Child of God, or Child of the Universe?
How did we get here?
According to religious texts, a creator got up one day and with a great booming creator voice (that may or may not have sounded quite like Mufasa from the Lion King) declared that things should start existing.
The story of creation according to science is far more majestic, far more awe inspiring than any religious explanation for the existence of planet Earth, its peoples and its flora and fauna. It is far too complex to synthesize into a few sentences, but it encompasses all the evidence we find here on Earth and observe out there in the Universe. In short form, it is Big Bang + Evolution = Humans
From a religious viewpoint, Earth is the center of all creation. From a scientific viewpoint we are, as Carl Sagan said merely 'a mote of dust floating in a sunbeam'. We are stardust made sentient through millenia of evolution. This explanation is far more interesting (to me) and has far more evidence to support it than the idea that some super human figure (God) made us out of clay.
And that's the problem with most major religions, Christianity, Judaism and Islam at least. These three all ascribe to the idea that life can only exist if some form of being remarkably like a human father created everything. These religions are all stuck irrevocably in the paradigm of humanity, and they impose delusions of humanity upon the entire universe, forever obscuring whatever truth may be there to be found.
Science does not claim to have all the answers. This is not a weakness or a fault, this is a ledge at which we stand, a point of discovery from which mankind will throw itself forward.
Of course, many reject the scientific viewpoint, because embracing it means that we accept to some degree that the universe may very well be an emotionally cold place. If you believe in a religious viewpoint, you will enjoy the idea that some greater being is looking after you as a parent looks after a child, and that is a very warm and fuzzy view which many cling to in spite of the rather obvious fact that God, if he does exist, is largely indifferent to human suffering.
However, if you subscribe to a scientific viewpoint, then humanity transforms from being a herd of hopeless children searching for salvation after their demise, but the intellectual pinnacle of evolution here on Earth. After millenia, we are a species able to contemplate the universe and our place in it. We are the most advanced species we know of and we have uncovered many mysteries and discovered many technologies that simply would not have existence without us. This computer I am typing on is in itself a masterful achievement, one that God conveniently decided not to create when he created the world, along with electricity, medical science, or any of the other technologies which have saved us from living in caves and dying at the age of 27. If a God figure really did create Earth, then he half assed the heck out of it and left it to his much loved children to make it halfway habitable.
Too many of us are unwilling to accept the mantle of exploration that has been bestowed upon us by the universe and instead waste our lives wallowing in frankly illogical superstition that only goes partway to assuaging our fear of this Universe we find ourselves in.
We are children, but not children of a capricious and often cruel God, we are children of the Universe, tasked with the great task of understanding the Universe. We can accept this challenge and seek out fact, or we can reject fact and in doing so, perhaps reject our whole reason for being.
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