strange spars of knowledge and dimmed wares of price

Does the Universe Have a Purpose?

Posted by Sabura on March 17, 2013

featuring Neil deGrasse Tyson


4 Responses to “Does the Universe Have a Purpose?”

  1. Great video. A long time ago I saw him giving a lecture where he talked about the human body and the misconception that it is some remarkable feat of engineering. One of his best points was the interesting design that we use the same orifice to take in food, water and air, and talk, thus ensuring that every time we do any one of these there is a decent chance we’ll choke to death. On that, even the design of dolphins and whales is superior.

    Still, over the years, I’ve heard a lot of people talk about the miracle of the human body. I try not to be too snarky in my response, but it’s hard. As a medical transcriptionist and a person with Crohn’s disease, I’ve seen the far less miraculous side of it. And try getting out of your medical bills using a Bible as a warranty card. It doesn’t even work in the Catholic hospitals.

    • Sabura said

      Oh, you got to see him live, I’m envious. Dat voice, mmm.

      Yeah, I’ve seen that esophagus/trachea design mess used as a refutation of Ray Comfort’s (the banana fallacy man) “intelligent design” argument, for one. Such a hoot, those creationists.

      • Oops, I didn’t mean to imply I saw him live. I saw a YouTube video. I wish I got to see him live though.

        A very close friend of mine believes in Creationism and we always debate about it. He doesn’t totally refute evolution, he just sees it as a theory. He’s a really smart guy too. I don’t get it. One night we were all talking about it and he was saying that evolution has holes in it. I argued that it has mystery spots where we don’t know what came between, but I don’t fill in the blanks on my family tree with random historical figures I’d like to be related to nor do I think that represents that genealogy itself is a fraud. I asked him what the alternative was and whether every animal that’s ever been came into existence at the same time. He implied – though even he seemed to realize he was writing himself into a corner – that God drops off new animals every now and then, citing “new” animals like the giraffe. All of us (including him) got a good laugh out of that and pointed out that giraffes aren’t new. So now we make jokes about a zookeeper coming in one morning and finding the first pair of giraffes in an enclosure. “Oh, God stopped by last night with another delivery.”

        It’s weird too, because evolution isn’t really incompatible with a belief in God, so I’m not sure why everyone is so opposed to it in this country. Except for people who think the Bible is a literal record and people rode around on dinosaurs. But at that point every single scientific fact and basic observation of the universe is incompatible, so evolution is the least of their problems.

        • Sabura said

          This and this, squared: “…because evolution isn’t really incompatible with a belief in God” and “But at that point every single scientific fact and basic observation of the universe is incompatible, so evolution is the least of their problems.” Exactly. Right-winger Christian fundamentalists have an obvious aversion to facts. To paraphrase the saying: Reality has a well-known liberal and scientific bias. Then there are the anomalies like your friend (I’ve known a few like that too). I guess it’s similar to how I used to believe in astrology; even the most intelligent and logical of us can have some weird, contradictory beliefs. I’m totally a queen of rationalization when I want to be.

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