So I wanted to talk about which misconceptions, be it definitions of atheism, scientific ignorance or what have you. Which ones do you hear all the time or rarely that really dig under your skin and tickle your insanity nerves?
For me it would have to be big bang cosmology. Whenever someone says that "they can't believe that the universe came from nothing." makes me want to shout and let it all out, I can really do without that. It would either have to be that or the scientific illiteracy that goes along the lines of "the big bang was an explozionn."
So what is it for you? Thanks!
@Kris K. tell your Dad that unless it's gold, frankincense or myrrh, its not a Christian Christmas present.
So I guess the frozen year's supply of Haggis I got you needs to go back --?
Arch, that's for Hogmanay! And I want the 'gravy' they always serve with haggis.
Of course it is - I should have known that --
The concept of the "Big Bang" is beyond my capacity to really understand in any deep sense. But it's a moot point, since nobody has ever provided me with a better explanation of how it all got here. Just today, I received, for Xmas, Sean Carroll's new book, The Particle at the End of the Universe. Perhaps, after I've read that, I'll have a little better grasp of the idea.
I've read the entire Bible, cover-to-cover, and it didn't even mention the "Big Bang," much less "how it all got here," other than God did it. But the Bible doesn't have a foreword that explains how God got here. So let me postulate one: I'll call it The Big Fart Theory.
The thing is, the Big Bang theory doesn't mention the universe arising from nothingness. All it mentions is that the universe began in a hot dense state a long time ago. There's not enough data to suggest that it came from nothing or that it was even created at all. That's why it hits my nerves when people suggest that it entails the universe coming from nothing.
So one more great attempt to synthesis a deep vision for the creation of the universe.
Ok, I am waiting. 'The Big Fart Theory', does it have lots of gas, a large mexican food emporium before the universe, a gestation period before the event, and a cast of characters? Is it a tragedy or a satirical farse?
I remember a one liner out of the "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Universe', something like, 'it has been suggested by many philosophers, that the creation of the universe was clearly a bad idea'.
From political activists (far right and far left), and from right wing xians, I've heard enough nonsense that it no longer gets under my skin. For me, saying "The First Amendment protects a lot of stuff" has a calming effect.
What fires me up is the religious-like certainty I have long heard about the big bang, even from people who know of Werner Heisenberg's uncertainty and Kurt Godel's undecidability.
A few years ago, a professor in a writing course spoke of deconstruction. His words stirred my interest and the research I did persuaded me that deconstruction (close reading) does for language what the work of Heisenberg and Godel is doing for physics and mathematics.
It's certainty that causes people to burn other people at stakes. (That's a metaphor; don't read it literally.)
Yes a little doubt, could really cause a sea change in radical politics.
I detest the term "Intelligent Design". It is such a ridiculous concept that the word "intelligent" is completely counter-indicative. Theistic Design or Creationism cover the fantasy well enough. The word 'Intelligence" should be reserved for those who actually use it.
They had to come up with a new name so they could continue to try to push the bullshit in the schools--"Creationism" had been ruled unconstitutional. However, the Dover trial of "Intelligent Design" had the same result.
The most honest name for it is is something along the lines of "Pseudoscientific iguana crap" but I doubt that would get past school boards.