Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The center cannot hold

Most secular scientists doubtless scoff at geoncentrism. They ridicule "YEC" Christians like John Byl who so much as attempt to find merit in the idea.

I'm not at all defending geocentrism. However, the secular scientific view taken to an extreme is far more scoff-worthy than Byl's view. Worse, perhaps, it's ultimately despairing.

Douglas Adams has an amusing description of the standard secular view in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy:

Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the Western Spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun. Orbiting this at a distance of roughly ninety-eight million miles is an utterly insignificant little blue-green planet whose ape-descended life forms are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea.

Richard Dawkins puts it more matter-of-factly:

The human race has had a number of set-backs. We learnt from Galileo that the Earth was not the centre of the universe; Darwin did the same thing for living creatures. We once thought we were the pinnacle of creation, made in God’s own image, but we now know we are cousins of 10 million other species - a tiny twig in a vast bush of branching twigs buried somewhere in the depths of this bush; there is nothing special in the order of humans in creation.

Neil deGrasse Tyson has said:

Recognize that the very molecules that make up your body, the atoms that construct the molecules, are traceable to the crucibles that were once the centers of high mass stars that exploded their chemically rich guts into the galaxy, enriching pristine gas clouds with the chemistry of life. So that we are all connected to each other biologically, to the earth chemically and to the rest of the universe atomically. That’s kinda cool! That makes me smile and I actually feel quite large at the end of that. It’s not that we are better than the universe, we are part of the universe. We are in the universe and the universe is in us.

As such, we're merely self-aware stardust on a pale blue dot known as the USS Spaceship Earth hurtling thousands of miles per hour further and further into the black.

Apparently this makes people like Dawkins and Tyson feel warm and fuzzy inside.

Likewise, the following video with Richard Feynman's voiceover is beautiful in many respects, and Feynman himself may very well not have been frightened but in fact in awe of the beauty of living in such a universe:

However, other secular intellectuals weren't as sanguine about the idea. Take Bertrand Russell for example:

Such, in outline, but even more purposeless, more void of meaning, is the world which Science presents for our belief. Amid such a world, if anywhere, our ideals henceforward must find a home. That Man is the product of causes which had no prevision of the end they were achieving; that his origin, his growth, his hopes and fears, his loves and his beliefs, are but the outcome of accidental collocations of atoms; that no fire, no heroism, no intensity of thought and feeling, can preserve an individual life beyond the grave; that all the labours of the ages, all the devotion, all the inspiration, all the noonday brightness of human genius, are destined to extinction in the vast death of the solar system, and that the whole temple of Man's achievement must inevitably be buried beneath the debris of a universe in ruins - all these things, if not quite beyond dispute, are yet so nearly certain, that no philosophy which rejects them can hope to stand. Only within the scaffolding of these truths, only on the firm foundation of unyielding despair, can the soul's habitation henceforth be safely built.

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