NOTE: YOU ARE VIEWING AN ARCHIVED POST AT RUNNING SCARED'S OLD BLOG. PLEASE VISIT THE NEW BLOG HERE.
CONSUMER WARNING: This particular missive may meander on a bit for a fair length, but if you have the time and inclination, I'd ask you to bear with me and stick with it. In my own decidedly biased opinion, it has a few good bits and the odd appearance by some old favorite characters. Also try to remember the phrase from a classic holiday song written above. It becomes important later on.
Spending the Christmas week at my in-laws, I received a number of delightful gifts. Among them all, probably my favorite was from my beautiful, wonderful wife. It was a copy of the newly updated, heavily illustrated, "A Brief History of Time" by Steven Hawkings. I doubt it merits mention for the sammich's regular denizens, but in case you've been living in Sadaam's spider hole for the last few decades, Dr. Hawkings is a physicist and astrophysicist, current holder of the Lucasian chair at Cambridge, very likely the smartest man in the world, and arguably the smartest man to ever live. His book, to put it rather bluntly, attempts to explain *everything* in layman's terms.
It was delicious anticipation to think of sitting down with that book, particularly on the most holy holiday of the Christian year. You would think that if anyone had a personal grudge against the existence of God, the creation theory, and all things religious, it would be the person who helped come up with the Big Bang Theory, and the author of the accepted Four Rules of Black Holes.
Strangely enough, Hawkings doesn't dismisss religion at all. In fact, he goes so far as to admit that the creation theory is equally as likely as anything he's come up with. The reason is that, like any good scientist, when you put a question to him for which the answer is unknown, his only acceptable process to address it is to come up with a theory, and then test that theory through experiment and observation to see if the theory's predictions match the observed results. There is, he says, no experiment which can be run to test any theory about the existence of God or the Creation theory of the universe, so he can't rule it out. He *does* claim that if God did create the universe, he did it some time between the estimated time of the Big Bang (20 billion years ago, give or take) and the time the Jews estimated creation to occur. However, if it was later in that period than the time of the Big Bang, he stipulates that God must have intentionally created it to appear as if it was 20 billion years old and put all the galaxies and other stellar objects immediately in motion as if they had been that way for a long time.
The next shock to my system was Hawkings' observations on matter, which includes people. If you can believe in anything, it must at least be your own existence, yes? However, we are made of matter. Matter is broken down into atoms. The individual parts of the atoms are apparently made up of Quarks. (Up, Down, Strange, Charmed, Top and Bottom.) Here comes the twist. Quarks aren't really made up of matter at all. They are waves of energy trapped in a regular, repeating pattern. So if you look down at a far lower level than I'm sure we were ever intended to, we are, after all, made up of nothing. Figments of the Universe's imagination perhaps.
So all of our scrambling about, with some of us claiming that we made up an imaginary god in our own image, turns out in the end to be naught but rage and noise, signifying nothing. It turns out to be God that could be real and we who were the imaginary creation.
Not that I would presume to be in Hawkings' league for thinking, but I may very well be able to provide a proof that he couldn't. The reason is by deduction from an observation. For reasons that I couldn't put forward to you in a way that would stand as iron clad evidence, I can at least say that there are Angels. I won't go any further on that in this note, but There Be Angels. I'm satisfied of this. And if you accept the existence of Angels, you can deduce the existence of God. And further, we (as a species) have been pretty clueless about all things Godly or Angelic for a very long time.
"Angels We Have Heard on High"
You don't "hear" Angels. They are totally silent. In fact, they are beyond totally silent. Silence would merely imply the absence of sound. Angels suck in sound leaving nothing behind. If sound were light, Angels would be black holes. No one has ever heard an Angel on High, Low, or Anywhere In Between. They are, if anything, more like the poets in Bruce Springsteen's first album, who "don't write nothing at all, they just stand back and let it all be."
So the joke was on me. All that time being an atheist or an agnostic, depending on which period of time I was asked, were rather a waste. It seems rather trivial to worry about whether or not we believe in God, if it turns out that God doesn't really even believe in us.