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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Faith and Science

Headlines in the Washington Post (Health and Science Section):  Einstein, the sky is falling! Or not.

Joel Achenbach wrote an excellent article on the excitement and turmoil in the scientic community regarding the finding of a particle that may be faster than light.

These findings could undermine our present worldview and doctrine on the origins and workings of the universe now so dependent on Einstein's verified theory of the constant speed of light.  But whether these findings, now subject to rigorous testing, turn out to be so or not, the whole episode demonstrates the superiority of science and its method.

Scientists, professionals and we amateurs (remember: "amateur" means lover of ____), who are open to and even excited by the possibility of the overturn of scientific doctrine, demonstrate a faith in the "unseen" that outstrips any religion.  This is a faith that is not identified with its beliefs, doctrines, dogmas, rituals.  It is an openness to wonder more than I have seen in any god-talking preacher or politician who claims to be a believer.

They who cater to and therefore reinforce old beliefs based on some ancient book or authority or private untestable revelation are the real "unbelievers." They who would stop or turn back human imagination and understanding by their "true beliefs" destroy the wonder, mystery, and, yes, holy in humanity and the universe.

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