Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Along the way...

Dinosaur tooth? Extremely large canine?

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I used to think 'troubleshooting' was a game. Whenever I saw the word in a manual, I thought it was a guide to some arcade-style shooting game.

Imagine what it must've been like when, to my disappointment, I learnt that Microsoft Word (and most other programmes for that matter) didn't have guns and bad guys!

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There is an ongoing debate between Young Earth Creationists (YECs) and basically all other scientists on the age of the earth.

The YECs claim the earth is no older than 10,000 years, citing 6,000 as a pretty good estimate. This is based on a literal reading of Genesis 1, and thus also pegs the universe at about the same age, since everything we see was created within six days, literally speaking.

On the other hand, the position generally accepted by the scientific community is that the universe is about 14 billion years old, based on readings of electromagnetic waves from outer space and light travel from distant stars.

For the most part, I do not find it difficult to believe that the universe is truly billions of years old. But this is not because I think science is more real or rational than the Bible. Rather, I think both the Bible and science require a more mystical approach; neither should be understood in merely literal terms.

Blame the poet in me.

The universe is 14 billion years old simply because it sounds more legendary that way. God created everything in six days... whatever that means. There is a sense of the unknown in both God and the universe, a sense of the mystical and incomprehensible that lends a sense of awe to the truth of our very origins.

I like science, not because it is more real than myth, but because it is more mystical. It is only the arrogance of science that conveys the illusory idea that science must be more true.

And I believe in God, because the last word does not belong to science or faith or reason. Real beings do not trace their origins to ideas, and if I am a real being, then there is a real-er being out there. If an idea is the ultimate truth, then I am also an idea, a nothing, a mere phantom that fades like a wisp of smoke in thin air.

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The picture above is of an albino cili padi grown by the Pehs of Taman Paramount in PJ.

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