The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Contradiction or affirmation?

I read a heart warming article on Sunday in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel entitled "A lifetime of scientific discovery has reinforced man's faith in God" [read]. It's an interesting opinion piece about the guy who had a big hand in the recent discovery of a possible earth like planet called "Kepler-22b." He didn't think up the method used to discover planets in distant solar systems but he believed in the method thought up by man named William Borucki. They both worked at NASA. Borucki "came up with the transit method of studying planets, which involves measuring dips in the brightness of a star when a planet crosses in front of it. The planet itself is not seen, only its effect on the star."

In hindsight, of course, this makes perfect sense. But, apparently, it wasn't always obvious. That's where David Koch came in. He believed in the idea and he pushed it.

Koch suffers from ALS. And much of the opinion piece talks about this. It is interesting to me that Stephen Hawking also suffers from a disease related to ALS. But the main thrust of the story is Koch's belief in God. One might think it odd that a scientist who searches for life on other worlds. It was interesting also that most of the comments were about his belief.

I think we are at a point where we are stereotyping those who believe as much as we have stereotyped those who do not. From the comments, I get the impression that some see believers as fundamentalist with strict adherence to the biblical stories of creation and such. Conversely, non-believers are seen more as anti-theists than atheists. I suppose that is the nature of human beings, we like to "pigeonhole" things and people; simplify the complex. While doing that, many of us pretend that believers live in a "black and white" world while the non-believers claim to see the almost infinite shades of gray.

While I am atheist, I am impressed by this man's faith as he is slowly becoming less and less physically able to do things. We should all be so strong. And so willing to look beyond our beliefs (or lack thereof) in trying to understand the universe and each other.


Sightings said...

If I had ALS I'd believe in god too, real quick.  But I don't see how anyone can be an atheist. What makes your so sure of yourself? I'm agnostic myself . . . but then, I have a history of not being able to make decisions.

Douglas4517 said...

A fair question, Tom. Let me ask you some questions:

Are you superstitious (won't walk under a ladder, think luck is affected by a broken mirror, etc)?
Do you believe in ghosts, goblins, witches, and Santa Claus?

If you can firmly answer "no" to those then you can understand how someone can be atheist.

I do understand agnosticism, it's that unwillingness to let go. It's harder for some than others. Some fall back into a strong faith, others go the other way and let go completely.