Today has been an angry day. There are ridiculous fools spouting untenable propositions everywhere I go on the Internet. My outrage isn’t really about people who deny science, even though they are trying. It’s just about people who think they know everything, and who honestly believe that their personal opinion must be undisputed fact, and that therefore everyone who disagrees with them must be wrong. Also, the punchline is something I like to say whenever people bring up the subject of what percentage DNA humans have in common with vegetables, and sometimes I just draw a comic because I have a joke.
I do happen to know something about science and religion, because my father holds a PhD in chemistry and strong religious views, so I was raised to read the Bible but to also apply the scientific method, and to understand the difference between spiritual truth and objective truth. My dad was a research scientist for 30 years, but he transitioned into education late in life, and now he teaches science in religious schools, where his work is not always appreciated. It’s hard for me to believe that these people really, truly exist, but they do. He had a class where kids were literally sticking their fingers in their ears so as not to hear a lesson about evolution. Sure, they’re kids, but at the same time, what an apt metaphor for the young earth creationists, the climate change deniers, the anti-vaxxers, and of course, most perplexingly, the chemtrail believers in our midst.
But, like good old Neil DeGrasse Tyson said, “The good thing about science is that it’s true whether you believe it or not.” Your opinion that one particular book written by people whose technological advances never went beyond blacksmithing is the only legitimate reference work on the planet doesn’t changes the observations of natural phenomenon made by people who actually wanted to learn the truth about their world. Whether it’s a statement that runs counter to your religious belief or your personal view of yourself, sticking your fingers in your ears and humming loudly doesn’t change reality.
I will refrain from discussion modern physics’ take on the nature of reality.
I enjoyed reading this very much, but it saddened me also, when realized that within two months I’ll be back in the same classroom, trying to pretend that the universe is actually not 13.8 billion years old, and that evolution is not still occurring as we speak.
Oh, and by the way, you left out the part where I accidentally began a sentence with the words “millions of years ago” and half of my class immediately ran out of the class and into the principal’s office to tell her of my grievous sin.
Wow, that’s both hilarious and terrible at the same time.