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Let There Be, uhh… Light

12 Sep
Let There Be, uhh… Light
 
 
Stray thoughts come. And as always, are going to get me into trouble.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – –
 
So all this talk about God liking or not liking gay marriage got me thinking on a simple question: why does anyone, today, buy into religion? Understand it, yes. Enjoy it as a social thing, of course. But believe without question? I certainly can’t explain it.
 
To start out with, we’re asked to accept as literal and unassailable truth a story that not only can’t be proven; it can be refuted on virtually every page by a reasonably knowledgeable ten year old.
 
Open to the first page of the Bible and what do we find? Right after zapping the universe into existence God creates light.
 
Light? God certainly doesn’t need any. According to dogma he’s been around forever, and only created the known universe on a whim a bit less than six thousand years ago. Obviously, he doesn’t need light. And the fact that he doesn’t while we do, kind of undermines the “created in his image,” idea.
 
Strangely, when light was created there was nowhere to watch from, and nothing to see. So why bother? Why not have light appear along with the sun and stars? That is where the light comes from, after all.
 
No one ever seems to ask about this point. Though the fact that the church used to burn people at the stake for asking inconvenient questions, and still discourages that kind of thought, might explain. Still, you’d think God would want at least the basic science right, like creating the sun, then setting the planets spinning around it. I sometimes wonder what he would say if he read the things they they report him doing.
 
Still…
 
On the surface, light appearing before the sun comes into being seems a crazy idea. But only today. In past times, it not only made perfect sense, it fit the evidence, perfectly:
 
Assume for a minute that you’re someone who’s intelligent, but at the same time, ignorant of such things as diffraction, reflection, diffusion, and optics. In other words an educated and thoughtful person, living several thousand years ago. And as someone living in biblical times, you know with certainty that the Earth is flat. After all, if the world is round people would fall off. Any idiot can look at a steep hillside and see that.
 
So, our scientist storyteller is getting ready to tell his audience how the world and everything in it came to be. He’s fact-checking his story.
 
With that in mind let’s look at the evidence this early writer has, and apply both his intelligence and his knowledge to the world at large so he can write his story.
 
We know light travels in a straight line. We prove that easily enough by holding out a stick on a cloud free day. It casts a shadow exactly the size of the stick, something easily measurable. Raise the stick as high as you care to and the shadow cast by the sun remains the same size. The shadow of a building is neither narrower nor wider from bottom to top Conclusion: light travels in a straight line. And that also holds true if tested with a candle or a campfire. In fact, when tested with a candle as the only source of light, anything in the shadow of whatever is blocking the light is in pitch darkness. That’s an important point, too, because it has direct application in the next point.
 
In daylight, though, the darkness of the shadow isn’t absolute. Obviously, light is coming from all over the sky, not then just the sun. Inescapable conclusion: the sun is not the only source of daylight. And were it removed we would still have day and night.
 
Doubt that? Let’s go further and select a building with a window on the side opposite the sun. If you place an object in the light from that window the shadow, which obviously cannot be coming from the sun’s light, will narrow with distance from the object. Again, obvious to that ancient scholar: there are many sources for that light through the window, none of them sunlight. And since it’s obviously impossible to have light without a source, the fact that the light exists, in and of itself, proves that God exists and wants it to happen. We know better today, of course, we with our science and our instruments.
 
But people living in biblical times? They had a graphic demonstration of God’s amazing power every-single-day.
 
So certainly God would create that light first. In fact, by the text, he created light, then day and night, both brought into being before he made the sun.
 
So biblical storytelling makes perfect sense if you apply intelligence, coupled with a lack of any scientific knowledge, to the problem. And once it’s written, accepted, and the words are declared holy, who dares question? Only fools like me.
 
Who wrote that particular story? It can’t be God because whoever it was began to get their facts wrong at the top of the very first page. God’s version would be factual, and have the sun, not the earth, at the center of the solar system. After all, God wouldn’t lie. Would he?
 
No one ever asks who was there, taking notes on the day light was being created, either. The tale is written From the point of view of someone relating a memory—but who, in reality, is speculating based on an incomplete understanding of available data.
 
No one ever asks why, if the creation story is true, the light of stars residing millions of light years away from our little planet has already reached us, without the necessity of traveling for millions of years to get here.
 
The Bible is littered with such things. Yet strangely, millions of intelligent people, who could, and should see the obvious, read the opening of the Bible and say, “Yup. That’s exactly how it happened. It says so right there in my Bible.”
 
As you read this, science is driving a vehicle on the sands of Mars, taking pictures and firing lasers at rocks. Science has sent exploring ships to the planets, and beyond even the boundaries of our small family of planets. Science kept my wife and son alive after they contracted cancer. It makes possible such things as you reading this at the touch of a key, and the magic box in your kitchen that provides eternal winter inside its door.
 
Religion? They’re busy arguing over who can have sex with whom, and why they get to dictate.
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4 Comments

Posted by on September 12, 2012 in Random Thoughts and Grumblings

 

Tags: , , , , ,

4 responses to “Let There Be, uhh… Light

  1. Ed Ireland

    December 4, 2012 at 11:00 am

    I could read your thoughts on things all day long. I love the way you come to the point and present your opinion. You seem to be one of the few people who understands that opinions are not laws. Your opinion is that it’s ridiculous to believe in the creation story as is mine. You and I can come under attack quite easily and in the right time and place be murdered for thinking that. As if we had tried to declair it law.
    But that being what it is, I wanted to tell you that I saw you answer a question on bookcountry about self-publishing and it made my day. I never understood why people waste their time in self-publishing and you validate all my reasons. Well done.
    You’re one of the few people i respect for his honesty. I look forward to reading more of your articles and blogs and reviews…even when that highly perceptive eye finds my books. I imagine I’ll learn more from your reviews than anyone else’s. I even had one person tell me on another site that i use the word “the” too much. Is there an alternative?
    Have a great day and I’ll see you around the web.
    Ed Ireland

     
  2. Marian

    September 4, 2013 at 5:18 pm

    I never knew you were such a deep thinker. You certainly changed since I knew you our teen years.
    Marian (Cindy)

     
    • Jay Greenstein

      September 4, 2013 at 8:25 pm

      Oh-my-god… I have always wondered if you were well, and how your life went. You’re right, of course. But I was seventeen then, and my brain didn’t turn on till much later.

       
      • Marian

        September 4, 2013 at 11:32 pm

        Hi Jay,
        L’Shannah Tova. It is so amazing to touch base with you again after so many years. I was 15 I think when we were dating. I’d love to catch up. Please email me, if you wish. It’s something to tell our grandchildren about. My husband & I were blessed with 3 daughters & 7 grandchildren. i was impressed reading your thoughts & about your accomplishments. I look forward to hearing from you. I’m a retired Social Worker enjoy writing also.
        Marian

         

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