At the bottom of everything

[With thanks to John Lennox]

I find science interesting for lots of reasons. I am no serious student, mine is more of a pub-quiz type knowledge. But I find the more we find that perhaps the more questions we have, and the less sure we are about things that we were pretty sure of before. The extraordinary complexity of the world, universe and bodies we inhabit is so mind-bogglingly huge that it takes  while to get your head around.

Now I’m not sure the astonishment we feel is any kind of proof of a creator GOD as perhaps some do. It’s really just the goldfish thing – “oh look a bridge, how marvellously wonderfully exciting, I could go through it and make friends with it and eat my dinner off it, it’s all so exciting… … … oh look a bridge, how marvellously wonderfully exciting, I could go through it and make friends with it and eat my dinner off it, it’s all so exciting…” etc…

We may be amazed simply because we are, not because it’s actually amazing.

But the extraordinary complexity does perhaps ask some questions of chance and applied mathematics – these being the apparent explanation/arbiters/creators/meaning of our existence. Chaos is not known for producing order all on its own. We have a problem here.

I like the fact that we’re mostly made up of nothing, mostly made up of gaps between particles. We feel awfully solid, but at a molecular level, the space between the particles that make us up is greatly bigger than the particles themselves. If we could find something small enough, with enough manoeuvrability we could make our way through ourselves without hitting anything.

As for the particles themselves, we’re not entirely sure they’re there, being less certain of where they are the closer we look at them. They make for fine explanations of observed reactions, but I can’t say we’re that certain that they are quite what we describe them as.

We’re also pretty unsure about the light itself, whether it behaves as a wave or particle seems to depend on one’s point of view.

Now none of this is proof for a creator. I’m not sure we need to prove one. All we need for now is space to doubt. Something perhaps no longer afforded to us if the pure materialists have their way.

Maths, ever the friend of the lonely theists… [Again my thanks]

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4 Responses to “At the bottom of everything”


  1. 1 hedgemonkey August 19, 2008 at 7:13 am

    You lonely theists certainly have a lot in common with us socially inept atheists!

    So until the day you see me standing on a soap-box on a street corner announcing to passers-by to “take scientific enquiry into their hearts and be saved” keep up on thinking good buddy x

  2. 2 Nelly And I August 19, 2008 at 10:25 am

    I always took you for less of an atheist than you let on. What about the supernatural even? Would you grant anything beyond elementary particles and their attractions? What about [insert heart-breaking indie song here…] or [new zealand coastal vista here…] or the simple excitement of being alive?

    Beauty and truth always seemed to have the smell of the supernatural – or maybe i just farted, who knows…

    I take it you’re a bit far away to meet up for a pint? You still in Aus?

  3. 3 hedgemonkey August 21, 2008 at 2:51 am

    The truth is “I only know what I don’t know” and accept the shackles of these mere five mortal senses. As you so articulately blogged science is mind boggling whilst at the same time painfully limited; but until I am equipped with better sensory apparatus to experience this existence I have to side with the atheist’s demand for evidential proof …. there’s too many sides vying for our future to do otherwise.

    As to [“Banquet”] and [“Hokianga Harbour”] there’s beauty and truth in everything I see & feel (well maybe not your fart!) give it a name/label/some dogma/whatever … I guess (and though ancestor veneration & acknowledging the pre Romano-Christain calendar may seem to blur the issue) … the only thing I know for certain is that I am not-a-theist.

    Man, that pint sounds might good about now!

  4. 4 Roads September 24, 2008 at 10:12 am

    Smart cartoon, Nelly – I enjoyed that one.
    You left out the geologists, though.

    We’re underneath.


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