The Supernatural vs the Theoretical

The blog Starts With A Bang has an interesting post about some of the theorised potential of black holes. It is nifty.

More than just nifty, this presents me with an excellent opportunity to highlight the difference between trusting science and believing in the supernatural -aside from the obvious (ie: medicine works, homeopathy doesn't :P And no, I haven't forgotten about WHA?? Week, but crap it's draining to write about that garbage).

Some critics of scientific thinking put forward that trusting in information such as the above blog presents is akin to believing in god. They assume this makes science-minded folk just big hypocrites who have a vendetta against religion (I'm sticking with religion as a comparison, as it's more often where this argument comes from. Feel free to substitute ghost-chasers or psychics).

The difference is glaring once you're aware of it: when theories like the one mentioned in Starts With A Bang are presented, they are taken with a grain of salt (to use a phrase that is completely incomprehensible to me). They are nifty thought-experiments that mathematicians put together using formulae that test out, even while the actual physical testing remains an impossibility. They remain an intellectual curiosity until the day that they are refuted by further mathematical proofs or verified by actual testing. On that day reasoned, informed people change their minds.

Religion, meanwhile, maintains a strict dogma, budging as little as it can afford to while still remaining an influential power in society. For fucks sake, there are people who still believe the earth is less than 6000 years old! There are demonologists working for the vatican! Exorcists! Faith-Healers! These people refuse to let scientific evidence influence their beliefs, instead holding to outmoded codes of self- and other-repression.

What it boils down to is that science admits its mistakes, even if not all scientists do. Religion and the supernatural turn a blind eye to any evidence that does not support their view.

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