I have found my self in a 30 X 8 ft enclosure with a Methodist preacher for the next few hours. I am of course referring to a bus, as nothing more than impending death by speeding car could keep me here. I was greeted by a women around 50 years yelling “lordy lordy and Jesus this Jesus that” while laughing slightly to myself I assumed that she would quiet down once the bus started to move. I turned on a lecture on diff eq and settled in for the long haul. Not even five minutes out of Chicago I heard another quite loud voice announce to what seemed the entire bus “I am from Pakistan…but I am a believer” at this point not even second order equations could keep my attention this also could have something to do with the fact that they started a conversation across the bus. There were of course the anecdotal stories about healing and other “personal” experience they had. At this point I turned back to the MIT lecture until I heard them strike up a conversation on nonbelievers. They instantly found a topic to which they felt necessary to be shared with the entire bus as there voices raised a dynamic level. The topic quickly went to unending torture and hell fire. They seemed to be reaffirming themselves with each threat and it was here I took pause. What is it that increases peoples belief in a god by making threats. Is it the thought of a majority rule that decides reality. That is, we can get enough people it will be true? I will have another 6 hours to contemplate this.
“Science is more than a body of knowledge. It’s a way of thinking, a way of skeptically interrogating the universe.”
Dr. Sagan summed up science in the most elegant of ways, his works have served to inspire me and thus it is fitting that this blog begin with the quote that I often find myself repeating. This blog will serve as a venue to discussed science (physics really, as all science is physics) and how skeptical thought shapes my life.