If you consult the Web under “Deus Consortium”, you may find an ad for a “Deus ex Machina” tee-shirt, a gift at only $39.99. It has a nifty motorcycle on it with “Deus” painted on the gas-tank and a rider who looks like a World War 1 pilot. But that is not the point of the site. “Deus Consortium” is an extraordinary project of France’s top astrophysicists responsible within the C.N.R.S. (Centre Nationale de Recherche Scientifique) for the “Dark Energy Universe Simulation”. The clever acronym comes to life in a 9-minute video in which the project’s Director, Jean-Michel Alimi, explains that the galaxies are not really rushing away from each other but that the whole fabric of the Universe is dilating like a balloon, thereby pushing apart the planets, galaxies, amases and superamases, including our own “Laniakea” (see the earlier post in this Blog, September 6, 2014, “Why Dinosaurs ?”). We are beginning to be able to see what our Universe really looks like.
We look up at the sky, as I do every evening from my deck overlooking the Atlantic, and we marvel at the planets and stars in our galaxy, the Milky Way. We know that those specks of light are other worlds. We know also that we are looking into the past : the stars we see may or may not exist any more (at least the Moon and the planets do). Light travels at 300,000 kms/sec, so in a “light-year” it covers about 10,000,000,000,000, kilometers. We have no idea what figures like 2.5 light-years, the distance separating our Milky Way from its nearest neighbor, the Andromeda galaxy, really mean. But when we are told that our superamas Laniakea is 500,000,000 light-years from one end to the other, we have another drink and forget about it. But that is reality, the world as it really is. We are learning at last to see.
The acronym “Deus” is no doubt a cynical agnostic/atheist’s joke. Somewhat like the “God particle”, the famous Higgs Boson, originally that “goddamn particle” everyone was looking for until verification of the theory, which Brout, Englert and Higgs proposed in 1964, proved recently that it really existed. Whatever about that, the point I want to underline is that clearly “God” has nothing to do with the pointless creation and the mindless expansion of the Mad, Mad, Mad World in which you and I are such insignificant, infinitesimal accidents. I fail to … see how anyone in his/her right mind can believe ( I weigh my words) that this “immeasurable heaven” (the meaning of the Hawaian word “Laniakea”) had any “Intelligent Designer” or any purpose, or that its “Architect” is ready to take time out from managing the Cosmos to listen to our prayers to help us find a job or our keys, or cure our cancer or head-cold.
Just a few hundred years ago in the 13,800,000,000 years since the Big Bang and the emergence of human life a mere 200,000 years ago, we began to discover the microscopic and macroscopic worlds, the existence of which we never even suspected. Now scientists, at least, are learning to see. If only the rest of us could have our cataracts removed and understand that this hitherto unimaginable, invisible world establishes without a doubt that we have been kidding ourselves with our God-talk, Godology and goddam nonsense about God’s loving purpose for us, about Heaven and life after death and all the other silly beliefs, rules and rituals of our ridiculous religions.
RIDENDA, DELENDA RELIGIO