My eldest daughter, pregnant with my first grandchild, is coming to visit this week. She is almost finished getting her Ph.D. in Neuroscience so I thought I would do a few drawings about science this week in honor of her.
Late to the Party
I never had a huge interest in science growing up. But the 20 year influence of my ex-father in law, who was an engineer and had a huge knowledge of many scientific principles and Rebekah starting in on her studies of the brain, I found myself reading more and more books and articles on science over the years.
Leaving the Other Party
It coincided with a great dissatisfaction and frustration with religious stubbornness about science. Evolution, cosmology, climatology, biology, neurology…you name it and it seemed that religion was dragging it’s intellectual heels in accepting what was being learned about life and the universe. The fear that the discoveries of science could steal away power or faith or something else seemed to lead to a desperation of denial that I have found to be unacceptable for me to condone.
When Comfort Leads the Way
I have figured out a bit of the reason why that is. It seems to me that it is due to comfort being more important than truth. You might think it is the opposite, since religion often stands on ‘truth’ as a pillar of the faith. There is talk of sacrifice and bowing the the will of God and all sorts of other supposedly uncomfortable efforts we are told need to be made to get in line with God and his truth. But the truth is that truth is not really pursued. What is pursued is comfort (which can also be seen as peace and happiness). I am not talking about material comfort per se, though that is a big part of American life so is pursued by religious believers just as it is by non-believers. I am talking about comfort of intellect. The religious believer is more concerned with the assurance of happiness and peace than truth. It might not be happiness and peace in this life, but it is critical to believe so one can have peace and happiness in eternal life. Whether or not the theological construct they have believed makes any rational sense, is true, is not nearly as important as if it is just believable enough to allow for a feeling of peace and happiness. In other words, comfort.
When Truth Leads the Way
Here is my feeling about it. Science, in all its messy and human pursuit of truth, actually gives me a much more genuine feeling of peace and happiness than theology does. It does so because I trust it. I don’t mean I trust any one scientific discovery. I mean I trust the process of truth seeking that comes with science. I believe it is moving towards truth and won’t be stopped. Religion and theology meanwhile already has been stopped. It has it’s definitions and it isn’t interested in having those changed. I can’t trust a process that is stopped like that.
Science Trivia Question of the Day
The fixed point on which a lever moves is called: