Thursday, December 21, 2006

Christmas Story in 32 minutes (2006)

The Proof In The Pudding

'Is there anything you regret in the triumph of your cause?' The pretty young thing was insistent but agreeably pert, and the elderly Professor For The Public Explanation Of Science was in an agreeable mood as a result.

'People have responded well, in general,' he said trying not to crow, `there have been some excesses but hopefully everything valuable in the old paradigm has been maintained. I was never saying `don't celebrate Christmas' for instance, `other believers were saying that, and believers in Christ who wanted to trump their beliefs by attributing intolerant and ridiculous views to them.'

`Along side their other intolerant and ridiculous views?'

`Ah, now you're teasing me my dear. But yes, if you demand it: what could be more intolerant to request of us that we believe one set of nonsensical beliefs out of a million, when there is evidence for none of them. Is it not simpler and easier to believe in what can be demonstrated.'

`Simpler, but so much less like Christmas perhaps?'

`I recognise your reference: Jane Austen on the relative merits of
Balls over Conversation, and, I think, an analogy by way of C. S. Lewis. But both Balls and Conversation are human constructs and preferring one over the other is not a matter of religion nor of morality. Let people sing Carols if they wish, provided they aren't addressing them to the Flying Spaghetti Monster or any other mythological entity, in a smug fog of self-deceit. '

`I'm interested though, could there be an event `inside' a universe that `proved' there was a God: isn't the scientific method defeated by the fact that any proof, could have a `caused by science as yet not understood tagged to it'.

`A jujitsu move, to make science's strength its weakness! I don't agree of course, that events have scientific explanations isn't a fait accomplie but an observed empirical fact of homeogeneous space-time. If they didn't there would be no `space for God' but merely an intractable chaos in which it is hard to see how any observing intelligence would form.'

`Maybe? What about so called thermodynamic miracles. Half a cup of
tea boiling and half freezing. Not impossible in a scientific paradigm, but so unlikely as to most probably never occur in the whole history of the cosmos.'

`Well first catch your miracle. But having done so, it would still be a matter of chance.'

`And if that chance seemed peculiarly apposite?'

`Now, that would be human nature. The number of possible meanings
that can be tagged to any event is so large that some significance would be granted to any sufficiently odd event. A cloud of a certain shape is someone's mother-in-law' s profile. The seed's in a pomegranate make the name of Allah, provided its in a very curly writing.'

`Some might say that concedes my point'

`Some might say it shows why you don't really have one'.

`Enjoy your meal'

The Professor waved as his visitor departed, and cast an eye over the roast turkey and the trimmings. Steam rose from it all, but around the pudding bowl the hot vapour of figgy pudding moved in a curious way. Reaching for the spoon, he found it cold, and for a moment a puff of frozen water vapour, like breath on a traditionally snowy Christmas morning, hovered in the air.

Simon BJ
[This is a story, not an affirmation of either side]

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