Monday, October 30, 2006

The Tragedy of Robin Edgar

If this is the first UU blog you’ve ever read, you will be wondering what this is about; have faith- you will soon learn, as he is one of the most prolific posters in the religious world. If you are a veteran of any UU blogs or forums, you are already well acquainted with Robin, for I’m unaware of a single UU venue he hasn’t posted on. He has made it difficult to follow many a thread on most forums for years by hijacking them for his own agenda, a habit that has resulted in a great many of his posts being deleted and made him persona non grata in many venues. But this is not the tragedy of Robin Edgar.

Robin is a man of considerable intelligence and command of the language, capable of finely reasoned argument- but for years he has been using this talent for a single purpose, to attack. Rather than eagerly reading his posts as people once did, they now skip over them as there will be nothing new, and even the old news will be stated in such savage terms as to be either maddening or just sad. But this is not the tragedy of Robin Edgar.

Robin has divided the world into two camps: those who will take up his cause and attack people they don’t know from Adam just on his say-so, and those he considers his enemies. He even treats those who sympathize with him and wish him well, as I do despite his recent behavior and personal insults, in the same harsh manner. But this is not the tragedy of Robin Edgar.

Robin claims to have been treated unfairly by his home UU congregation, and you know what? Despite not knowing any of the principals in the fight, I believe he probably was- at least in the beginning, before descending to their level and below. The attitudes and language he (endlessly) complains of actually ring true for a certain strain of secular humanist I’ve witnessed in action myself. But even this is not the tragedy of Robin Edgar.

The tragedy of Robin Edgar is that he has forsaken his vision. Robin was granted a profound religious vision, and mission. This is something the Divine does not do lightly, or for no reason- there are those who spend their lives seeking such a revelation, who pray that they be given such a mission. He did make an attempt to follow this mission... but after being rejected by a single congregation of a single denomination, his purpose changed. Instead of spreading the word, his pain demanded that he punish the denomination that rejected him. Instead of spreading the good news of the Divine, he decided to spread the bad news of the UUA. His hurt led him to abandon his vision in favor of punishing anyone who will not march to Boston to protest his rejection.

He has squandered an entire decade on this mission of pride, rather than the mission of God he was granted. He spent that precious time seeking allies in his quest to punish those who rejected him rather than seeking those who would accept his vision. That time could have been spent writing books or pamphlets about God’s Eye- but when Googling to write this post, all I could find written in detail about his vision was a 1997 short article in a CUUPS newsletter. During that decade, Wicca grew from a few thousand to a couple million, (many times the size of the UUA), Falun Gong entranced millions, and legions of seekers have wandered from Pagan sect to metaphysical bookstore, looking for that vision. And where was Robin? Hanging out in UU forums, blasting the minister at his first congregation.

Robin is still a relatively young man; there is still time for him to fulfill the mission God gave him. There is still time for the Emerson Avenger to realize that vengeance belongs to God, and I pray to all I hold sacred that he does so... but I fear he will not. He is in Denial about his own role in his marginalization... Ignorant of how many out there are ready to receive the vision he has stopped offering them... and Minimizing the damage he is doing to his own soul by forsaking his mission.

That is the real tragedy.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

The new Cuumbaya Code of Conduct

Recent events in various blogs and forums I frequent have made me aware of the necessity for a code of conduct for those who will comment here. At this moment, it’s a moot point- those few readers I have, have higher standards than I do. Nonetheless, the day may come when this code of conduct is needed, so I wanted to be prepared. The act of posting here will be considered as acceptance of this Code of Conduct.

I. Pseudonyms are sacred.
A. Thou shalt not blow someone’s cover. I don’t care how thinly veiled their disguise is, I don‘t care how many people “know“- you do not reveal it on my blog. You have no way of knowing how much damage may be done, or to whom; some people adopt pseudonyms to protect family or employer, not themselves. I don’t care what your reasons are- don’t do it. First offense: if you publicly apologize, and if your victim pleads your case on your behalf: suspension of posting rights until I cool off. Without the apology: my driving over there and punching you out is unlikely, but not impossible.
B. One pseudonym per customer. If you change pseudonyms, announce the fact. If you feel you cannot announce it publicly, email me.

II. Language is sacred.
A. We do not use George Carlin’s seven words. Yes, everybody uses them today. Yes, I have used them myself. But I’m a stiff-necked old coot, and those are my standards on my blog. Offenders risk my editing their post until I like it.
B. We do not use netspeak here. Reason: see above.

