Conversations with a Deity

Being a Good Audience

By Vanamee

I don't think anyone appreciates beauty in as pure a form as a mathematician. Yet nobody appreciates the subtle beauty of the universe as much as a physicist, and nobody appreciates the immense grandeur of it quite so much as an astronomer.

Where most organized doctrinal systems* err is in describing an arbitrary structure of the universe, and then getting upset when the real universe around us doesn't match the structure.

The universe is what it is, and it's just plain silly to argue with it. You're free to believe anything you want, but if you're going to insist on believing something that clearly isn't so, you should at least have the manners to refrain from pushing your beliefs on the rest of us. I can't see any reason why I should have to take seriously the opinions of a person who thinks that the world is flat. It's just too easy to see for myself that it's curved.

The same holds true in cases where the evidence may be too specialized or subtle for me to see unaided. I may not have crawled over the rocks in Africa digging out fossils, but I've read reports of those who have. Evolution obviously happens, whatever the mechanism. The universe has plainly been around a lot longer than ten thousand years.

But I digress. To truly appreciate the universe, we must first learn to understand it. In order to do that, we must study what it is. Of the three reasons why we are here, this is the most important.

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* No, I am not going to say it.
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