I thought that I would present parts of the lecture planned for March 14th at the West side branch of the 92nd St Y. Many of the readers of this blog will not be able to attend and I do believe that some of the material will be interesting to my fellow metaphysicians.
The topic is the HISTORY OF SCIENCE AND SPIRITUALITY. I do believe that it is NOT a boring topic despite the ‘yawn’ value of the title. The historical aspects of the relationship actually help explain aspects of our contemporary conflict between the two. In essence what each one of must do is to inspect our own metaphysical position on what is real and important because what we believe about the universe and our place within it will determine how we live our lives, who we vote for, where we send our money [political action committees] and whether or not we are willing to die for our fundamentalist beliefs and take our adversaries with us.
It is totally bizarre that in the early years of the 21st century we would have to debate the value of science in describing the physical universe in which we live. The existence of Creationists who seriously take the word of the Bible for ‘scientific’ truth is beyond comprehension. They come in a variety of forms: the young earth Creationsits are more frightening than the Intelligent Design contingent.
The ‘Young Earthers’
The ‘Young Earth’ contingent actually believe that the earth is about 6000 years old. Yes, they deny the scientific facts about the age of the Earth, the solar system, the Big Bang which have all been confirmed innumberable times by various scientists across the planet. And where do they arrive at such a ridiculous date for the earth. Of course, from the BIBLE! They have adopted the Biblical ‘scholarship’ of the Bishop of Ussery, the 18th century cleric from Northern Ireland who calculated the age of the earth based on geneologies from the Bible with the ‘accurate’ ages of how long everyone lived! [You know, Adam to Jesus and all the boys in between].
Are you frightened enough yet? Well, there is an offshot of these nuts who believe in the OMPHALOS concept. Omphalos refers to ‘belly button’ and the belief is that God gave Adam a ‘belly button’ for the same reason that he ‘planted’ fossils in the ground and planted layers of rocks–to make it LOOK like the earth is millions/billions of years old.
And just think–I thought I was wrong all these years about Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble’s pet dinosaur. I had been shocked as a kid to learn that dinosaurs died out millions of years before early man appeared on the planet. Maybe I had been misled after all!