III. No spamming.
A. No advertising of products or websites, including the flogging of a story on your own blog, unless it is directly pertinent to the thread.
B. No referencing of other blogs- positive or negative- unless what they’re saying is pertinent to the thread.
C. No repeated posting of the same story, even if you can find a way to tie it in to the current thread- once is enough for any tale to be told.

IV. Unblogsmanlike conduct. The catch-all for incivility below and beyond what was called for in context, for Googlebombing or other techie assaults (including ones not yet invented), for anything that I just don’t feel fits the tone of CUUmbaya. Penalty: whatever seems appropriate at the time.

V. Environmentally responsible blogging. This blog uses only 100% recycled electrons; I ask all others to do the same.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Reason in religion

I number of thoughts ran through my head while preparing for my presentation on Paganism in America for our small groups meeting yesterday. I’m frequently asked how I can believe that stuff, when I’m otherwise so rational... which reminded me of Spinoza, who laid out his philosophy as theorems and proofs, like geometry class... which reminded me of an incident in high school that can help explain “how I can believe that stuff.”

There’s a classic theorem algebra teachers spring on a class that’s getting cocky (which I have to admit we were, hard as that may be to believe), that proves that two equals one. The obvious assignment is to identify the erroneous step. The catch is that there is no error- when you examine one step at a time. It’s an exercise in seeing the big picture; you’re supposed to realize that one step creates a situation in which another step, which would ordinarily be perfectly valid, is rendered indeterminate. Most of the class did not catch it.

But my point is not the math skills of my classmates- the important point is that despite their finding no error in the logic, none of them were convinced that two equals one. Their intuition was that the conclusion of flawless logic was still wrong. When you look at the history of science, it’s a continuous story of not understanding where your logic breaks down, and taking an intuitive leap instead. Socrates believed that heavy objects fall faster than light ones- and why shouldn’t he? A rock does indeed fall faster than a feather; the technology of the day had not produced conditions which would belie that conclusion. Galileo realized that air resistance skewed the results, but his figures broke down when artillerymen started wondering why doubling the charge of gunpowder didn’t double the speed of the cannonball- they had come up against the totally unexpected sound barrier. Newton’s physics were so convincing that even after Hiroshima there were scientists who said it just couldn’t be- it violated the laws of the conservation of energy. And even Einstein’s logic couldn’t explain the quantum world- and now some of the proponents of string theory are calling into question the Big Bang as the beginning of the universe.

Reason is our most important tool in understanding our world- but it is not our only tool. Sometimes, it is not even the right tool... sometimes, a transcendent leap is required; linear logic is no longer capable of explaining what is going on. Two does not equal one. The human heart is one such situation- and that’s how I can believe all that stuff.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Our most intractable sin

That was the subject of Rev. Clear’s sermon of a week ago , one that really intrigued me, and so I thought I’d give it a wider audience. While you’re there, you ought to look at all his sermons- we are truly fortunate to have him here in Indy.

I wonder

Our oldest cat, Laurie, has entered her winter depressive phase. She is the feral who chose to be a housecat when the universe betrayed her by turning cold and nasty . Every year, when the climate turns cold 24/7 instead of just the momentary burst of weather, she gets depressed and needy. She only goes out to potty, then dashes back in as if afraid she’ll be caught out there. She starts becoming very clingy, needing reassurance that we really love her, that we didn’t allow the weather to become nasty as a punishment.

It can get very trying being loved so intensely. She starts sleeping in the bed with us- not at the foot, but worming her way up to the pillows and trying to get full-body contact across my head, or climbing onto my chest. As she’s a two foot long kitty, 18 lbs., this means that I lose a lot of sleep during this period. I tell her, “Can’t you see what this is doing to me? I’m a zombie all day from lack of sleep. Yes, yes, I love you, but this is very annoying!”

Then suddenly I wonder if God ever feels that way.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Is the UUA a secular organization?

Peacebang’s latest post, Cancelling Sunday Morning Worship At GA: Not A "Cultural Shift" -- A Mistake , raises an interesting question about the “cultural shift” Ms. McGregor refers to when she says, “We are not a secular organization.” Is it possible that Peacebang is wrong, and that the GA planners are “culturally shifting” into the truth when they change the emphasis of the meeting to business rather than spirituality... that they have realized, if only unconsciously, that we have in fact become a secular organization?

