Saturday, October 8, 2011

Science and the ether bunny

I like the idea of ether, the idea that light needs something to travel through, but efforts to show its existence failed, and current theories do not need it.

I do, though, because it comforts me, so I have a personal relationship with ether. I can still accept other ideas about the universe, and I will even admit my belief in ether theory does little--OK, nothing--to add to my understanding of the natural world, but like Spinoza's epiphenomenological universe, it fits the facts, and gives me comfort.

But you won't hear me spout off at a physics conference about ether, because 1) it adds nothing to the conversation, and 2) I never get invited to physics conferences.

So, yeah, I accept that the natural world is ultimately unknowable, and that, in essence, the natural world is all powerful--if you want to call it God, go ahead.

Just don't go all bananas when I point out that unknowable means just that. As soon as you claim to know something about this God thing, something independent of the natural world (which is freaky enough to stun even the most staid among us), well, then, the idea of unknowable becomes bunk.

And I am tired, really tired, of bunk.

If you can attach human qualities to an unknowable God,
then I will attach lagomorph qualities to my unknowable ether--the ether bunny.

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