In my novel, The God Particle, the forces of Science and Religion are pitted against one another in a battle as old as Copernicus and the Catholic Church.
The conflict between Science and Religion has been raging throughout history and reflected in the art and literature of every culture. Even in movies, i.e., Inherit the Wind. The two sides are dug in, each convinced that their understanding of the way things came about, the way things are and what will happen next, is the correct version of the “Truth.”
Embarking on a book that had as its subtitle, “The Super-Collision of Science, Religion and Terror,” I quickly realized I’d better know that of which I write. The overwhelming conclusion from my research for The God Particle is that religion is dismissed by intellectuals as a myth, a fairy tale, and the opiate of the masses. Implicit in that designation was that the “masses” were “Asses.” That perception is based on the statement, “Science is fact…period!” All other explanations are inventions of fantasy for those of lesser intelligence to wrap themselves in. Truth be told, that’s the kind of proposition you’d expect from Science, where proof, logic and empirical data rule the roost.
On the other side, although not as prevalent, are many of those in the Faith/Religion camp who are of the opinion that it is, in fact, Science that is mentally incapable of fathoming the inescapable conclusion that there is intelligent design. That there was a divine hand in all of this, mixing the primordial soup that was the nascent universe. These “believers in God” find comfort and solace in their religious belief that all of this is not an accident of a cosmic chemistry set being driven by Newtonian forces to cool and congeal into “Everything.”
But last week, Science took a bad hit. The scientific fact that the universe was created in a Big Bang event 13 billion years ago has been rocked to its molten core. So indelible, so entrenched was this “Truth,” that Nobel Prizes were awarded for two engineers from AT&T who discovered the echoes of the Big Bang in the far outer reaches of the universe. That’s how cocksure Science was of its facts. And Yet…
So where does that leave the debate? Well, to me it means that Scientists, Intellectuals and adopters of the scientific method and it’s rock solid conclusions, turn out to be just as prone to myth as the “religious believers” except the science-based people believe in a different myth. A scientifically provable myth! But their scientific proof is only as good as the method they use. Being human scientists, the only insight they gain is built upon assumptions in science made earlier. In other words, science-minded folks derive comfort in their myth because it is proven by their own math, logic and evolving science (whose metamorphosis’s is built upon the very same expanding science doctrine, so it has the incestuous ability to compound any error made in the first steps, i.e.: The Big Bang) Another ironic way to look at this is that the blind devotion to scientific logic is fallible because an earlier error or misdiagnosis, leads to revised theories and are then used as “Gospel” in proving the next logical step or advancement of scientific doctrine.
So in the end, The Big Bang has lead to the Big Mess. Science has been proven by its own methods to be just as mythically based as Religion. Therefore, can the claim now be made that scientists are the priests and shaman of a belief system that is just as fanciful a faith-based doctrine, as those who they accuse of being religious? The only difference being that their religion of science is one that excludes God. Nonetheless, what we learned last week was that science’s “facts” are just as suspect as those tenets of their religious counterparts.
Now, not that I am a genius, but I saw this coming. Way back in my research I realized that there is no way to win, prove or even be ahead in this debate between religion and science. No matter what side you are on, it’s circular. But, I did do one thing that was genius; I quoted one. In the very first pages of The God Particle you’ll find this quote, the smartest thing anybody ever said about the issue, from a member of the Scientific Hall of Fame no less:
All Religion, Arts and Sciences are branches of the same tree. – Albert Einstein.
Works for me…