Someone once said to me that saying you’re an atheist is like saying that you don’t play golf. It doesn’t tell you a lot about what you do play, or what you do believe. And atheists generally do believe in something. For one thing, they tend to believe in science. But science is about a process; it’s not an end in itself. It’s just a technique, or a set of techniques, for how to acquire knowledge.
So I mostly believe in the “big bang,” not as an established fact, but as the most likely explanation of the mechanics of how the world was created. That does not tell us anything about the meaning of the World. Why do I believe the scientists? I believe them because:
– They managed to land a man (or several men) on the moon, and they recently landed a rover on an asteroid;
-They created nuclear power and they decoded the genome and created antibiotics;
-They created the Internet and CD player and DVD players and all kinds of amazing gadgets;
-They created the technology that allows doctors to insert a catheter in the groin to treat an embolism in the brain.
In short, science is remarkable. And what scientists know is astonishing. And the big bang theory is the one that is most consistent with what theoretical physicists and others know about how the Universe functions and how it should function. But it leaves many questions unanswered. Scientists are now postulating that there may be multiple universes, or a so-called multiverse; that the big bang may have created a mirror universe to our universe; or that time stretches back infinitely in what is known as a “rainbow gravity” theory.
These things are largely beyond my comprehension. Just as I disbelieve anyone so arrogant as to think that they know what “God” is or especially what “God” intends, so also it’s clear to me that whatever the Universe is, whatever it may be, that thing is beyond the comprehension of my puny brain. I’m not going to get it. What separates me from most believers is not my intelligence or lack thereof; it’s not my intuition or lack thereof; it’s not my imagination or lack thereof; it’s mostly my ability to tolerate uncertainty.