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Skeptics and True Believers

Chet Raymo

All supernatural belief systems have catered to two central needs - the need for rational understanding of the surrounding world, and the need for emotional security within it.

Whole based on certainty - not allowed to doubt any part of it because that calls the rest into question.

The legitimacy of the system guaranteed by revelation and holy tradition, the sources of which were conveniently tucked away in the past, beyond inspection. To verify, had to rely on the magisterial authority of rel hierarchy.

Science is exclusionary - if every idea has equal currency in the marketplace of ideas, then truth becomes a matter of whim. Science has evolved an elaborate system of evidence-based evaluation - the exhaustive investigation of fruitful ideas.

Science is about explaining anomalies. One of reasons evo replaced creationism was that it was a better explanation - why do some fish have blind eyes? why do kiwis and ostriches have wings?

We have a scientific explanation for creation, but we haven't figured out how to connect it to our spiritual needs.

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