Wednesday, June 07, 2006

06/06/06 06:06:06, devil, 666, and Cosmic Variance

This article was posted on 06/06/06 at 06:06:06 pm. What does it all mean? Why is the devil associated with the number 666? Is it because the sum of codes of letters in the word "HITLER" is 666 if "A" is 100 and "Z" is 125?

Anti-Christs

For example, I think that it means that Clifford Johnson was expelled from CosmicVariance not because of his numerous relaxed articles about jazz, wine, food, flowers, gardening, and shopping, but because his tolerant approach to Christianity was unacceptable for his fellow bloggers who were always actually in charge of that blog.

Since the moment when Clifford left, the readers of Cosmic Variance could have read some truly profound ;-) articles such as
• The Purpose Driven Humvee claiming that the Christians plan to exterminate most other groups, according to a video game
• The Intelligent Designer Speaks with a silly interview with a silly guy - they must obviously think that it is more important than an interview with Feynman, for example - what makes the interview valuable is probably the reference to ID
• Pat Robertson Is a Monster One Way or Another about Pat's protein drink and the hypothesis that he imagines gays during leg-pressing - guess why Mark Trodden proposes this explanation of his otherwise unjustifiable attacks against the famous believer
• Church-Going about a talk "God does not exist" in a church.

Quite a lot of fanatical anti-religious bigotry for one week. Well, I personally think that one does not have to know much to say the sentence "God does not exist". The blogosphere is literally flooded with blogs that contain almost nothing else than the assertions that "God does not exist" and "Christians, Republicans, and creationists are wrong and dumb" - all these Pharyngulas and similar blogospherical vermin.

Fanatical atheists

Although I am an atheist, I estimate the intellectual value of these blogs and their readership to be approximately equal to zero. They are religiously convinced that they must be better people just because they believe that God does not exist. I have no idea where this belief comes from. It is just another religion, and if I had to choose among this religion and Christianity, I might choose Christianity. It seems obvious to me that these blogs are popular because their mostly stupid readers are permanently being told "you're great and smart just because you believe in no God". One should not be surprised that they like it.

A similar system, of course, works at "Not Even Wrong" where the comparably dumb readers are led to believe that they're great as soon as they believe that there must be something wrong with string theory although the author has not yet told us what it is supposed to be. There are many examples of ideologically blinded, one-dimensional blogs that simply praise their readers for knowing the "ultimate truth" summarized in one ideological sentence and never provoke them to think.

Religion is not equal to bad science

Although I agree that religion sometimes tries to take over many realms of human activity that should belong to science, I also think that religion and science have common roots and that religion remains an important source of people's confidence and the moral values and the stability of whole societies. General, context-free attacks against all Christians are simply beyond my understanding, to put it very politely.

I am in favor of explaining the scientific stupidity of a person who believes that the Earth was created 6,000 years ago whenever this becomes an important question, but I am totally against demonizing people just for their being Christians.

God and cosmology

In my understanding of cosmology, God remains the symbol of the Big Bang or the Hartle-Hawking state at the beginning - the moment of Creation - and He is someone who defends us from various untestable and uncontrollable theories-not-laws based on eternal inflation and similar mess - theories that ultimately depend on an infinite amount of information which makes them unscientific in my humble opinion.

This technical definition of God - a conceptual finiteness of the input ideas, primordial forms of matter, and assumptions - is, in my opinion, a necessary condition for every theory that includes cosmology to be counted as a scientific one.