to understand the fundamental idea of it. These are universes with different laws of physics governing them, meaning different fundamental behaviors by which energy conforms to display matter. The reason we have an idea behind the multiverse hypothesis is because the study of branes in mathematics. We see a point particle, but the structure is actually more a string (which is why branes are studied for string theory, our currently most likely theory for our universe and its functions). In the multiverse hypothesis, energy in different universes are under differently tuned fundamental forces. Gravity or the Electro-magnetic forces may have different constants than they do in our universe, meaning matter behaves in a different way than it does in our universe. So, to try to interact with another universe would not be possible, as to take samples or to explore the other universe would mean moving from an area where matter as we know it behaves according to fundamental forces that we know of and suddenly changing those forces. Samples we take would likely degrade to energy of change themselves to be identical to matter here and be unable to be studied, and exploration into another universe would mean the matter that makes us would either degrade to energy (death) or change on a fundamental level (also likely death). So currently, the best evidence for the multiverse hypothesis is string theory and branes, which have quite a mountain of evidence for them right now.

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      • I wouldn’t go as far as claiming there is no way of getting direct evidence. Partly because I’m no physicist and partly because usually when something is claimed to be impossible somebody opens the door the next day. “The impossible often has a kind of integrity to it which the merely improbable lacks”.

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  7. You said: “Which does not mean I wouldn’t convert – with Malfoy-ian conviction – in a heartbeat, as soon as he’d show up on my doorstep.”

    Would you really, though? Considering some of the god-concepts on offer, I could probably count maybe one or two that I’d be comfortable worshiping should one reveal itself to be true. The vast majority however are capricious, uncaring monsters that I would do my best to actively rebel against, futile as that might be given the power imbalance.

    I would no sooner worship such a thing as I would bow to a tyrant. How ’bout you?

    By the way – very nice work on this blog. =) I’m a fan already!

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    • Ah I see your point, I was aiming at conversion in the sense of acknowledging Voldemort’s existence in these circumstances. I didn’t phrase that as clearly as I would have liked.

      I would not feel good about bowing to a being like that, but what I’d do exactly I’m not at all certain of 🙂

      Thanks so much for your kind words, there’s more coming your way soon! Feel free to spread the word 😉

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      • Quite alright – I used to say very much the same thing in these kinds of conversations, but then I really thought about the implications of a biblical-type God actually demonstrating its existence… Considering his character in the bible, there’s no way I could accept such a thing as an object of worship.

        Oh and, sorry about the double-post! :C Not sure what happened there…

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