PALM BAY, FL—A conversation between a Mystic and a Scientist on the nature of the universe.
More below the break (huh?).
Mystic: Most physical objects go from more complex (a rock for example) to less complex (sand), why is that?
Scientist: Entropy. Physical matter naturally moves toward disorder.
Scientist: Energy on the matter causes it to break down and disperse.
Mystic: So it’s natural for physical matter to break down and disperse?
Mystic: What about living things? They seem to do the exact opposite. They go from something simple, a cell, to something very complex, a mouse for example.
Scientist: That’s because it’s alive. That’s the nature of life.
Mystic: What gives living things life?
Scientist: DNA and energy.
Mystic: What is DNA?
Scientist: Little programs encoded in cells.
Mystic: Who wrote the programs?
Scientist: No one. It just happened by chance. In an eternity of time and infinite space, it was bound to happen sometime.
Mystic: How do you KNOW no one wrote the DNA programs?
Scientist: What? Aliens? Little green men?
Mystic: No. I mean an intelligence.
Scientist: There’s no evidence of that.
Mystic: There’s no evidence either way. So what you mean by no evidence, is you BELIEVE no one wrote the DNA programs.
Scientist: Yes, I believe that it was just something that happened. Something that happened randomly.
Mystic: Ok. Back to the DNA, energy runs these programs? Get’s them going? Activates them so to speak?
Mystic: So energy makes living things more complex through DNA, and dead things less complex via entropy?
Scientist: You got it.
Mystic: Sounds like pretty powerful stuff.
Scientist: It’s the core stuff. It’s what everything is made of.
Scientist: Yup. Energy: It’s what makes the world go ’round.
Mystic: What is energy?
Mystic: What… is… energy?
Scientist: Energy is the core property of the universe. It is the force behind the four fundamental interactions—gravity, the strong force, electromagnetism, and the weak force.
Mystic: But what IS energy?
Scientist: What is it?
Mystic: What is it.
Scientist: It’s a fundamental property of the universe. Fun-da-men-tal.
Mystic: By fundamental, you mean you don’t know?
Scientist: Well, no one knows. Not really.
Mystic: So we really don’t know what energy is?
Scientist: No, but we know what it does. We can describe it.
Mystic: But you don’t really know what it IS? Where it came from, why it’s here in the first place?
Mystic: So if I called this energy, Her or God or The Light, you’d be OK with that?
Scientist: Well, you’re implying something else. You’re implying something mystical about energy, something intelligent.
Mystic: What’s wrong with that? Energy seems to act intelligently. It creates life and death. It creates the animate and inanimate. It creates and drives the stars, the clouds, the oceans, the fish and plants and people.
Scientist: But all that can be explained scientifically!
Mystic: But energy is behind it all, right?
Mystic: And you don’t know what energy is.
Scientist: No. But I DO know that it isn’t intelligent.
Mystic: You mean you BELIEVE it isn’t intelligent.
Scientist: There is no evidence of intelligence in energy.
Mystic: No evidence? Look at the beauty, at the harmony, at the balance in the Universe. How can all this beauty, all this complexity, come out of nothing?
Scientist: That’s not evidence! You can’t measure beauty, balance or harmony.
Mystic: So is there evidence that there ISN’T intelligence in energy?
Scientist: Well, no. But I know there isn’t any intelligence in it.
Mystic: You believe there isn’t any intelligence in it.
Scientist: I BELIEVE there isn’t.
Mystic: So what is energy? Where did it come from? Why is it here in the first place?
Scientist: I don’t know, but I know it isn’t intelligent.
Scientist: I BELIEVE is isn’t intelligent.
Mystic: But there isn’t any scientific evidence either way?
Scientist: Well, no, but there isn’t any scientific evidence for dragons or pixies either. Do you believe in them?
Mystic: No, but I believe in intelligence. I believe in will. I believe in passion and the feel of music and the appreciation of art.
Mystic: So where do those qualities come from? Energy?
Scientist: Uh, yeah, I guess.
Mystic: And there doesn’t seem to be an intelligence in that stuff? In will, in passion, in appreciation? There doesn’t seem to be an intelligence in the balance, in the harmony of the living and the inanimate. In the orbits of the planets. In the radiance of the sky at sunset? In the mewling of a kitten? In the robin selflessly feeding a worm to her chicks? It’s all just empty, hard, dumb, random stuff?
Scientist: You’re making me look like a cold, heartless bad guy. All I know is that there isn’t any intelligence to it.
Mystic: You “believe…”
Scientist: I BELIEVE there isn’t an intelligence to it. There is no SCIENTIFIC theory for an intelligent universe.
Mystic: What do you mean by “theory?”
Scientist: Uh, you know, a theory. Uh, a, hmm, uh, a uh…
Mystic: A belief?
Scientist: Screw you.
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