You are currently browsing the monthly archive for July 2011.

Hey-hey-hoo, fellow science nerds and blog-o-philes.

Today, unfortunately, will not be filled with the gooey sciencey goodness you are hoping for! I just made the long haul journey from Oklahoma to Baltimore and unfortunately will not have internet until Tuesday!  As such, I do not have the resources (though not for a lack of time) to create a informed, well-researched post about something good and magical! Starbucks internet, though glorious, has been put to use periodically these past few weeks answering emails and ensuring that everything in the adult folder of my life has been filed correctly.  (Adult as in money and mortgages, you naughty readers!)

I am SUPER proud of this analogy.

dsDNA denatured to ssDNA by the breaking of hydrogen bonding. There, you got some science today!

However, I did come across an excellent speech from Christopher Hitchens on the Catholic Church that I thought I should share.  In no way am I attempting to pass judgement on the Church or spout my opinion on religion in any sense.  But, what I do plan on doing is inspiring conversations about how religion and science are not separated by a solid black line, as many would like it to be.  That would be far too comfortable.  Instead, these two polar opposite systems of reality aren’t truly separated at all, but rather merge and flow with one another.  They are like the phosphodiester backbones of dsDNA–Apart from one another, and yet conjoined by the hydrogen bonding of the nitrogenous bases.  Sure, they can be separated and function well on their own, but without each other, they are not as stable and the message is not complete.

Unfortunately, as humankind is wont to do, we often forget how integrally important religion is to science.  Religion was the initial way in which we questioned and found answers to the world.  Astrology and alchemy have long since been outdated and forgotten as ‘primitive’ forms of interpretation, but they were, at one point, methods in which the philosopher in each human could formulate questions and find a subsequent response towards the inner machinations of the world.  The arts of astronomy and chemistry (and subsequently biology, physics, nasa etc…) evolved from these initial surveys of the world to form what we see today as “Science”.

Beware of templars!

The Vatican

Religion, like the Catholic Church, was created much like my examples above to be an answer to the things in life that we cannot explain.  The only real difference is that most religions do not change.  They aren’t stagnant, so to speak, but they do not follow a natural, Darwinian path of adaptation to the changing times.  And if they do, as some have, accept changes, they are slow to do so and even slower to enact them.  This, my readers, might be the crux of the issue.

H. sapiens, like most other higher evolutions of life, struggle to deal with changing situations.  We are not, by nature, open-minded to things that will affect how we live, work, strive and believe.  We prefer, in general, for things to be stagnant and slow, like a river in the heat of summer.  Earth, on the other hand, does not sit in a continual state of apathy and the environment in which we live is constantly flitting faster and faster.  It is because of this perpetual motion that religions have stayed the same.  They provide a sense of stability to our species as a whole.  They are always something that we can go back to and rely on.

It is this clash of evolution and rock-steady sameness that causes the inevitable arguments we see every day on TV.  Is it the universe or is it God?  Were we made out of randomness or was entropy not a factor in the least?  Curious arguments to say the least.  Perhaps, in this new age of twitter, facebook and the internet, where people are melding ideas faster than I can type, we might see, at long last, the melding of the stability of religion with the truth seeking of science.

Damn this substance! Cool image with the cream though.

Alas, the price for Internet...

Or I could be too hyped up on coffee.

Cheers,

Kat