Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Sun Also Rises

To point out the blatantly obvious, my readers probably know by now that I really have a hard time taking Creationism seriously. It's less predictive than random chance, for one thing. But seriously, let's think about how theism impacts the universe. Will the sun rise tomorrow?

To the best of our scientific knowledge, the answer is "very probably yes" with a few minor footnotes about what we mean by "sun rise." So far, all the data we have on our world and our sun suggests that the Earth will keep on spinning, the sun will continue to shine, and those two facts will lead to the sun appearing on the horizon and raising up from our visual perspective. There are some possible events that could change that, like a catastrophic impact that destroys the Earth or coincidentally knocks our rotation off so that it matches our orbit around the sun. These are staggeringly unlikely, but still within the realm of possibility. Hence, we get that "very probably yes."

When you've got a universe that contains an omnipotent, incomprehensible deity, all bets are off. It did some crazy stuff, if the book is to be believed, and there's nothing stopping him from starting back up. Could have all the weird multifaced, chimeric angels decide it's time for Third Impact and turn the moon into blood or whatever. And it could happen at any time. Or said deity could turn the sun into a duck because he thought it'd be funny. Anything could happen at any time if you're around an omnipotent, incomprehensible being.

I, for one, favor the view that the universe is orderly and predictable.

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