Let’s take the “Man from Mars” test- forget history and tradition, and examine what is in front of you. Pick a dictionary- here’s Merriam-Webster Online: 1 a : the state of a “religious”- a nun in her 20th year of religion b (1) : the service and worship of God or the supernatural (2) : commitment or devotion to “religious” faith or observance 2 : a personal set or institutionalized system of “religious” attitudes, beliefs, and practices 3 archaic : scrupulous conformity 4 : a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith

Is there a single one of those definitions that we fit as a denomination? No; in fact many organizations that do not claim to be churches, and are legally and culturally fraternal organizations that fit that dictionary definition better than we do- the Boy Scouts and the Masons, to name just two, require their members to believe in something (pick a God, any God)- we do not.

Is there any rite or practice that we are privileged or required to do that only a religion may perform? No. Weddings may be performed by J.P.s; in many states you’re married when the license is signed, and a priest only witnesses the fact anyway. Many fraternal organizations perform funerals; the Masons (along with Rev. Clear) spoke at my father’s. We do not perform or require baptisms or any other rites.

Do we perform any social services that a secular organization may not do? No. Many secular organizations engage in disaster relief, or work with the poor, or lobby Washington. The DeMolay chapter I belonged to as a kid regularly donated to the Wheeler Mission (a homeless shelter); the Star Trek fan club I used to belong to chartered and filled an entire semi full of goods for Hurricane Hugo relief. Contrariwise, there are many fraternal organizations that perform social services that we do not do as a denomination- the Masons, for example, run retirement homes and cemeteries.

The Indiana State House of Representatives has been fighting a court battle recently over their opening prayers- the ACLU objected to the use of “Jesus”. The judge gave a definition of acceptable secular prayers they could use- and I find nothing in the “WorshipWeb online resources for worship” on the official UUA website that would violate the judge’s guidelines. Surely that’s an odd position for a “religion” to be in. We call ourselves a “faith”, and talk of worshipping together- but we are also proud of welcoming those who eschew both faith and worship.

Let me put it this way: can you write a definition of “religion” that would include the UUA as presently constituted, and not also include a Star Trek club with a socially conscious membership?


Chalicechick , in the comments to her post referrencing me and Philo, gives the best definition (useable as an "elevator speech") I have seen to date.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Book Meme

Ms. Kitty has tagged me on the book meme, (well, she said, “Okay, I'm tagging anyone named Joel.”), so here are my answers:

1. One book that changed your life? Revolt in 2100, by Robert Heinlein. This book changed my life because I read it at a pivotal point in my life, during an early teenage crisis of faith. It introduced me to the dark underside of religion, and to the concept that a person could develop their own personal credo- that you didn’t have to decide between the package offered and atheism. I would not be UU today without this book.

2. One book you have read more than once? I have a lot of old friends between covers, from authors such as Kipling, Heinlein, Clavell, Clarke, Herbert... but the one book I have reread more than any other is The Screwtape Letters, by C.S. Lewis. This is not just a book on religion; it is a practical guide to human psychology. Every time I read it, I get something new out of it.

3. One book you would want on a desert island? My own journals, the ones with lots of blank pages left. I made a very bad decision early in life- rather than following my muse, writing, I decided to be “pragmatic” and concentrate on business. I was young, I wanted to get married, and didn’t want to spend years as a starving artist, waiting for my work to take off (if it ever did- I knew the odds). My intent was to work hard, get my own business going, and then retire early to concentrate on my writing. I had no idea that even if I succeeded in business, it could all be taken away by events outside my control- so I spent half a lifetime doing something other than what I loved for a living, and wound up no better off for it in the end. A desert island, a blank book, and a pen are looking pretty good right now.

4. One book that made you laugh? The Decline and Fall of Practically Everybody, by Will Cuppy. Imagine your high school world history textbook written by Stephen Colbert. For any history buff, this book is coffee-out-your-nose funny.

5. One book that made you cry? I can think of a couple- Podkayne of Mars, Robert Heinlein; and The Man Who Fell To Earth, Walter Tevis. Although both are good, solid efforts, neither is a masterpiece... and yet, they both managed to touch me somehow.

6. One book you wish had been written? An Idiot’s Guide To Your Life, an owner’s manual. Man, did I ever need that book!

7. One book you wish had never been written? If we are speaking of the good of mankind, I would say either the Communist Manifesto or Protocols of the Elders of Zion... if you mean for me personally, Lord of the Flies by William Golding. Perhaps I was too young when I read it, but it gave me a case of psychic dyspepsia severe enough that I’ve never reread it, not even when it was assigned.

