|My Friend the Scientist, the Idiot|
|Written by Kory D|
|Saturday, 15 October 2011 16:48|
I have a friend, his names is Brad. He’s got a master’s in physics and earned a Ph.D. in atmospheric science. You are probably thinking that yep, he is a smart cookie. You are right, we talk about science stuff all the time and I have no illusions. I couldn’t outsmart this guy on the smartest day of my life if I had an electrified smarting machine. But, he does have the tendency to put his foot in his mouth when it comes to subjects that science is light on and are outside of his comfort zone and belief system.
Let me give you an example. We have an ongoing debate (which is going nowhere) about Jesus. I don’t even know how this first came up. I’m not a Christian, and Brad hates religion with a passion and thinks it’s stupid. My friend the scientist flat out said that ‘Jesus didn’t exist, because none of the historians of the era mentioned him.’ There are so many things wrong about that statement that I don’t even know where to start.
So, let me try to start with this: this is not about Jesus of Nazareth being real person or not. I don’t really care one way or the other. This is about the leaps of logic a highly educated person can make when his or her world view is being threatened. Brad made a series of assumptions that can easily be debunked by brushing up on your history, but more importantly by pulling your head out of your ass.
The first mistake he made that he assumed that Jesus was as famous as he is today or at least in that some rough ballpark. Nothing could be further from the truth. Have you ever seen the Monty Python movie ‘The Life of Brian’? You remember all the prophets preaching in the streets? Apparently, that was quite true for that day and age, a holly man for every corner. Even if Jesus made a stir while he was alive, he was still just one of the very many people doing the same thing. As such, it is possible that he went unnoticed by historians of the day.
However, my main problem with this is that the only reason why he’s making such a glaring mistake is because he is bothered by the supernatural feats Jesus is being worshiped for. He is convinced that walking on water, healing the sick, raising the dead and casting out of demons are just a bunch of crap. Even if that is absolutely true, that doesn’t mean that Jesus didn’t exist. That doesn’t make even a little bit of sense.
What bothers me even more is that he would never dare make such leaps in logic while at work. Assumption based on one’s discomfort with what may be is the mother of all fuckups. If he approached his own work with such reckless irrationality, they would get rid of him in short order.
The real question is are you guilty of the same? Chances are that you have had a conversation such as this in the last day or two. You should try to catch yourself in the act. This method has worked for me in the past. I hate sounding stupid. How about you?