Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Creationism, Intelligent Design, whatever you call it

The universe is, from where I sit and considering what little I know about it, a remarkable place. Honestly, thinking about its vastness, and its immense age, and the fact that it's still apparently expanding at the speed of light (which I can't even imagine), and the fact that we even exist here on our little minuscule, inconsequential corner of a solar system that is itself minuscule and inconsequential in the grand scheme of things - well, honestly it gives me a headache.

Now I would love for there to be a simple explanation for how all of this came to be. We are told it all began with the "Big Bang" - what caused the big bang, and of what I wonder, and where did all that matter come from to begin with? And who wrote the laws of physics, anyway? How could random chance produce an organism as complex as man - or an amoeba, for that matter? And what force gave "life" to it all? Come on, people, I need some answers here!

Of course one possible explanation, one that is held dear by many, maybe most, of the inhabitants or our little orb is that there is some higher power, a Supreme Being maybe, who somehow directed the forces that produced the Universe as we know it (and I suspect what we don't know is vastly more abundant that what we do know). I for one would love for this to be the case - it neatly explains all the things that can't possibly be explained otherwise and removes all the anxiety about our worth as part of the big picture. It would truly be comforting to know that the human race is a product of some intentional plan. If we are that special to the force that created the whole shebang, then surely we will continue to exist for eternity, right? I'll bet the dinosaurs thought that, too.

But here's my problem with the whole creator/intelligent design/call-it-what-you- will line of thinking - where did he/she/it come from? Believe in a Supreme Being if you like, but even if it's true it doesn't answer the question which is, what was there before our universe came into being?

But random chance - really? Here's what I think - we won't be around as a species long enough to even begin to answer the question - or to even learn what the real question is. If we don't blow ourselves up or poison our planet to the point of making it uninhabitable, I'll bet there an asteroid with our name on it headed in this direction from the far reaches of the galaxy.

Or maybe it will all be made clear when we depart this life and move on to whatever is next. I just don't know, but I think it's a good reason to have a drink.

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