8. One book you are currently reading? Freakonomics, Steven D Levitt and Stephen J Dubner.

9. One book you have been meaning to read? Something by Bishop Spong, just to see if he makes more sense in his own words than what I’ve read about him does.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Does UU have a center?

I’ve been neglecting the ole blog lately, (dontcha hate it when real life intrudes into your net time?), but I have been following my favorite blogs, and Shawn Anthony’s “My Adieu to the UU Path“ struck hard from two different directions. The first was his tipping point, which he explains in Elizabeth‘s Little Blog :”"The above" I was criticizing is the senseless act of recklessly smashing together three or four different traditions and naming it something else. I have no problem with a Pagan, Native American Flute Music, and/or Egyptian/Greek/ Christian Labyrinths. When they are all combined it is religiously ridiculous and screams of a lack of a personal center. The dissolution of a center is the tipping point I was point toward.”

This is something I have noticed before in some UU services. There is often an air of spiritual tourism to our acceptance of different paths, an “isn’t that precious” attitude rather than genuine respect. “Sampler” services such as Shawn described are common- but have you ever seen one in which people are invited to kneel to the East on prayer rugs, then offered the wafers and wine of Holy Communion, while a cantor sings? No- and you never will. UU’s take those faiths seriously, while the idea that a Pagan can actually believe what s/he says and is devout never sinks in to gut level. Speaking as a UU seeker and Pagan, we genuinely appreciate the welcome and acceptance, but respect would be nice as well.

His complaint of the lack of a center is something I have noticed as well. My congregation just finished it’s first six-month experiment in small groups, and is now organizing a new batch of small groups. In the first batch, there were many different interests; spirituality, social justice, politics, etc. Over the course of the first six months most of those groups failed to hold their members- except for the spirituality groups. Now there are twice as many, with waiting lists. Church members who had stopped coming to church have now come back- for the spirituality small groups, not for Sunday services. The hunger for this kind of discussion is palpable.

It has been said that there is a God shaped hole in the human heart that must be filled with something, and the longer I live the more I tend to believe it. Some feel that hole as a call to public service, not needing a God... but I believe that for most people the hole is indeed God shaped. I believe that the UUA’s highest purpose should be to help people fill that hole. A creedless faith is uniquely well suited to helping it’s members find their personal credo, and would do more good for mankind in that role than it ever could as just another political action committee. Showing the world that all different faiths can share the same pew is something the world desperately needs, and only we can provide.

Shawn is right; the UUA needs to find it’s center. It needs to reclaim it’s Christian roots, as well as welcoming other faiths- and honoring the atheist’s devotion to mankind. Render unto politics that which is political; let us discuss morality and ethics instead. Let there be an end to both Shawn’s complaint, and complaints such as this one from “Beliefnet“ “Its been a while since I posted here. Our congregation seems to have taken a turn for the worse. The sermons etc. now seem to be strictly political and the spirituality seems to have gone out the door.I am so disappointed as I firmly believe that we need to feed the spirit as well as the conscience.

Any tips?


Thursday, October 05, 2006

Microsoft misogyny?

I was just typing an essay, and my Works Word Processor underlined "demonization". I hit the spellchecker, and the first suggested replacement was "feminization"! Just what are they implying?

Some Foley-inspired thoughts

I’m not going to speak about the Foley case itself, as at this stage all the facts are not known and the early stage “voice of reason” ground has already been staked out by Chalicechick (as usual- thanks, CC) But there are some general points that I think should be made about the politics game itself.

The public perception of politics is that it’s a dirty game, full of nasty players. But consider- adding the House and Senate together, there are 535 elected legislators; add in the exectutive branch, the cabinet, etc., and you have over 600 powerbrokers, nearly all of them millionaires- some gazillionaires. Name me an industry where the top 600 has a better record of personal integrity and decorum- Hell, if you put the top 600 rappers in the same room with emotions flying as high as they do in politics, you’d have dozens of murders by now.

Yes, politics sound nasty in a network sound-bite, but consider... statiscally, you’d expect a group of 600 to include 60-120 gays; how many legislators are out? Two, is it? (I’m not sure) That’s a lot of people in the public closet- (they can hardly hide it well from each other). Foley was known to be gay to Washington insiders for a decade... yet as long as it was *his* secret, they kept it. Nobody tried to blackmail him into a vote by threatening to out him; nobody punished him for a vote by outing him. In other words, despite the high stakes, his colleagues behaved like ladies and gentlemen. As soon as he was known to have stepped over the line, however, he was out on his ear- a higher standard of behavior than held by the Catholic church!

