We are constantly told in society that there are two kinds of people. There are those that are enlightened, intelligent, and rational then there are those who are backwards, dumb, and irrational. The first category are the “scientists” they are rational and smart because they believe things based on measurable and sensible data that they collect, or others collect for them that they can then disseminate and piece together to find answers. The latter camp, the ignorant and backwards religious people, believe things based on ridiculous things they’ve read in an old book written by people who only care about making money and taking from them. In the churches and mosques, the collection plate is passed around so that the masses can feel good about themselves for a while. Scientists, meanwhile, need no such validation. They know that what they say is the authoritative truth because they’ve sensed it, or others have sensed it for them. Scientists like Newton, Einstein, and others had several mathematical proofs written on paper and these proofs are repeatable, so we know it’s true. There’s just one problem, however, the scientists are human.
A very strange thing has come to my attention lately and I never really found the time or energy to put it into words. As I’ve studied computer science more and more, I’ve come to realize just how much we simply don’t know about the world. A computer has all its parts laid bare for anyone to see. If you open it up there is no great mystery inside. Diodes and capacitors connect to pass electricity around, the power supply feeds electricity to bits (which are just conductive pins) and basic logic factors into things we don’t really think about. Several collections of bits make up the words on this very screen. There are complicated mathematical formulae for how a computer works but the basics can be understood and replicated by anyone. You could go and buy a breadboard, connect the pins to wires, provide them with electricity, and see for yourself how the bits come together to form logic gates and finally computer components that allow us basic addition and memory. Let’s compare the relative simplicity and reproducibility to something like the law of gravity. It is true that dropping a ball will make it come down to the ground. Unfortunately, I don’t need a mathematical proof to tell you that if you fall from a building you will drop and not fly. I can write a single sentence and you will know from experience that I am telling the truth. Just like I can tell you that a computer is powered by small magical elves that move around inside (they are sub-atomic so you can’t see them of course) and you probably won’t believe anything I say.
Why are people so quick to believe in things that they don’t understand and can’t measure themselves? Many would argue, and I can’t disagree, that that is simply a fundamental part of the human condition. We all need a higher power to believe in. Someone or something smarter, wiser, and better at making decisions is calling the shots so we don’t need to worry. A wise and righteous leader, in the case of the North Koreans. A wise and benevolent God, such is the case in religions, and one more category that is much more controversial.
Are you ready for my controversial statement? Science in modernity is a religion. It has long died as a tool for measuring and understanding our world and has evolved into a religion that most people on the planet (at least in the first world) believe in. I’d argue that anyone who says they are irreligious, or an atheist follows this religion. But what makes a religion what it is? There are several key factors. Firstly, a religion has a set of beliefs and customs that one must follow. Fasting in Ramadan for Muslims, Passover for Jews, and communion for Catholics. There are also the concepts of sin and what is forbidden or permissible by God. Most importantly, before modernity anyway, was the concept of heresy and the requirement that no one should question the teachings or the leaders that teach. Automatically with our modern and analytically brains we can start to see problems with religions. What if the leaders are bad and corrupt? What if one of them adds or takes away something from the holy scriptures and no one notices? What if everyone knows but is complacent? What if the religion is used to wage wars or to collect money for the corrupt leaders? We question these things and rightfully so because they are all things that we have seen or heard about in the past. Leaders are human beings, priests also human, and the followers, you guessed it, human as well. The thing about humans is that we can be nasty and awful so it’s very difficult to trust us and sometimes it can be dangerous to do so.
But why are religions under so much scrutiny while scientists are above reproach? Is it because of the “scientific method?” Peer review? Or is there some other mysticism that religious people simply don’t get because they are too stupid and believe in invisible sky Gods? The sad truth is that scientists are also people and react based on the same incentives that so called “made up religions” are based on.
Let’s look at some common objections we hear when discussing scientific proofs and theories online and in real life:
Why would they make it up?
This is so obvious that it hurts me to have to explain it. Here are the people that say that several times in history groups of people have gotten together and created (wrongly in their minds) a system of belief based on nothing for financial or political gain. Ask any atheist and they will quickly explain that Christian churches exist for donation money and tax-exempt status and that is wrong. At the same time, it never once crosses their mind that their priests (scientists) could also be making things up for money and non-profit tax exemption. Let’s take a quick look at one such example. Suppose I tell you that the world is going to end soon and the only way to save yourself from this Armageddon is to listen to me, follow what I have to say, and of course give me donations so that I can reach more people with my message and save them to? This is what we call the “climate change” theory in which we’ve created mathematical models based on information we couldn’t possibly accurately have about the temperature of the earth millions of years ago. Because we are so smart with our theoretical physics, we obviously now know that we are going to die of carbon emissions (sin). Again, the argument here is that somehow these people in white coats are beyond reproach simply by virtue of calling themselves “scientists”.
