Tuesday, December 14, 2010

for gods sake shut up

OK it's starting to get on my nerves now: this constant sniping of scientists at non-scientific belief systems. I can entirely understand their outrage at the disproportionate amount of media coverage that creationism seems to be getting; I can even sympathise to a lesser extent with their attacks on alternative medicine, homeopathy, crystals, colours etc. as it is pretty hypocritical to shun modern medicine in favour of ancient folklore until you need major surgery to save your life and then happily accept it. But now Hawking has had a go at philosophy and I listened to a Radio 4 programme in which Brian Cox echoed Hawking's mantra that physics will eventually tell you everything about the universe and there really isn't any need for anything else.

Now, however clever they are, Hawking, Dawkins, Cox et al are human beings - they have the same physiology as me and everyone else - two eyes which see a certain spectrum and a brain that is essentially the same. So if they come to a conclusion about the nature of the universe, it is based on information received through the same sensory apparatus and using reasoning based on the same neural platform as everybody else. Also in a wider sense the information available to them is the same as everybody else - it's not like they are party to some dark secret that is being kept from the public at large; scientific results are public property so if I had the time and the will power I could read every journal they have. So why do I strongly disagree with the idea that scientific reasoning is explaining the universe and that on its current course will one day explain everything?

Because at every stage in its evolution science has uncovered more questions than it has answered. Yes, it's been a very successful tool for allowing us humans to do the things that us humans have always done: eat, fight and fornicate (sorry nicked that one) in ever greater numbers and at ever greater speed, but it has not got us even one step closer to understanding the point of it all or even if there is a point of it all. Science can't even predict one tiny event like whether an atom will decay or if a drop of water will roll off one side of a leaf or another - not because it has incomplete data, processing power or equations that haven't been written yet, but because the universe is chaotic - things are inherently unpredictable. It can't tell you what is real and what isn't: if there are multiple versions of the universe - what is the scientific law which decrees that I see this one?

It can't prove or disprove whether there is a god, even though there are those who are doing their damnedest to try and show that it can. It can't explain consciousness. It is completely subjective even though it talks as if it objectively 'looking in' it actually 'peering out'. Saying that science can explain everything is like taking a photo and then saying that 'OK you can only see a few things in it but if you could enlarge it enough you would see everything' , ignoring the fact that something would only have to be one foot to the side and it will never appear in the photo, that there are smells and gases and heat etc. that aren't in the photo, however finely detailed it is.

Science is one tiny narrow viewpoint created by a self serving species at one blink in time on a crumb flying through space. Not only doesn't it answer any of the important questions, it doesn't even know what they are.

If I can work that out with my average human brain then so can Hawking, Dawkins, Cox and co. and I'm quite sure they have - why else would they feel so threatened by a few noisy creationists who most of us are quite happy to ignore.

Did you hear about the homeopathic riot? There was only one rioter but he did the damage of thousands. (nicked that as well)


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