On modern magic

I do understand very well if you can’t see the difference between, say, homeopathy and actual science. I may even understand that you can put creation myths on the same level as biology—if we converse long enough for me to get to know you and your background, that is.

Now, I trust science because the scientific process is a gauntlet consisting of criticism and double-checking and, let’s face it, often also actual nasty cynicism. Anything that survives decades or even centuries of that, deserves my attention. Understand that scientists are people like you and me with families and careers and all that, who sometimes really, really do not want something to be true on a primeval level.

The Big Bang Theory is one of these things, for example. There is a subset of the scientific community which hates the theory with a passion. I mean, for it to be true, it is required for 95 % of the universe to be unknown to us! The name itself, “Big Bang Theory”, is a testament to how preposterous an idea all of it is, a derogatory term for an out-there idea.

But you know what? For all that, nobody has ever been able to prove it wrong in decades of attempts. In addition, parts of it turned out to be objectively right. The part of biology that creationism attempts to discredit has such a history, too. Much more of it is objectively right, and the fight over it goes back way further, runs way deeper. The theory of natural selection has always had a societal part to it, too, you see. Transcient science, if you will.

To me there’s a few elements to it. I have thought about the science I support. Deeply. If you want to convince me of something else, you can, but you will have to do more than just tell me that something is true. You will have to show me evidence and then make me understand the value of that evidence.

Now, we can turn this around, of course: Why should you trust scientists more than, say, high priests? It’s all magic and beyond our understanding anyway. Homeopathy, evolution, Big Bang, creation. All on the same level, none accessible to the layman, right?

Maybe, but some of these things have successfully run the gauntlet already. Others haven’t and, very often, refuse to. Still others, like homeopathy, have run the gauntlet and be shown to not work. I trust the ones which have survived the rigourous scientific process.

I wrote: “I have thought about the science I support.” I hope you note the choice of words. I’m thinking about science itself, not any random facts, which may or may not be right. If you can’t easily verify them, it’s all about how you got the information about them: Once you grasp the scientific process, which is not difficult to do, you can start distinguishing between homeopathy, evolution, Big Bang, creation, and others of that sort.

Give it a shot. It will not destroy your faith, I promise.

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