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“Now I Don’t Know The First Thing About [physics]…”

*Of course one would sing the title of this entry a la The Streets “Not Addicted.” 

At any rate, I do know generally little about Physics.  I do, however, buy it.  I mean, I think science, as a basis for culture…you know, all of that old Enlightenment thinking that relies on Reason and Nature…is a good thing.  I relish that we know water boils at 212 degrees Fahrenheit, not that some god somewhere sneezed, or that the cook is a magician, or whatever.  At least science can be tested, right?  That’s why the whole Large Hadron Collider (LHC) stuff that’s been in the news is so exciting to me.

You see, in the country in which I live, the United States of America, the Christian Nationalist movement is off the charts.  In events like Republican Presidential Nomination debates, when questioned on whether or not the individuals involved believe in evolution, only a few raise their hands.  (Please note, this isn’t Ed and Larry discussing the world over a few bottles of Coke in the garage…this is in front of the country and world, and these people are serious.)  In some circles, it’s hip to be an evangelical who believes that dinosaurs and humans existed at the same time and that the earth is AT MOST 6,000 years old.  And again, these people are serious.

It’s because of this that I find reports of the LHC on every newscast so fantastic.  Physicists are on TV discussing how old they reckon the earth is and everybody is taking the big bang at face value for a second.  Everyone is acting like we’re actually living in a post-Enlightenment world for a few moments!  Are the nuts still around who think this is all bunk?  Yes.  Why are they so deluded?  Probably because if they take away any piece of the story they were taught, they immediately see it all begin to crumble.  Think of it this way: If evolution exists, then Adam and Eve didn’t exist.  And, if Adam and Eve didn’t exist then the whole basis for a worldview based on the concept of original sin is out the window.  Likewise, if Noah didn’t ACTUALLY take two of every animal, then the rest of the bible can’t be true either.  I once read an interview with a Snake Handling Christian from Appalachia who, when asked “Why do you do this?” responded with the following: “If we don’t do it, Jesus is a liar.”  That’s a lot of responsibility for a small group of nut jobs in a converted gas-station-made-church to shoulder.  Indeed, it’s probably their reason to wake up each day.  They are, of course, an extreme example.  Most Christians don’t handle serpents.  Many do, however, have the same structure of belief that leads to that behavior.  No matter how impossible, insane and ridiculous the Biblical precept is, they have to go with it, because if they don’t, they have to throw the rest out.

It’s because of this that I find all of the news regarding the LHC so wonderful.  Hopefully it will be in the news for a long time.


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