"The only incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is comprehensible." Albert Einstein
There is something about the human race that separates us from the animals, or at least we believe there is, but is it true? It is difficult, if not impossible, to describe what that may be. I have argued that I do not believe it is our intelligence, and as an example I cited the case of those who are born with some form of brain damage and ask if that places them on the the level of an animal? Merely asking the question is enough to raise serious indignation all round, and quite rightly so. I have also said that I do not believe it is our appreciation of music, poetry, or any of the arts that makes us human, as I believe that is only as a result of our intelligence. I also do not believe it is our love for one another, or our desire to give help to others where needed without seeking personal gain - exhibiting altruism. Animals have been observed to show altruism. However, I dare say that expert naturalists will claim that when we observe say, a herd of elephants working together to rescue one of their young from drowning that they are only working for the benefit of the herd as a group. That being the case you could use the same argument for us humans.
We can say with confidence that animals exhibit love for one another, and even altruism, they will defend their young, are able to plan ahead and work together as a group. They exhibit joy and tenderness to their new-born and sadness and mourning at the loss of a loved one. So what do they not have that we do? I think the answer to that is imagination, and because we posses imagination we view the world very differently from the animals.
It is, I believe, because we have the power of imagination that we are able to marvel at the beauty of a mountain, or a sun set, or a wild flower, or a painting. Imagination also affects the way in which people can relate to one another, and have the ability to completely understand how the other feels, sometimes without so much as word passing between them. All these attributes contribute to making us what we are, human, but to be human is far more than that. To be human is to posses understanding, to posses an awareness of our environment, and furthermore, to be human is to seek knowledge. Only a human being will look at a thing and ask 'why is that?'
When I peer through my telescope at a distant galaxy, or star cluster, or at countless thousands of stars in the Milky Way, I'm not just looking at tiny points of light or 'strange fuzzy blobs', I am looking at the universe, at our home, and it is stunningly beautiful.
I'm sure my dog, Sox, can see the Milky Way, but I'm also sure she only sees it as tiny spots of light and nothing more, if she notices the stars at all. I, on the other hand, see gigantic spiral galaxies that may harbour alien life, beautiful nebula where new stars are being formed, the remnants of an ancient supernova explosion created in a star's final death throes, the magnificent rings of Saturn and the moons of Jupiter. I see all these things and more, and marvel at them today just as I did as a 13 year old kid with his first look through an astronomical telescope. I'm still that 13 year old kid, he's never left. I find it impossible to look through an astronomical telescope and not be moved by the sight of countless stars in the night sky shining like diamond dust on a bed of black velvet. Multitudes of stars beyond stars, stretching back and back and finally becoming so many and so dense they appear to merge into delicate wisps of sparkling mist. I also find it impossible not to wonder where we, the human race, fit into 'the great scheme of things'. Are we here merely as observers, to watch as the universe evolves? Or are we here to participate, to shape the universe, to map out its - and our own - future?
Are we really here just by accident? Or are we at some deep level an essential and integral part of the universe without which there could be no universe? Have we to accept that having moved on from the early false belief that the Earth was at the centre of the universe, that we must travel full circle in our beliefs and accept that not only are we central to the universe, but that we are the universe?
I have said that I do not believe in God, a God that created the universe, planet Earth or the human race. I have also said that I do not believe we, or the universe, are here for a reason, to fulfill a plan. I believe we are just here.
I will now elaborate on these points in order to reflect more clearly what I do believe.
I do not believe in God, the God as previously described here and in the bible, a God that created us, cares for us, watches over us and occasionally performs miracles for our benefit. No, I believe that is a fairy tale God. That God, I am certain, is nothing more than a man made myth that is reinforced by the church as they struggle to keep power, and wealth. That God was invented by man to serve man's purpose. He was responsible for making crops grow, for the weather, the rising of the Sun and just about anything that we did not understand. In the past if a deadly disease spread through a population killing people in large numbers it was thought to be the work of God and prayers would be offered up asking for forgiveness of sins. Today we find it far more beneficial to be vaccinated against disease and have efficient sewerage systems and clean drinking water. As science has found explanations for what were in the past considered to be great mysteries, so the need to call upon God as a means of explanation has reduced. These days I cannot think of any serious phenomenon that we need to attribute to the mysterious workings of God, except perhaps the creation of the universe.
