Nathan (vovat) wrote,

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When Reality Trumps Imagination

As both a skeptical atheist and a fantasy and mythology buff, there are many things that I can be pretty sure aren't true, but I think it would be pretty cool if they were. Take the Loch Ness Monster, for instance.

The chances that a lake that size would be able to support a creature that large are practically zero, but isn't it an interesting idea? Ditto for the Abominable Snowman, dragons, magic spells, and the sunken land of Atlantis. Continuing from the theme of my last post, however, I don't really find astrology interesting enough to want it to be true. The idea that planets are entire worlds, many much bigger than our own, is more fascinating to me than the one that they're just there to govern personal behavior and destiny. Not that they can't be both, I suppose, but I reiterate that the creators of astrology weren't really sure what planets were. A better example of what I mean is Young Earth Creationism. I'm well aware that, whatever they try to argue in Kansas, evolution and Creationism are not opposites. But let's indulge the Kansans for a minute and say our two choices really are scientific theories and Biblical literalism. On the one hand, you have a universe billions of years old, an ancient planet that eventually came to support life, and a constant procession of different life forms evolving and dying out. On the other, you have these things coming into being when a big guy in the sky wills them to. Impressive, sure, but hardly as fascinating. Of course, what's true doesn't always fall into line with what's interesting, but it seems odd to me that some people still want to cling to belief systems that are LESS engaging than reality. Maybe that's one reason I like fantasy so much. Fantasy readers can escape into universes where the more interesting explanations for things really ARE the right ones.
Tags: monsters, mythology, pseudoscience, religion

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