If what scientists say is wrong, you need to prove an opposite theory? What about xyz edge case?
I love to read this one because in Al-Quran there is a mention of argumentation like this. You could make the argument that scientists and laypeople first read this passage straight out of Al-Quran and repeated it verbatim. I want to take a very powerful example that I’ve seen recently that has to do with he flat-earth controversy. Someone makes a claim like this “How can we stand upside down on the bottom of the globe” and we should respect someone saying this because it goes against everything our senses would tell us. Nothing will stick to the bottom of a ball unless it’s glued there with strong adhesive. If we use the argumentation about spinning around, then we need to consider where the center of gravity is for the person to stick to the ball. If you’ve ever been inside a ride that spins you around you would know you don’t stick to the middle but instead stick to the wall with your back pinned to it, not standing upright. However, instead of treating this person’s inquiry with respect and following through with a line of questioning we get this: “This is solved science, we’ve known the earth is a globe for centuries, stop trying to make us go backwards!” A very dogmatic stance, and I think, very unscientific. You can see this dogmatic reaction anytime you come forward and say something counter to the current norm. If you are vocal enough you may even become publicly ostracized much like people were cast out of Christian churches for dissenting. I dare you to write “How come we lost all of our moon-landing research, seems pretty convenient” on a NASA video and watch the explosion of the dogmatic flock.
Although some scientists disagree this theory is supported by 97 percent of the scientific community!
If I were to tell you that 97 percent of my local community believed that my computer ran on sub-atomic magic elf power would you believe me? What if I brought out mathematical proofs and cryptic drawings of the elves? What if my neighbor said he saw one and took a picture, but he lost the evidence? Would you be incredulous? Then why do you believe a group of people, who are also humans, when they tell you similar things? How can you trust them? Because they went to college? Have you ever met a dumb person with a degree? I have. Have you ever heard about or met a very biased person with a degree? If you say no, I don’t believe you. What if the colleges willfully teach their students incorrect information and pass it off as fact? What if going to college is much like going to seminary in that you learn what’s true from other people and not from the divine? One thing I’ve noticed in my adult life is that people are often wrong and are often too proud to admit their mistakes, myself included.
Scientists have specialized equipment that you can’t use and is confidential that allows them to see and measure things that you can’t.
The crux of what was supposed to be science was that theories would be repeatable, measurable, and testable so that people could reach a consensus. If I make a claim and then hide the data or the instruments used to collect the data how can you trust me? Nasa claims the united states went to the moon several times but unfortunately, they lost all the data and instruments used for the space voyage. All that’s left is people’s words that they went, several pictures, and some videos. I know in modernity if I see something that looks off, I become very skeptical because I know tools like photoshop exist and that we have an amazing motion picture industry in the United States that has made such classics as “Jurassic park.” I thought Jurassic park looked very real when I was a kid and I also thought it was a great movie. Imagine my shock years later when it was revealed that dinosaurs looked like giant birds instead of reptiles. I guess scientists can be wrong sometimes without it being a huge deal. Anyway, often in “science” we are told to trust another person’s word instead of physical and measurable data. I think we can all understand why this is just as wrong as trusting “priests and imams.”
Science has led to important medical and technological marvels; religion has led to only death and destruction.
I think this is a point that we could find some middle ground on. It is true that science in the way of medical discoveries has been very important for humanity. The infant mortality rate (in the west) is at an all time low and life expectancy is much higher than it was in the middle-ages. However, this comes at a steep price. All around the world birth rates are dropping and older people are living longer. The repercussions of this are that there are less children and more elderly people which will end up leading to massive population drop offs in the future. Technologically speaking, the ancient Greeks and the Romans believed in several gods and prayed at a multitude of temples and still managed to create great inventions, many of them even practiced medicine and propagated the importance of basic hygiene. The Catholics were some of the first people to sail around the world and discover the Americas. At one point in time, every single scientist, poet, and artist was of some sort of religion, because there has never been a country or empire in the world that didn’t have a religion. Only in modern democracies do we see people start to propagate the idea of atheism, and these people still believe in God they just call it science instead.
Religion is opium for the masses, science is for the intelligent.
