Well the world clearly didn’t end in 2012 as predicted my the incredulous masses, as I am still here to write this post. Now I have been away for a while I know, and as such my content uploading has been pretty much zero, of which i apologise. However, I have been away researching, exploring and finding new and wonderful facts to share and disseminate to all of you. And so, after a very long break, and a lot of research and getting back into the swing of scientific endeavours and fact finding, I am going to be posting once again.
However, today is not the day for a full post, as I am working tirelessly on a quick project as I write, but a full post will be up by next week most definitely. However, to entertain my blog until then, and to bring a bit of scientific fun and excitement I am going to share this video with you. It’s a song outlining the Theory of Evolution by natural selection. It’s very catchy and brilliantly educational for all ages I think. Enjoy.
It seems that in certain parts of the world, the theory of evolution is taught openly and freely in schools, colleges and universities. It has been noted that in many of these places it goes unchallenged and is allowed to proliferate freely, and to be entertained by many. It seems that this scientific theory is taught as openly and soundly as the theory of thermodynamics.
I have been thinking for a while about writing this post, but have had obstacles in the way of writing. These obstacles aren’t to do with this, it was obstacles like holidays, work, and the other things we have to do in our lives. I have decided to write this as a prequel to my philosophical paper. I have mentioned before about this paper, but to restate, it is an explanation to what is life. But in it I have to tackle God and or gods. You can’t answer life without tackling this most audacious of hurdles. I have outlined the idea of gods and religion before in previous posts, and why I think they are unnecessary. I have questioned religious authority outside this blog, and am frequently thinking on new ways of getting people to look at the facts.
It has been a fairly long time since I have written about the wonders of space. Since a small child the cosmos has fascinated me, and the vast expanse of the universe keeps my brain active and entertained to this day. The universe to me is a wonder of what nature and evolution can do. The sheer expanse of space-time is mind-boggling. To think the milky way, the little galaxy we live in, is 100,000 light years across is just a number so huge that the mind struggles to imagine its scale. And when you think that the milky way contains over 100 billion stars to potentially 300 billion stars, the brain stars to fuzz and frazzle, considering each one of those stars are the same size, and many more are larger, than the sun.
And to think that our star just sits in one of the arms of the milky way galaxy, being orbited by all 9 planets (pluto is still a planet to me). And our sun is just one of billions of stars in the milky way. And the earth also being just one of billions of planets in the milky way as well. ANd pushing even further out, the milky way, our home galaxy is just one of millions of billions in the universe. Now how many stars is that again? So what I’m trying to show is that the universe is big, and when i say big, i mean monstrously large, that the human mind soon crumbles at the size of the universe (and that’s just the universe we can see). So what about life? If the universe is big, what about the numbers for life?
We live in a world of high demand, increasing population, and an ever intensive requirement for food and natural resources. We have evolved to be a species which is capable of shaping it’s land beyond that of any other species in this planet. It is with our burgeoning intelligence that we have not only sculpted the land, but life itself. We have forced the hand of man into foresting, mining and harvesting. We have crafted animals through selective breeding into producing food, clothes and entertainment. We as a species in the “western world” do not have to hunt, harvest or hem. We live in a world of man made wonders, where the natural world is nearly forgotten about, even though it is it which is still the heart of all industries today.
But even though we have managed to bend nature to our will, we still seem to want to bend it further, so that it is no longer the work of nature and evolution, which is moulded by the unconscious hand of natural selection, but that it is moulded and changed by the conscious and arrogant hand of man. We don’t seem to be happy with the current cropping, and want to make it even easier by modifying plant and animals genes, commonly known as Genetically Modified Food.
The title of this post is obviously an interesting choice of words. However, those words were not mine, but that of V.S. Ramachandran in his book, The Tell-Tale Brain. He uses those words to describe why the brain does certain things, even though it is irrational.
In Ramas book, he uses it to show that the brain chooses absurdities to negate discrepancies of any kind. In that section of his book, he explains capgras syndrome, where a relative or loved one is classed to be an impostor. Rama explains that the patients brain chooses the impostor route, as the brain doesn’t feel the emotion due to a break that links certain parts in the brain. It is absurd for it to be an impostor, and the brain knows that facially and vocally that it is their mother, but since the emotional centre has lost connection, he doesn’t feel the same way towards them. As a result, the brain chooses the disposition, that they are a fraud.
To me, an atheist or antitheist, religion is a blanket. This blanket isn’t just a comforter for those who are scared of the world, but as a blanket to hide real evidence, facts and to bury logic, reasoning and advancement. This is in contrast to science.
Science is, as that great man Carl Sagan said, ‘more than a body of knowledge, it’s a way of thinking, a way of skeptically interrogating the universe… If we are not able to ask skeptical questions, to be skeptical of those in authority, then we’re up for grabs.’ Sadly Carl is no longer with us, but his message that we must be skeptical lives on. Without a skeptical mind skeptically assessing things, we will never advance. And this is what religion does, it is the locked door on skepticism.