Exploring spirituality somewhere between the Emerald Isle and the Black Land....

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

faith and science

Atheists (or more accurately, anti-theists) often seem to treat science and religion as though they are diametrically opposed. There is no room in a logical, scientific mind for superstitious things like gods or religion. We know how life evolved, how our planet - and the very universe - was created, what they're made of... we know too much about how everything works to believe in anything but Almighty Science.

Being that I am a religious person, I obviously disagree. Just take a look at the quote in the picture. It reads: "The atoms of our bodies are traceable to stars that manufactured them in their cores and exploded these enriched ingredients across our galaxy, billions of years ago. For this reason, we are biologically connected to every other living thing in the world. We are chemically connected to all molecules on Earth. And we are atomically connected to all atoms in the universe. We are not figuratively, but literally stardust."

And then there's this beautiful Neil deGrasse Tyson quote: "The knowledge that the atoms that comprise life on earth - the atoms that make up the human body, are traceable to the crucibles that cooked light elements into heavy elements in their core under extreme temperatures and pressures. These stars- the high mass ones among them- went unstable in their later years- they collapsed and then exploded- scattering their enriched guts across the galaxy- guts made of carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and all the fundamental ingredients of life itself. These ingredients become part of gas clouds that condense, collapse, form the next generation of solar systems- stars with orbiting planets. And those planets now have the ingredients for life itself. So that when I look up at the night sky, and I know that yes we are part of this universe, we are in this universe, but perhaps more important than both of those facts is that the universe is in us. When I reflect on that fact, I look up- many people feel small, cause their small and the universe is big. But I feel big because my atoms came from those stars."

Yes, I am a raging Neil deGrasse Tyson fangirl. Deal with it.

While an atheist or anti-theist might look at those words as evidence of a purely material world, I (and many other Pagans I'm sure) see the exact opposite. If I remember correctly, the first quote comes from an episode of "Nova" from back when Tyson was its host. When I first heard those words all those years ago, they stirred something deep within my soul. They echoed what I had always felt when staring at the moon on a clear night, or walking among the greenery of a forest. These words confirmed what I had always felt to be true: Everything is connected. What exists within me exists within you, within nature, within everything in this world and beyond. Everything that exists out there exists within us all. We are part of something unimaginably vast and complicated, and yet our bodies themselves are whole universes, and we are their gods.

Most Pagans have always known these concepts. It's pantheism, animism, "I am God."

It's science.

It's fucking beautiful.