The Science of God

Yesterday, May 20th 2010, was “Everyone Draw Muhammed Day” on Facebook. There have been resounding screams of anguish and offense for days about it. Indeed, the cartoon controversy never really went away, did it? Reams of Muslims online are expressing their anger, coupled with reams of left and right-minded Christians whom also are taking offense at this “provocative action”.

How apropos then that yesterday was also the day when it was announced that for the first time in history, scientists have created life. Artificial life.

You see, there is a reason why Muslims believe that they should not draw pictures of “the prophet”. The reason is they believe that only god (no capitalization intended) can truly create life. And in bronze-aged Arabia, Islam kept the pagan belief shared by so many other societies that to draw a picture of a person was to emulate god. This is why it is one of the highest insults in Islam to draw Mohammed. It is, in essence, wholly sacrilegious.

For the entire history of humanity, only “god” was credited with creating life from scratch. And now, we have done it too. For thousands of years, it was believed that mankind would never achieve the power of that act. And today, as when Galileo Galilei offended thousands of years of dogmatic thought with his telescope, we have pushed back religion even further from the truth than it ever has been before.

Today, we have become “god”.

Those howls and screams you hear from the religiously inclined are only yet to begin with this feat. They have not yet had time to react to this greatest blasphemy of all, but they eventually will. They will realize in time that their precious hold on one of the mysteries – life itself – has slipped out of their grasp while no one was watching.

I find it satisfying to know this and to live in an age when Science (capital S intended) is beginning to unravel all the mysteries of the universe which, hitherto, only were claimed to be answered in books written during ancient times. Times when people didn’t understand anything around them. They had no inkling of the micro universe, or the macro; they had no idea about the wonders of the solar system and the stars; they could only guess at what lay “above” us outside of the sky. They were little children, usually dying at the age of our teenagers, with no skills or knowledge upon which to build.

Religious people claim that these children knew more than we; that we should emulate the barbaric world in which they lived and died. The holy-minded believe that these people could tell us everything we should know about how the universe came to be and functions. And yet, not a single thing they have ever claimed has ever been true.

The world is not flat, demons do not cause sickness, touching and believing does not heal, life was not created in seven days, the gods do not reside on any mountaintop, nor do they control the seas or the trembling earth. And now, not only “god” can create life from inert matter.

When you come right down to it, the religious out there know nothing at all from their books. All they can point to are a few passages about treating others in a kind way, or getting inspiration from the world around you – any of which was also determined by godless philosophers in Greece and other atheists or, at best, deists in history. These “golden rules” are nothing but the built-in humanity which we all share and prove not an iota of the truth about their sacred texts.

No, the holy-minded who scream about Mohammed, Jesus, Moses, and maybe even Krisna, are pushed back yet again into an empty void of ignorance by every single feat or discovery of science. The list of “but we can’t explain yet….” is being shortened every single day by researchers who take those religious claims to task – whether they are religious themselves or not. Every single day, religion becomes more ephemeral and ethereal as we disprove and chip away claim after claim which they have gripped with a concrete grip for thousands of years.

And every single time they kick and scream even more loudly, it resounds even more hollow in the ever expanding universe which doesn’t care one whit for their piety or holy orders.

If I was religious today, and I saw that we can finally create DNA – the basis of life itself on this planet – I would despair. I would despair because everything I had been told is untrue, and everything I believe about how the universe works is false. I would probably try to work it out for myself and try to understand why mankind has such power that only “god” was supposed to possess. And then I would look around me and realize that every single holy text from the dark ages of mankind were just stories written in a brutal and ignorant age when reason wasn’t even a concept.

But I’m a rational girl. I do believe in beauty and love, and I do believe in the ephemeral spirit of being in a grand and universal sense. But I never believed in invisible dragons in the sky waiting for armageddon to swallow up the world. If spirituality is love of the universe and science, then I supposed I will be limited by our vocabulary to call it that. It is not religion.

Religion is the hijacking of those dreams which only science can one day deliver unto us.

Religion is nothing but the fantastical claims and beliefs of people who never knew better and would see us today as Gods. Were any of us to walk into a tent in Arabia, or in front of Jesus or Moses in the desert during their lives, we would have been worshiped for our abilities and knowledge that we acquire in grade school. My smartphone that I speak into every day would have been beyond the wild and miraculous imaginings of any nomad falling to his knees and praying in “holy direction”.

And that knowledge and phone was never acquired by those holy texts, nor was it instructed by “holy men”. It was discovered and created by Science.

Today, Science stands equally amongst one of the greatest “claims” of the religious. And, while they still claim that it is one of the “mysteries” to which only they have the keys, we actually have evidence to explain how it is done.

Yes, that satisfies me very, very, much.