Religion is the glue that holds societies together. Without religion there is no society, no identity, and no moral system. What’s that you say? You can live a moral life without religion? Let me ask you this, are you sure about that? Are you sure you are living according to your own moral compass or are you living with the ghost of the Christian moral compass as your guide? Is feeding the hungry a good thing to do? What about taking from the rich and giving the poor? These are religious conceptions. You merely take them for granted to suit your own worldview. Furthermore, it is true that religion is important for lower IQ people, as a guide and as a way of life, but it’s also true that smart people practice religion too. Smart people understand that without religion a society will fall apart and rot from the inside. The more godless a society becomes the more animalistic it’s citizens and the more focus becomes based on the individual instead of what’s good for the community. Science is a perfect religious stand in because it allows you to feel much more important than you really are. The jokes about people who watch Rick and Morty are more real than we like to think. Science also is great for a capitalistic system in which the “smarter” you are the “better” you do. This is all smoke and mirrors however, because anyone who has lived in the real world knows that the way to get ahead is through connections and politics rather than how “smart” you are.
It’s okay to call religious people and people who believe in “conspiracy” theories dumb because my way of life is pre-approved by a “smarter” governing body.
I think this will be one of the last points I make here. I need everyone who is a “science” worshipper to understand something right now. Just because a group of people tell you something, and you believe it to the point of dogma, doesn’t mean you are smarter, better educated, or better than me or a “flat-earther” or anyone else. What you are is a slave and sheep. You follow around a leader without considering anything for yourself, without entertaining alternative possibilities, without doing your own research, and without thought. A mindless zombie consumer that wanders around aimlessly watching Bill Nye (but he has an honorary doctorate!) and sniffing your own farts. Your mentality is the same as the people you claim to be smarter than. Your religion is better than their religion because your priests are better, your way of life is more peaceful, and your religion is more permissive. Here’s the bottom line, you are a science worshipper because you are lazy and it’s easier to be a mindless consumer than a human being who has self-control and responsibility for his actions. A religious person lives with the idea that some day they will have to face up to the consequences of their actions in judgement of a superior being. A science worshipper believes that they need to signal the hardest against others right now because their judgment is every day. At any time, if they don’t signal hard enough, they could be called any number of mean things “flat-earther, science-denier, alt-right, racist, sexist etc.” and this would lead to the complete social break down of their life. There is nothing else for them after this, so this is their everything.
Two words: Peer review
Much like what I wrote above about a consensus, writing a paper and having someone else agree with it means absolutely nothing. You are arguing from the same point that two people read the bible and they both believe it’s true. What if the second person took money from the first person to agree? What if the second person is biased and read what the first person said and disagreed for no reason, even though the science really was sound? Are we expected to take these human creations as fact? We can’t do it for religions, but we certainly can for people in white coats right?
Science is not a monolith and scientists disagree all the time, make things up, and create illusions and spectacles for money. I can do just as good as a scientist at making up proofs and fake theories all day long. Here’s a theory, 85 percent of science is utter contrived nonsense. One last thin I want to mention here is that scientists get people to believe in things that are much more ridiculous than anything you can read in the Bible or Koran.
- You can hack your private parts off and become the opposite sex. This leads to many suicides and botched surgeries with people living painful tortured lives after it happens. This is much much worse than circumcision because at least after that you can still reproduce.
- Believing you are something makes you that thing, especially based on sexual feelings. See above, not great for mental health and disease spreading. Say what you will about commandments and religious laws but if they were followed correctly there would be far less STDS, out of wedlock births, and sexual mental disorders.
- People evolved from monkeys or some other animal. Although we discover mutations in creatures, we rarely see one species completely die out and get replaced with another. We are told dogs evolved from wolves and wolves are still around. I’m more inclined to believe this theory than most, but there are still more questions than answers, and the answers lead to even more complications.
- The earth spins around and we all stick to it. The earth doesn’t have walls like an amusement park ride or a bucket holding water. Anytime you spin something uncontained around it goes everywhere. Even if we do believe we stick to a spinning earth we need to consider our center of gravity and how we would stick.
- We’ve been to the moon, but we lost all the technical know how of how to get back. This is the equivalent of “I’ve talked to God, here’s the book he told me to present to you.” If there was some sort of prophet today, he could even present a doctored picture of God for the masses when they questioned.
- The earth is curved. Why don’t we need to build bridges that are curved? What about railway tracks?
- Mathematical proofs are enough to make projections. This is the worst one in my opinion. A mathematical or computer-generated proof means nothing and should never be taken seriously. There are too many variables in life to make projections like this and not nearly enough historical data. Comparing the temperature of 5000 BC to 2000 AD is a guess and should be treated as such.
I hope I’ve made my point clear and I know many will disagree with me and call me names but I’m really sick of hearing dogmatic born-again scientists on the internet coming around to try to convert everyone to their dopy religion that is based on less than nothing. You people say the most ridiculous things without any real proof and I’m sick of it. Go be hypocritical somewhere else.