Nathan Bond's TART Remarks

Religion: Respect? Ridicule!


with 7 comments

You are probably reading this on September 10, as scientists at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) laboratory in Geneva, Switzerland, are switching on the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) – a $6 billion particle accelerator that will send beams of protons careening around a 17-mile underground ring, crash them into each other to re-create the immediate aftereffects of the Big Bang, and then monitor the debris in the hope of learning more about the origins and workings of the universe.

Two court cases – in the European Court of Human Rights on August 26, and in Federal District Court in Honolulu in March – led to alarmist headlines, like Britain’s Sun on September 1: “End of the World Due in 9 Days”.

The world will not end on September 10. The world will not end when scientists start smashing atoms at full power by the end of the month. The world will not end in 2011 as is feverously claimed by a contributor on this blog. The world will not end on any particular date adumbrated by “the self-serving fantasies concocted a long time ago by a smoked up bunch of patriarchal herdsmen” as Con-Tester xyresically indicates elsewhere on this blog.

When the locomotive was first conceived, reflects Professor Robin Williams, director of the Institute for the Study of Science, Technology and Innovation at the University of Edinburgh, even some engineers predicted catastrophe resulting from the human body’s inability to withstand the strains of high-speed travel. The word “vaccine” comes from the Latin word for cow, “vacca” – the first vaccinations, against smallpox, used bovine ingredients, leading to widespread fear that the injections would turn humans into cows.

Science is a self correcting process subjected to continuous peer reviews of theories that are highly informative. Theories that allow scientists to make predictions and test outcomes to see whether the predictions held true. Theories that can be tested and rejected or accepted. The LHC is about to pronounce with booming voice.

It is not by prayer and humility that one causes things to go as one wishes, but by acquiring a knowledge of natural laws. Energy and intellectual will-power is superior and preferable to ideological envy. A scientifically minded society bodes better for the future than a society based on superstition and quasi-knowledge, than a society rooted in false hope.

I choose science. Not for answers, but for progressive explanation, in pursuit of the cornerstone of evolving insight…

(TEOTWAWKI: The End Of The World As We Know It)

Collider Triggers End-of-World Fears. TIME. September 4, 2008


Written by Nathan Bond

September 9, 2008 at 19:06

7 Responses

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  1. It is not wrong for man or Sientists, to launch the TEOTWAWKI project, although some religious people might think so, yet just about everything they use, was discovered by Sientists. Read this passage in the Bible:

    1Co 2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
    1Co 2:10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.
    1Co 2:11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.
    1Co 2:12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
    1Co 2:13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
    1Co 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

    However, Christians beleave “life is very brief, it’s like a falling of a leaf”, yet we are aware of a life everlasting hereafter. You have great knowledge, after the natural, yet after the spritual, you exceed stupidity. I chose science and an exceptional christian religieon.

    Hans Matthysen

    September 10, 2008 at 22:53

  2. “TEOTWAWKI” is close to “teo-twakkie.” Perhaps too close.


    September 10, 2008 at 16:31

  3. A dose of sober reality on the LHC experiment supplied by none other than Stephen Hawking…

    … and an endlessly amusing anthology of TEOTWAWKI predictions.


    September 10, 2008 at 10:09

  4. Con-Tester

    The veneration of mediocrity is noisome. It is the trigger that implodes. I suspect that tolerating, even promoting, mediocrity in some macabre way elevates the “slightly better” and means that less effort is demanded to “be better”.

    At dinner this evening my teenage daughters wanted to know what would happen if the LHC experiment “disproves” current theories.

    Well, I could tell them with conviction that scientists who are proved wrong usually are elated by the progress. Said Popper, we only ever make progress in science when a hypothesis is proved false.

    Truth hurts. Really badly. Therefore, to think is bloody dangerous. And o, so necessary.

    Nathan Bond

    September 9, 2008 at 22:43

  5. Your “The Theologian’s Nightmare” is a satirical gem.

    My in extremis question, while largely rhetorical, was posed in case I had missed some subtlety. Perhaps other commenters would care to add some thoughts on why TEOTWAWKI holds such fascination. It is, I think, an important question concerning the human identity.

    As far as curbing stupidity goes, I submit that we first need to stop venerating mediocrity in all of its various and insidious forms for the sake of either political brownie points or social niceties such as artificially inflating the fragile egos of others (so that they might perhaps one day return the favour), even if it is by proxy. If something’s a steaming pile of bovine ordure, dollying it up in false finery is an unctuous perjury that cannot help but demand ever more of its own kind until it becomes habitual (vide, e.g., religion). As some unacknowledged sharp (or should I say, “xyresic?” – thanks, I had to look it up 😀 ) wit once declared: “The truth will set you free, but first it’ll piss you off.” Meanwhile, it is easier to go downhill than up, and it seems that without a sufficient counter-striving towards excellence, there’s little to maintain even a consistent level of mediocrity.

    Jesus, I sound just like a fucking doomsayer.


    September 9, 2008 at 22:22

  6. Yes. Death is the ultimate equalizer. The most unknown of the unknowns. It need not be, because death is a natural process – probably the most natural process, and we know EXACTLY what happens at death. Yet…

    We grow up in a world where we believe that the sun rises and sets for us, mused Carl Sagan. We think that the birds sing for our amusement.

    I think a proper understanding of humanity’s place in the multiverse is a good first step to counter stupidity. I try to communicate this idea in “The Theologian’s Nightmare” under “Essays & Discourses”.

    Nathan Bond

    September 9, 2008 at 20:57

  7. It’ll be stupidity that ends the world – a torrential tsunami of stupid, a catastrophic khamsin of stupid, a super-dense, black hole singularity of stupid that’ll draw in and swallow everything else. The real question is why thoughts of TEOTWAWKI are so captivatingly beguiling. Could it be the realisation that, in extremis, no one stands out?


    September 9, 2008 at 20:37

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