February 27, 2013
Unfortunately I came to understand the importance of science a little late in life. But it's never too late to make a difference. I've realized that science really is "the poetry of reality". I grew up in a small town where it seemed that 99.9 percent of the population was catholic. I used to believe in the teachings of the religion but always questioned them. I used to think that "god" could hear my thoughts so when I would question "god", by coincidence and chance I would encounter an event that made it seem like a punishment or message directed to me. But that was all in my mind that made it seem that way. The "fear of god" was "in me". I stopped believing in any religious teachings when I was 15 years old, but somehow I still believed in a "god". At this time I believed that everything happened for a reason and that I shouldn't question things like purpose, life after death, and "god" itself. But after my brother committed suicide in 2005, and the loss of my three month old son from SIDS in 2009 (death is part of life so I accept it as reality) I couldn't help but fall deeper into the questions themselves. I wanted answers as to why things happened the way they did; why was "god" always challenging me? Little did I know, I just failed to understand how things happened the way they did. And that's okay. When I think back on the childhood events that I couldn't explain at the time; I have come to understand why and how things happened the way they did. It involves the events of both my parents and how they were raised that reflected onto me and my older siblings. Being the youngest out of four children, I had a view point that let me observe and learn from the others. Seeing how each one got in trouble for behavior that mimicked my parents. I hardly ever got in trouble. In a way, it was mind set to survive. Almost every day seemed like mental warfare. In the last three years or so, I have dwelled on my entire life from an observing perspective. Science (which is understanding life: past, present, and future) has helped me see life for what it really is. The events that happened in my life didn't happen because a "god" allowed it. They happened because reality allowed it. The laws of nature allowed energy to form into our earliest trace and then evolve into many different species. One of those species evolved into our current form and as people learned information on anything and everything, it got passed down from generation to generation. Leading all way to my grandparents; having my parents and teaching them whatever they knew. Whether it is religious nonsense or physical/mental abuse, kids don't know better when they are young; it's what they are taught that makes a difference in their understanding of life. If a parent teaches a child (intentional or not) to never wash their hands after using the toilet, that child will not wash their hands until they have learned why washing your hands is important. At that point, it's their decision to take what they've learned and apply it. The same thing can be said for religion; here's an example: Let's look at Santa Claus. The large old man that brings you gifts every Christmas- every year until the day you LEARN that he is not real. No longer are the gifts from Santa Claus. The only reason that you believed in Santa Claus is because you were TAUGHT to BELIEVE in him. You're a child, so of course you'd believe- you didn't know better. We're born into this world not knowing much of anything, especially the language that is being spoken to you as a baby and even that must be taught. To get to the point-believing in god is the same thing as believing in Santa Claus, the difference however, is that you can't prove god doesn't exist. Let's try this. Imagine a small town of children who were taught to believe in Santa Claus by a single adult that lived in a nearby forest. So once a year the town children woke to a gift next to their bed that the adult set there- never knowing that the adult was responsible for the gifts. They would only believe that it was Santa Claus. Time goes by and the children become adults and eventually have kids of their own. With time the adults teach their own children about Santa Claus and his gifts that he gives once a year and the requirements for them. Now those kids have kids and teach those kids the same beliefs. Eventually there is this populated city of all these people that all believe in the existence of this Santa Claus passing on this belief to the next generation continuing to another. The thing is, is that this would only continue as long as the people received the gifts. (The gifts being the fuel for the people’s belief) Of course, when the people would no longer receive gifts anymore, many people would question the existence of Santa Claus and others trying to come up with reasons to still believe in him causing confusion across the city. And at that point no one could prove that he ever did exist and would only argue about it. All that would remain is the believers and skeptics. Only the person who taught the belief would be able to solve that answer. The only thing the city people could do is put the pieces together which could take many decades and still not have the answer because there is no proof to disprove. This can easily be related to religion. Think about this: If a group of children were never taught to BELIEVE in god or religion, would they be any less human or intelligent than a person who was taught to BELIEVE? (Obviously not) You can teach a child or any person ABOUT religion and what it teaches but it's not required. I personally think that like my short story here, many religions are in the same boat but they are almost fail proof because you can't prove the existence of any gods for any religion. You can say that "I can prove my faith" but so can a kid that truly believes in Santa Claus. That kid could grow up to being 30 years old and still have that same strong faith just like a kid that is taught to believe in a religion. The more people that believe in the same thing makes it harder to deny the thing that is being believed. But slowly people are coming to the realization that religion is a hoax. It may teach good things such as courtesy and patience and morals but all of that can be taught without it as well. People may just not know how without the "wrath of god" standing behind them. It has taken us millions of years to understand everything we do now as an existing species and with the power of our brains (which allows us to comprehend our short lives and the universe around us) we can only grow to learn more. Just like learning about a religion we can learn about ourselves and everything in existence. Look at what we have accomplished as humans this far! Just in the last 100 years we have gone to space, created longer life spans by being aware of germs, created airplanes that allows us to fly (just like the birds we have envied throughout history), the internet, we have created small devices that allows us to communicate with anyone anywhere in the world via voice, text, and video and we have photos and data of other planets that our ancestors have only ever looked at in the night sky! Being born into this may make us not appreciate the things we have accomplished but it's there. All of this couldn't have been done had our ancestors not survived (and science/physics/biology, but I'm talking about everyone). And that is what we need to continue doing. Technology can and will help. Technology has grown so rapidly and is capable of many things (good or bad, it depends on how it's used.) We can use it to help fight illnesses, space travel, almost anything we can make sense of. (Even expanding the human life-span) It is not something to be feared, but something that should be understood. I'm sorry if this offends you, but like a priest preaching his faith, I am only expressing my understanding for the survival of the human race. What we teach will be passed on to future generations. It is important that we understand what it means to survive as a species. That's why I am trying to make the biggest difference in my life to get in a better mindset and position (career-wise) that will allow a great future for my offspring and the future generations to come. I'm sure that to many I may seem out of place (and maybe I am) but I do think it's important that everyone understands the importance of survival and the knowledge required for it. Thanks for reading.
The excitement is building! LightSail is counting down to our test launch, set for May 20—and you’re invited.