We have a much better political class than we deserve. For all our talk, the average American doesn’t vote on a regular basis. Fewer still have volunteered to work even a single campaign; the number who routinely work an election is statistically insignificant- there’s not a single state in the union where every poll position is fully manned in any election. Too much money in politics? Neither party spends as much on a Presidential campaign as Coke or Pepsi spends in advertising on a four-year cycle! Fewer people attend political conventions than Star Trek conventions.

I suggest anyone about to make a cynical blog entry about the state of politics in America ask the guy in the mirror if they’re qualified to do so.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Theism: irrational ghost story?

Theological debates are a feature of UU blogs, (more so, it seems, than of UU churches), and a Jim-Dandy is going on over at Philocrites, here and here . Fausto, if you’re reading this, your post was truly awesome!

One repeating feature of such debates, indeed the central issue of all of them at the end of the day, is the claim that the belief in a clockwork universe that denies the possibility of the supernatural is the only rational position. Rational people don’t believe in ghost stories; if you can’t detect it on the multitester from Radio Shack, it doesn’t exist... in the words of the Humanist Manifesto, “We are convinced that the time has passed for theism, deism, modernism, and the several varieties of "new thought".”, and “We assume that humanism will take the path of social and mental hygiene and discourage sentimental and unreal hopes and wishful thinking.”. In other words, faith is a form of mental illness, even though literally billions of people claim to have felt the presence of the Divine, and/or had a personal transcendental experience (including Rev. Sinkford). One poster once told me that if a billion people catch cold, that does not make having a cold a natural or healthy state.

Pondering that thought, I wrote the following in my own personal Book of Shadows around 3:00 one insomniac morning; I plan on cleaning it up for inclusion in a book later. It proves nothing, except that there is room to doubt the clockwork universe.

Too many compartmentalize their religion- they think religion does not respond to reason, so that part of their lives they will simply not think about too deeply. This is true of many faiths; it is not a pagan phenomenon. They are afraid that material science and mystical religion are incompatible and cannot coexist, so to avoid following that logic to its natural conclusion and becoming atheistic, they consciously avoid the subject altogether.
Well, they shouldn’t! It’s a false choice, one they are led to by faulty logic in their internal debate.

Most people use either-or logic: it is, or it isn’t; it’s A or it’s B. More advanced thinkers use multi-value logic: it’s A or it’s B or it’s C (for as many choices as they list). This isn’t really much better than the two value logic- you still have the kind of absolute statements that lead people to say that material science refutes the possibility of the Divine. I say that better than multi-value logic is something I call “X value logic”: it’s A, or it’s B, or it’s X- the thing you haven’t thought of yet!

Let me demonstrate. Some say that Cosmology has refuted the possibility of the existence of God/dess. The Big Bang was the origin of not only the universe, but even space and time itself- there was no “before” the Big Bang because time did not exist. Time, after all, is the interval between two events- and there was no other event. We pretty much know the mechanics of the Universe after it’s creation, and if there was no before, then that leaves God/dess out altogether. Either you believe in the Big Bang- which all our math and science call for- or you believe in God… it’s A or B. Or is it? Perhaps I can show you the “X”… that maybe the two concepts are not incompatible after all.

To do this, we need to first address several seemingly unrelated lesser questions, the first of which is the nature of the mind. I’m not speaking of the brain- that is a physical organ, and it’s no more your mind than your computer’s chips are the programs. The only things that are granted you genetically are capacity- the equivalent of chips and hard drive- and a few simple instincts, the equivalent of the simple machine logic on the mother board that allows for keyboard input. You spend the first couple years of life inputting an operating system, just like the computer booting up- the process starts in the womb with the first sensory inputs, and continues after birth as you absorb everything said and done around you. All that you consciously are- your personality, your thoughts and memories, are all formed long after conception, and stored in your brain as they are in a computer, as electrical potentials... that which is “you”, and not just your physical body, is a complex system of electrical interactions.

