Archive for August, 2012

Scepticalee #7

Is it me or did the government recently give away £100 billions of our money to the banks at a very low interest rate so that the banks can lend it back to us at higher interest rates? This would be the same banks that screwed up the economy. Words fail me.

A small thing has happened lately. Scientists are sure that they have found the Higgs-Boson. It’s monumental . One of mankind’s greatest achievements completed using the most complicated machine ever built (another of mankind’s greatest achievements). It cost billions of pounds to find. Yet you’d hardly know it has happened. The papers and media are more concerned with making sure “the stars” read your future as generically as possible.

Probably most of us have been there are at some point. Lay in a field with a friend when you were younger (or by yourself drunk, when you are older, or both) in a field looking at the moon, then the stars, and talking and wondering about how we got here and where the universe came from, and how big it is. You start to ponder infinity and the biggy… How did we get here?

Imagine being able to answer all that! Imagine knowing what everything is made of, knowing how those building blocks fit together and most importantly knowing what those building blocks are made from. If we knew all that we would know everything. No need for gods, no need for superstition, no need for creation stories and no need to be ignorant. Can you imagine how stupendously amazing that would be?We would be the first humans, ever, to look up at the stars and know where it all came from. Everything. No guesswork. We would know.

And if we ever did work it out then we would expect it to be all over the media. We would expect it to be taught to all children, in every school, everywhere. When they lye in the field, they will know…

The Higgs-Boson is a major part of that knowledge because it is the final piece of the puzzle that makes everything known up until the point of the Big Bang. We know how big the universe is, we know what it is made from, we know how the building blocks of everything were created, we know what the smallest thing is, and the hottest and the fastest and the coldest (*), we know how animals got here and we know how WE got here.

And yet the Government just expanded the concept of “free schools”. Schools that are “free” to govern themselves. Anyone can set them up. And guess what? 30% of these schools have been set up by religious organisations.  Organisations that deny all that knowledge. Two schools are even governed by organisations that believe in creationism, that is, the believe that the old testament is literally true (Adam and Eve, the talking snake and that the earth is only 10,000 years old) and will teach it as an “alternative” view to science.

We are allowing this to happen and it makes me sick. I guess the Facebook status I read a few days ago from one of my friends sums it all up, “does anybody know the number of a good medium that’s available, preferably tonight”.

(*) Until somebody proves it all wrong.

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