Sunday, October 31, 2010
As I thought about this conflict, I came to the conclusion that science had given us a better picture of reality than was known by ancient religion. I chose science over religion, consistent with my overall preference for new things over old. In the same way I preferred an automobile to a horse and buggy, or an electric light over a candle, color TV over black and white, the Apollo spacecraft over the Mercury, or heliocentrism over geocentrism. Even in my short lifetime, I had seen that things were progressing, continually getting better as scientific knowledge advanced. Religion was part of the old knowledge that was surpassed by the new.
While looking for Science Fiction books to read, it didn't take me long to discover the prolific Isaac Asimov. While some of his books were a little too difficult for me in the beginning, I found plenty of others I could consume. I soon discovered that he wrote as much or more non-fiction than he did fiction.
Before reading "The Judo Argument," I had assumed that the non-existence of God was an open and shut case for science. I agreed with Asimov that there probably wasn't a God, but I also agreed with him that to be intellectually honest, we must admit that God's existence was not disproven. Still, I retained my preference for the new over the old. In fact, I remember in 8th grade that a friend of mine was all excited about a book, The Hobbit, but I was completely uninterested because it was not about the future. I remember this same friend had also developed an interest in religion and wanted to talk about it, but I was not at all interested. By now I found the whole thing annoying.
However, things were about to change. It was 1977, and my best friend Chuck, who no longer lived in town but kept in touch with me by letter, was telling me about a new Science Fiction movie coming out. The SF movie and TV landscape had been pretty bleak since Star Trek ended in 1969, and I was skeptical that Hollywood could make a good Science Fiction movie, but I was going to keep my eyes open.