When we use the word 'God' we are referring to a supernatural being that possesses power that far transcends anything that we are capable of. We imagine God as having unlimited power, unlimited knowledge and having eternal existence. I find it strange therefore that God is often depicted in human form, as though He really is limited to a small physical shape. Perhaps this is because Jesus is recognised as being the son of God, and Jesus was, at least in appearance, human. I do not doubt that a man called Jesus did live a life very similar to how it is described in the bible, but believe that he was no more than a mere mortal the same as the rest of us. Was he the son of God? I do not think so for one minute, nor do I believe he performed miracles or rose from the dead. I am sure that Jesus was just a man, but a man that cleverly orchestrated events so that he appeared to be following the prophecies that foretold of the coming of the messiah.
The picture of God that we somehow have fixed in our heads as having a human shape, must surely be wrong, a relic from our childhood and all those cozy stories told in church. We know it is wrong yet it persists. Even if we manage to rid ourselves of this image of God we still seem unable not to form some sort of representative image of Him, whether it be in the form of a nebulous spirit or an inexplicable universal force. God has many faces.
No matter what image we prefer to use in our attempt to visualise or represent God, I am sure it is wrong, for we always seem to visualise God as existing within the universe. However, for God to be omnipotent and omniscient He surely cannot be constrained within the confines of the universe. He surely cannot be said to be even in any one place within the universe, He must surely be omnipresent. For God to be all of these things is impossible if we confine Him within the restraints of the universe, for how could an omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent God possibly be any less than the universe in its entirety?
God can be nothing less than the entire universe. Every atom of it, every star, planet, galaxy, rock, person, creature, is literally a physical part of God, as God is embodied in all these things, every single atom. God is us, we are God, the universe is God. We are all a oneness, a part of the whole. It is impossible for us to examine God as a separate entity, just as it is impossible for us to examine the universe as a separate entity, for God, the universe, and ourselves, are all the one and same single entity, there are no divisions.
Does this mean that we are, after all, here for a reason? No, I think not, at least not in this context. However, the human race, will I believe, play a vital and pivotal role in the development of the universe, but not because that is the 'plan', but because that is what we do. We watch, we study, we experiment, we learn, we change things. It is perhaps the one thing the human race is good at, and in continuing to explore and learn, we will, I am sure, achieve wonderful things. At some future point we will surely gain mastery over the laws of physics, we will harness the awesome power of the universe, and eventually we will even understand the mysteries of time itself. When we have finally achieved mastery over time, we will then reach back through the ages and by our collective will bring about the creation of the universe. The universe was created because at some future time we would bring about its creation, but until we understand the terms 'future' and 'past' we are unable to make sense of it.
We do know however, that at the moment of creation of the Big Bang from a singularity the universe was contained in an area smaller than a single atom. At this microscopic level it is the laws of quantum theory that rule, and as we have already seen, in quantum theory particles not only interact instantaneously - thus at faster than light speed - they also have the ability to travel back and forth through time. We also know that at the moment of creation of the universe so time was created along with the normal dimensions of space. We also know that at the quantum level particles such as electrons and photons exist in a sort of phantom world of probabilities, until they are observed. Once observed they then adopt the reality of becoming a particle. It is this required act of observing to create reality that has led some notable theoretical physicists, such as John Wheeler and Stephen Hawking for example, to put forward an argument that it is only the presence of conscious observers, in the form of ourselves, that has collapsed the wave function of the universe and made the universe exist.
Could it be that at the moment of creation of the universe, when time had no meaning, that events were put in place by ourselves, billions of years in the future, that would bring about the creation event by our conscious observations?
If there ever was, or ever will be, such a thing as a reason for our existence, then that is it, we are here to do what we have already done, to create the universe. After all, God can do anything, even bring about his own creation.
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