Skip to content
Swizec Teller - a geek with a hatswizec.com

God and science don't matter

Yesterday I watched the newest House episode that had the underlying message of, basically, _what you don't know doesn't hurt you _and it got me thinking, how much of what we don't know really matters. Religion, of course, seemed like a natural adversary to go against.

I've often said that religion is pretty much just a cruch for the weak who can't fend for themselves and need something to lean against in their day to day lives. Do they know god exists? No, most probably do not. Do they believe god exists? Yes, very much so. But how does this relate to far from the eyes, far from the heart? Rather easily in fact, it shows that the only thing that matters is what you believe rather than what is actually there.

Take science for example. Despite whatever scientists will tell you the fact remains we know practically nothing about how nature works. We have many functional models of nature of course, everything ranging from gravity to the laws of thermodynamics is just a model we've found that works and thus helps us understand nature. The ones we haven't blundered upon a counter-example yet and are pretty certain work in all cases are called laws and the rest are theories, some are even far from proven hypothesis. We don't know if what we observed and calculated is the truth, but we do know that it works and useful to us, so what the hell does the truth matter?

In the case of hypothesis it gets even more interesting because you get a bunch of scientists defending one unproven and untested hypothesis and another bunch defending another unproven and untested hypothesis. Usually these groups then engage in various kinds of flamewars and go to great lengths to prove their favourite - sometimes even making leaps of logic and raging assumptions to hint at the possibility of provedness. But, isn't that rather much how their arch nemesis behave? You know, the religious freaks? The answer is yes, theoretical scientists are nothing more than religious nuts passing their ideas off as hard science.

All of this gets a little more difficult when it comes to personal relations wherein even something you don't know has the potential of affecting you in one manner or another. Be it that your spouse is a cheater and even though you don't know and are happy with the relationship others might know and act differently towards you - the pussywhipped man, or a miriad of other possibilities. There's also the thing about emotions and honour that intertwines with these things making everything even the more complex.

Anyhow,a person can be very happy and successful even when they don't know important things, but once they do find out it can destroy their lives. Guess this is why science keeps poking at things that "work well enough" to find out if they do in fact work well enough, and spouses keep trying to find out things about each other.

Curiousity killed the cat, they say, but luckily we're not cats.

Did you enjoy this article?

Published on October 2nd, 2008 in food for thought

Learned something new?
Want to become a high value JavaScript expert?

Here's how it works 👇

Leave your email and I'll send you an Interactive Modern JavaScript Cheatsheet 📖right away. After that you'll get thoughtfully written emails every week about React, JavaScript, and your career. Lessons learned over my 20 years in the industry working with companies ranging from tiny startups to Fortune5 behemoths.

Start with an interactive cheatsheet 📖

Then get thoughtful letters 💌 on mindsets, tactics, and technical skills for your career.

"Man, love your simple writing! Yours is the only email I open from marketers and only blog that I give a fuck to read & scroll till the end. And wow always take away lessons with me. Inspiring! And very relatable. 👌"

~ Ashish Kumar

Join over 10,000 engineers just like you already improving their careers with my letters, workshops, courses, and talks. ✌️

Have a burning question that you think I can answer? I don't have all of the answers, but I have some! Hit me up on twitter or book a 30min ama for in-depth help.

Ready to Stop copy pasting D3 examples and create data visualizations of your own?  Learn how to build scalable dataviz components your whole team can understand with React for Data Visualization

Curious about Serverless and the modern backend? Check out Serverless Handbook, modern backend for the frontend engineer.

Ready to learn how it all fits together and build a modern webapp from scratch? Learn how to launch a webapp and make your first 💰 on the side with ServerlessReact.Dev

Want to brush up on your modern JavaScript syntax? Check out my interactive cheatsheet: es6cheatsheet.com

By the way, just in case no one has told you it yet today: I love and appreciate you for who you are ❤️