The Ivory Tower


I won’t say I woke up this morning with a mission because that would imply I slept last night, but now I’m trying to write an article in each of the categories of FtB articles. There are some categories in which I rarely appear.  I’m a BFA, I shouldn’t talk about science.  But I’m gonna talk about science.

I think Chunderf00l said it best, when he did a video about how Ivory Tower shouldn’t be derogatory for science boyz because ivory towers are cool and shiny and hold up THA TROOF for all to see.  Then he switched gears to chortling through his tears about Anita Sarkeesian for a decade.  Yewchoob atheism, amirite?  Is this thing on?

Science can be real cool.  I think my favorite blog ever has to be Tetrapod Zoology.  The universe, especially at the very local level of this planet, is chock full of interesting shit.  Some of it is beautiful and inspiring, and so there’s a tendency to latch onto that, as the tool to promote a sort of positive atheism.  We don’t need the majesty of some false vision of glorious afterlife, we can marvel at the world we inhabit to feel inspired.

But science is always a mixed bag.  Darwin knew it.  Nature is full of fucked up repugnant shit.  There are animals that can only reproduce like the fucken Alien xenomorph, their entire existence predicated on nightmarish cruelty.  Not just a species here or there, but clades full of species that do the same nasty nasty.  And within our own lives, we can marvel at human beauty and compassion, but are also stuck in a species with fucking millions upon millions of actual fascist motherfuckers.  Brains so ugly they can turn you to stone.

I don’t think there is an inspiring or magical or fun version of atheism, frankly.  Sorry, Ivory Tower.  Sorry, Science.  Philosophical materialism has one solitary advantage over all religions.  It’s true, and it is brave to look at things as they actually are, to deal with the world you actually live in.  That bravery makes it possible to do greater things than any religious person is capable of – to give of yourself fully knowing how precious every second of your brief life is – but it doesn’t guarantee that we will do those great things.  Many of us are just unreconstructed shitbirds.  But we love us some science!

Comments

  1. Bruce says

    I think one of the greatest things about science is that it has no postulate saying: if X is true, then Y must be beautiful. Science can describe beautiful things, but science isn’t declaring any value judgement about any thing being beautiful or good or whatever. That’s not it’s goal.

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