Faith and Fact

There used to be no distinction between religion and science. There was only knowledge. Creation stories, even when involving the existence of giant turtles, a war between higher beings or an omnipotent god, were steeped in as much of what our ancestors considered fact as allowably possible for their time. Our early indigenous tribes and start-up societies did not debate over a distinction between religious belief and that which was scientific. In a sense, everything was scientific. The simple act of examining one’s circumstance, and making sense of it in accordance to previously attained knowledge is the very essence of scientific inquiry; the essence of deductive thought and reasoning. Just as one practices scientific method under controlled circumstances through testing and prediction today, it is without argument that all knowledge even before our current scientific standards ran through an identical process. The way our kind first learned what was poisonous, what was tasty, what was healthy, how to create a fire, how to extend our life expectancy and the ways in which we created our earliest inventions (even those as simple as the wheel) involved repetition, setting up controlled parameters and the redundant act of trial and error. Science, as a word, surpasses lab coats, evolutionary theory and the new millennium. It is the process in which we attain and compile knowledge. Science, knowledge fact and explanation are all cousins in the same family, branches of the same tree. Granted, today our procedural standards for verifying new facts and coming to a consensus of what should be accepted as truth and what shouldn’t be in the scientific realm has become much more stringent and rigorous, but that is simply because we today have accumulated such an abundant amount of information. Our predecessors far in the past did not have the ability to cross reference facts with previously discovered facts to the lengths that we can. And thus, they came to different conclusions. They examined their landscapes, the animals and plant life they knew of, the personalities and moral biases of the people they were raised by and surrounded with. They used what they discovered and applied it to what they were already aware of, and told stories of gods that looked like them or resembled the animals in their region, gods with human personality traits similar to those of their siblings and acquaintances. Surely, no tribe’s origin stories incorporated animals and environmental phenomena foreign to the land they resided. One can even find ideological differences, differences in opinion concerning what’s right and what’s wrong, in the stories and texts from region to region (a tribe that practices cannibalism differs in some cases ideologically from one that is vegetarian, for instance). Each society taught and accepted their stories as truth, and as science. As fact. The lessons learned were reliable and relevant for their time. However, as humanity grew, our frame of reference and knowledge base did as well. The ancient Egyptians who worshipped “God’s Eye” had already discovered micro organisms and celestial bodies beyond human site. They examined human biology and used the resources they had in their time to culminate electricity and quite a few other technologies, all the while remaining what we would consider very religious. And as advanced as we were then, we have continued to grow and learn in the several millenniums that have passed since. The growth and eternal vastness of our accumulative knowledge on a whole is completely natural to our evolution, and frankly quite beautiful. It is from this profound beauty of self-discovery that I praise science and a constant thirst for knowledge. One’s theoretical and opinion-based conclusions about the meaning of life and consciousness should not impede our collective growth. The problem is that somewhere in our recent history we have placed a firm distinction between God and Science. Our unified intellectual growth has come to a near dead stop as we focus more on smashing our opposing belief systems together than on continuing to grow. The god or origin story you may subscribe to should not denounce your thirst to learn. If you were to stumble across some information that threw your current beliefs into question, you should be all the more passionate and interested to learn, to PROVE or DISPROVE one stance or another, rather than denounce and wipe from memory. From a religious point of view, all knowledge attained through scientific discovery is only a testament to how incredible your god is. The more you discover and the further you allow science and thought to take you, the more praise and appreciation you should grow for life. Your god or your religion is not under attack by the quest for knowledge, the urge to learn. To think critically of your surroundings, to not accept anything at face value, to cross reference your bible with other scientific sources is not to denounce your relationship with our creator. Science and Atheist, contrary to popular belief, do not arrive hand in hand. Who are these people who do not believe in evolution? And all in the name of a literal interpretation of their 2000 year old text… Do they also not believe in fossils? Or microscopic germs? These are not questions of belief, these are matters of fact; Things we have discovered. A fact’s absence from the bible does not take away from its existence in reality, nor does it denounce your holy text. Perhaps it is appropriate to reference that ancient book with your current knowledge base and come to your own conclusions. Maybe the magically depicted god and the stories you believe in so literally have scientific explanations. Perhaps God’s knowledge and power is mathematical and scientific, but magical to the limited perspectives of our predecessors. Tales that described sea monsters in recent human history have since turned out to be describing volcanoes. Giant fish turned out to be giant mammals that we call blue whales today. (God Himself was chronicled in the Old Testament to have visited us in what today could be described as a spacecraft…) The terms and analogies used so many millenniums ago should be read with reference to the times in which they were written. Maybe there are deeper explanations today for those words. Don’t let stubbornness or fear of change keep you in the dark. Many of us may have different individual beliefs (and you are entitled to them), but we all share the same facts. Just Sayin’.

@MindOfSepTo

-This was NevR supposed to happen.

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