The second question is how this developmental system began; the origin of sentience in humans and higher animals. How did simple chemical tropisms- reflexes like seeking or avoiding the sun- become the complex life cycles that even the simplest of animals such as worms have? How did the robotically clever behavior of the lowest animals become the cunning of the higher animals, the first glimmering of self awareness? Even more importantly, how did the simple self awareness of dogs and cats become the higher intelligence of man? We don’t know how that happened, either, but many speculate that once the brain became sufficiently complex it happened more or less automatically; it’s a question of how many billions of connections in the neural net. Assume for the sake of argument that this is so. Now add the factor that life forms generate electrical fields and respond to outside electrical fields- birds and insects navigating their migrations by using the Earth’s magnetic fields like living compasses, for example. Some can detect the electrical fields of other animals; some sharks, for example, can even hunt by tracking the electrical fields of their prey. Consider also the possibility that living tissue can detect or generate fields in spectra other than the electrical spectrum, spectra that we know exist, but our instruments detect poorly or not at all- gravity waves, neutrinos, weak atomic forces, dark energy, etc.

Ok... now let’s return to that Big Bang. In that first split second, all that we know was formed- Galaxies upon Galaxies, matter and energy exploding and recombining and expanding- infinite complexity in an infinitely small space bursting into a Universe. Surely if a few billion field interactions within your skull can produce a sentient persona, isn’t it conceivable that trillions upon trillions upon trillions of new and unknown energies bursting into existence all at once in a space so small that they must interact- a Universe in a teacup- could produce a sentient system? If thought and intelligence are the result of immensely complex energy interactions, then surely the Big Bang could have produced just such an intelligence. No matter how vast the odds against this happening, the possibilities are greater still- they are infinite.

This intelligence would be part of space/time itself... would have been integral with creation itself... and would be of infinite complexity. Do you know a better definition of Divine? A scientist would say that this is mere speculation, and that it is only philosophy, as it’s not testable... but neither does it violate the laws of physics as we know them! It is an explanation of the origin of God that does not offend logic or rationality. Is it the only explanation? No, of course not- there’s still “X”, the thing that I haven’t thought of. But it could explain a great many things.

Consider the field of physics called Quantum Mechanics. This is the world of the infinitely small- not merely subatomic, but smaller even than the particles Atoms are made of, the warp and woof of the fabric of space/time. How small? In the branch called String Theory, they estimate that if an electron were the size of the Solar system, then strings would be the size of a tree! In the quantum world, there are probabilities only, no certainties- where you are, your energy state, even your very existence is uncertain. You might spontaneously pop out of existence, and reappear in another part of the Universe- anything is possible.

Although universally accepted today, Albert Einstein could not accept a world without certainties; “God does not play at dice with the Universe,” he said in a letter to a colleague. Perhaps Albert was closer in that statement than he realized... What if the quantum world is where God operates? What if the very reason for that uncertainty was that it was being manipulated? It seems only natural that the closer you get to the basic nature of existence itself, the closer you come to the Divine, and the less able you are to understand or predict it.

If the Divine exists in the quantum world, what does that imply? Such a divinity would not be creating natural disasters to punish, nor save you from a natural disaster as a reward; such things are not part of the quantum world, even the laws of nature are different... but... suppose the Divine were to manipulate a single electron, just one particle of one atom among the billions of atoms existing in your body? Remember what I said about the nature of the mind? Our thoughts are electrical impulses; changing the energy state of an electron could alter the way we think... do it enough times, and entirely new thoughts, beliefs, experiences could be generated... quite literally, God talking to you!

Such a Divine could explain the existence of life itself. Science still does not have an explanation for life, only presumptions of what “must” have happened. They have mixed primordial chemicals, zapped them with artificial lightning, and only produced foul-smelling soup... at our current state of knowledge, it is still true that “life comes only from life”; we cannot show a mechanism that will animate inanimate matter. Suppose that what was necessary to turn amino acids into living proteins was to make that odd electron turn left instead of right as it “should” have done? Such a Divinity could have even influenced the course of evolution by influencing desires, by making some ugly bug think this ugly bug is sexier than that ugly bug. It would be the only explanation for some marriages I’ve seen.

So is all of this true? Well, it does fit the rules of logic laid down by Sir William of Occam: it explains the existence and nature of God without violating Cosmology as we know it; it explains why bad things happen to good people, (the “bad” things are not of Her world); it demonstrates how She could speak to us; it even explains the origins of life. In the end, it is still, after all, only speculation- but it is proof that a belief in the “supernatural” does not have to conflict with logic and rational science. It proves that your “rational” mind does not have to be ashamed of what your soul knows to be true. Stop compartmentalizing and wear your faith proudly; it is as rational and logical as anything in this world can be!