Just the Facts

I grew up a small black man on a dairy farm in Alabama…. (Who here doesn’t ADORE Steve Martin??)new colour and glasses_edited

My name is Carla, and I’m pursuing double doctorates in Astrophysics and Applied Mathematics, but this isn’t going to be just another blog about space. Yes, it will contain much of what I find interesting on the subject, and my goal will certainly be to get you to see it through the same eyes of beauty that I view it, but I also hope to educate you as well. Ain’t anything wrong with a little knowledge, right?

However, more than that, I am using this place to flesh out my own ideas and theories as I begin my research; I need a springboard from which to propel as I parse through a lot of this crap that’s been brewing in my head since first believing in the existence of a benevolent creator for myself at roughly the age of 9, and first reading Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity at the age of 17.

I’ve always had a fascination for space. Right now I’m our University’s first president of our very first Astronomy Club called Night Sky 36 (you can find it here on Facebook), as well as our Astronomy class’ TA and lab grader for our physics department chair.

I grew up feeling like I always knew there was a God–someone who cared about and was fully involved in my life if that’s what I chose to allow.

But I also grew up at the feet of my Uncle Keith on his vacations to visit us from St. Louis, listening to him describe his wacky experiences of being on the team of original designers that designed the space shuttle. After all, McDonnell-Douglas were one of the first contractors for that project, and Keith one of the first engineers who worked on and designed its electrical systems. His sister, Leo, and her husband Al, also lived in St. Louis, but they worked as Chemical Engineers for the now defunct Malinkrodt Pharmaceuticals. When Avon bought them out, Al took that opportunity to retire so he could just brew his own beer and ginger ale. (Talk about octane ratings!)

I sat at their knees during their trips on vacation, listening to them gush over their work in science, and I. was. in. awe. I never saw people happier discussing their work than when they began telling stories of their daily lives. Of course I didn’t understand it all, but man, I just knew I wanted that kind of passion for my life, too!

So, you can imagine my consternation when growing older, at seeing how the fields of science and religion were constantly at odds; at how people were fighting and killing each other over it. I knew something was wrong, but couldn’t put my finger on what it was.

But I intend to now. Since these guys are no longer with me, I miss them sometimes so much it hurts. I’m also honoured at the legacy they have left me. It’s funny how some families aren’t blessed enough to really know their family. For instance, Leo and Al? It wasn’t until many years after their passing that my dad told me they’d both worked here at the Oak Ridge Nuclear Laboratory in Oak Ridge, TN, with Robert Oppenheimer on the Manhattan Project. But they never mentioned one word of that whilst on my two-week trip to visit them after my high-school graduation. Maybe it was work they didn’t like thinking about, especially with the gravity attached to that specific project. But, man, how cool would that conversation have been if I’d ever been faced with the chance of taking it?

Follow along as I challenge the accepted conventions for what should and shouldn’t be socially-acceptable where science and religion are concerned as I seek to make my way through the miasma of evidence we’ve gathered thus far, and compare it to the questions each new piece of evidence brings to the fore.

All I ask is that you keep it civil. If this gains enough steam, there will be a lot of opinions floating around, and I don’t wanna have to pull out the moderation stick and hit each one of you with it individually. Let’s save that for something special with our families…like Christmas.

If you’re merely an Atheist with an axe to grind, then I’ll warn you now to simply move along. This is my work: I am seeking in a very srs way to use the pure empirical data that we have to show whether “God”, the one creator of the Universe mentioned in the Bible, truly exists. I am not a Bible scholar; I’ve never been to seminary, nor do I have a desire to go; I suck at much of my Bible history, so I may need correcting on much of it. I believe He does, but the reason we’ve not really encountered much yet is because if evidence does exist, then it will be wholly in the Quantum, and the problem arises there in that this is a field in which we’re still trying to understand it. It’s all wide-open and we’re learning every day.

LET IT BE NOTED HERE AND NOW: I AM NOT HERE TO PERSONALLY OFFEND YOUR BELIEF-SYSTEM, so kindly do NOT attack me at every turn. IF we all act like responsible and educated adults, then I believe we have the intelligence to work our way through this. If the answers are not what we had hoped them to be, then so be it: that is science.

Does that mean God may not exist? Absolutely not. It means that I have failed as a scientist to uncover the evidence I was hoping I would find. It doesn’t even mean I screwed up in some way: it might simply mean I wasn’t YET looking in the right direction to find any evidence to support a creator’s existence.

This blog, if you follow it, will be a challenge for both of us.

First, it will be MY on-going challenge to remain completely and scientifically impartial, no matter what the evidence is telling me.

And second, it will be YOUR on-going challenge to remain completely and unemotionally attached, no matter what the evidence is telling me.

I want this blog to challenge the conventional notion that mainstream religion and science are mutually-exclusive, because I don’t believe they are or have to be: Why do we have to suspend our belief for one when choosing to believe the other? Whose law was this and if no one steps forward to claim it, how did it get started? I fully believe you can buy into them both, WLoG (you Differential Calculus enthusiasts should catch that right away): without loss of generality. It just means that whatever else you do to the equation, it doesn’t change the general solution we seek to find in DE so often.

But the same principle can be applied here as well.

Fasten your seat belts, be prepared to have your opinions challenged as I have my own brought into question, and let’s see if we can make some final sense of this entire subject, shall we?

I’m trusting that since you’re here, reading these words, it’s a subject that in some way, has become a big deal to you, too.

So, let’s get started, shall we?




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