Random Causes

11407116_10206986064073429_2789644011656026944_n“Hail the size of grapefruit, heavy rainfall, and multiple tornadoes caused damage and flooding across …”

Weather news is always followed by clear examples of the human need to pretend we know cause-and-effect. Some decry Global Climate Disruption. Some preach a modern version of Ba’al who punishes nations with storms if they don’t conform to ancient moral standards. Some point a distrusting finger at Government, the military, or blame the greedy for paving Paradise to put up a parking lot.

*


This is why Science and Religion are in conflict: both are attempts to determine cause-and-effect. Both ignore the random unknowable. Both start with “humans are bad at it” but solve that problem with divergent schemes: Science by constantly testing hypotheses and revising theories, learning as they stumble along; Religion by inventing an actor or actors outside the natural sphere pulling strings to watch humans dance.

We aren’t just flooded by runoff water, we’re flooded with silly words because ignorant lazy humans always follow “leaders” who seem to have figured it all out. That’s why the gurus, pseudoscientists, the talking heads, politicians, and the wannabe-witch-doctors in social networks talk about blame and causes and overstate the fearsome effects. Everyone wants to possess the key to the cause-and-effect puzzle, and the more awesome the effect, the more power is given to the one who names the cause.

Ha! What a little bubble of self-deception we create as our tiny fragile organic spaceship careens through the vastness of random cosmic reality.

* I know our ancestors didn't throw virgins into volcanoes to appease the gods,
that's pure Hollywood.  Our ancestors killed girls with arrows and knives, buried them to the neck and let them be eaten by insects, drugged and froze them to death on 
mountain tops, crushed them under falling logs or rocks, locked them in cages and 
burned them alive; depending on if the imaginary god needed appeasement by the smoke,
by the human blood or by something to fertilize the ground.

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