20 – A Word of Thanks

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Religion: “Excuse me. Mr. Science?”

Science: “Huh? Religion? What are you doing here?” 

Religion: “Well, you left the door open.” 

Science: “I most certainly did not! The likes of you aren’t welcome around here.” 

Religion: “Sorry, but I can assure you the door was open. Maybe you didn’t notice?” 

Science: “Well, it certainly wasn’t intentional. We have no need for you. Especially since we waste so much time disputing your misplaced beliefs. Much damage has been done in your name.” 

Religion: “And none has been done in yours? Who’s designing these horrendous weapons? Certainly not me. Killer viruses? Nuclear missiles? Deadly chemicals? Your destructive technology keeps spreading around the world. Doesn’t that worry you? You are scientists, after all. Have you examined the logical consequences of your actions?”

Science: “Of course we’re worried! We don’t promote the use of these weapons. The vast majority of us are peace-loving.”

Religion: “Then why build them in the first place?” 

Science: “Look, this is an old discussion. Let’s not weary ourselves with pointless bickering.”

Religion: “Pointless?” 

Science: “Why are you here anyway?” 

Religion: “Well, I wanted to thank you.”

Science: “Oh, this is going to be good…”

Religion: “No, really! It’s just a matter of time before these nuclear weapons are detonated in a major city somewhere, killing millions. And your custom-made killer viruses will soon be running rampant. So, I just wanted to thank you.” 

Science: “For what?”

Religion: “Well, with all the havoc and destruction you’re creating, religious attendance will skyrocket! Things have never looked better! Death and disease will be everywhere. Widespread hopelessness will abound. People will be praying like never before!” 

Science: “Praying to whom? Your nonexistent God? Your God of false hopes and broken promises?”

Religion: “Huh. I thought that was your God.” 

Science: “We don’t have a God. We’ve no need for your fantasies.” 

Religion: “Not sure about that. You act like your own gods, with your smug conviction that God doesn’t exist, and your arrogant assumption that all the mysteries of the Universe will soon be within your grasp. That sure sounds like your own religion. And the way things are heading, you’re going to need one.”

Science: “Sorry. We want no part of your incoherent beliefs and fake science. Objectivity is the only true path for the salvation of humanity.” 

Religion: “Okay. If you say so. But lately, it seems that despite your amazing technology, basic fundamental science has hit a wall.

Science: “What? Are you serious? There are more scientists alive today than ever! Look around you. Are you blind? Can’t you see the progress we’ve made improving the lives of billions of people? Or do you propose we go back to the Stone Age?” 

Religion: “No, no. You’re missing my point. I’m speaking about the foundations of science. You know, basic scientific discoveries? Like gravity, magnetism, Newton’s laws of motion, Einstein’s relativity? It seems that for the past hundred years or so, you’ve reached some kind of limit. No new fundamental principles have emerged. Doesn’t that bother you?” 

Science: “No, it only bothers philosophers and other dilettantes like you. We have better things to do.” 

Religion: “Like making up fantasies about strings that wiggle in 23 dimensions? Or parallel universes? Is that really science? Sounds more like religion to me. And your explanation for quantum mechanics seems to be lacking. While you’ve clearly mastered its principles, you seem unable to explain the logic behind how it works.”

Science: “The mathematics is what matters. We know the math behind quantum mechanics, and we obviously know it works, so what’s your point?” 

Religion: “My point is that you’re like a child who’s discovered how to use a complicated toy, but has no understanding of how it’s built. You’ve hit an intellectual wall. A limit. Maybe your brains weren’t meant to truly understand quantum mechanics. For the past 100 years, you seem to have run out of fundamental discoveries of basic science, despite there being more scientists alive today than ever. Your latest theories lack experimental proof. Silly vibrating strings in 23 dimensions and parallel universes are your own religion. Have you considered that maybe there’s a simple explanation for your lack of basic progress? That perhaps there might be limits to human intelligence? That, biologically, your brains aren’t designed to be all-knowing Gods? That maybe you’re just another animal on this planet? An animal with limitations, just like all of God’s creatures?”

Science: “And that’s your open door? Is that why you’re here? To tear us down? And substitute what? Your mystical nonsense? Your false hopes in nonexistent miracles? Your rejection of objectivity?”

Religion: “No. Nothing of the sort. I’m proposing a truce. Namely, that perhaps you might acknowledge your limitations. Accept the true, objective reality that human minds are simply not built to understand all the mysteries of the universe. That there are limits. And, accepting those limits, perhaps you might consider a bit of humility. Even a bit of fear.” 

Science: “Fear? Fear of what? Your wrathful God?” 

Religion: “No. Fear of yourselves. Of what you’ve created. Perhaps fear will motivate you to accept the limits of your intelligence, and allow you to understand that there’s more to Life than mere science. That, in order to solve the problems which your out-of-control technology has created, you will need more than your intellect.” 

Science: “You don’t understand. Our intellect is all we have.” (fade of picture of Buzzy in background)

Religion: “Well, from my perspective, your intellect is sorely lacking. Something else is needed to bring humanity together in global harmony. To realize that the path you’re on is a dead end. To stop denying the reality of your current condition: global warming, nuclear weapons, scientifically created killer viruses, chemical weapons, even toxic social media.”

Science: “And you propose what? Religious fantasies? False hopes? Nonsensical beliefs? Rejection of reality?” 

Religion: “Reality also includes what I’ve just described. You accuse Religion of having caused much human suffering. Perhaps that’s true. But so has Science. Yet Science has also brought great benefits to humankind. Might you perhaps accept that Religion has also brought some benefits? And, understanding the benefits of religion, perhaps you might put away your hostility, and embrace me?”

Science: “Embrace you?” 

Religion: “Yes. I stand here with open arms. Accept what you will of me. Love me for what I am, despite my flaws. Hold me close. Like all lovers, we must accept our flaws as well as our charms. Accepting me is not a rejection of scientific objectivity. It’s an acceptance of human limitations. That your intellect is not sufficient to solve all the problems that humanity is confronted with. Something else is needed. Perhaps something less objective, but closer to the heart.” 

Science: “Hmm… Not sure about all of this, but maybe I’ll think it over.”

Religion: “Don’t wait too long, or the horrors that I’ve described may be upon you sooner than you think. I will be here, as always. After all, you did leave the door open. And that’s a good thing, because it’s your only hope. If you close the door to me, then all hope is gone for you, and for all of humanity.”

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