Really Big Bang
To the Editor:
Joseph Pineo’s recent letter-to-the editor (CR 11/8/21) lays out his opposition to the teaching of science, such as the “big bang” theory of the origin of the universe, that attempts to answer the question “how, and when, did the universe come into being?” His letter doesn’t state what his own answers to this question might be, but he paints scientists as atheists, so it is reasonable to assume that Pineo has some religious beliefs.
I have read (Witzel “The Origins of the World’s Mythologies”) that religion fills in the gap between what is known scientifically and what can be conjured in the imagination of man. I certainly agree with this. Ancient man did not have the scientific capabilities we have today. Many imaginary stories have been passed down through time as attempts to explain the origins of the universe, mankind’s place in the universe, and the universe’s ultimate destruction. Witzel documents this storyline’s origin in shamanistic practices at least 65,000 years old.
Belief in the unseen can be comforting and even rapturous, but it can lead to unhealthy delusions such as a “chosen people”, heaven and hell, and divine resurrection, none of which has any scientific validity at all. The ability of science to explain and predict is far superior to anything religion has to offer.
We respond to and love imaginative stories and the rituals that go with them. They serve a cultural purpose for organizing life. Hang in there, however, as the real answers to our eternal questions will become known through valid scientific methods and proofs, which definitely should be taught in schools. Encourage your children to learn, question, and explore, the universe awaits their input.
Littleton, N. H.