A coworker good-naturedly asked me today, “Why don’t you believe?” The conversation was about religion, and she was asking me why I didn’t believe in God.
The real question is: what do I believe?
It is as simple as this: I believe in nature, and I believe that everything in nature is rational, discoverable, and real. I believe that science and genuinely open-minded exploration are the best and most elegant servants of the human condition. I believe that death is not the end of existence, but a transformation from one form to another, and that over vast stretches of time, death is ultimately impartial. I believe that the science in which I have this trust is a learning, growing, changing entity that, through the scientific method, is constantly reevaluating even its most fundament principals. I believe that the universe is so vast in both space and time that it is extremely difficult for even the most erudite of us to comprehend. This does not imply that we are insignificant; quite the contrary. Consider this:
“Recognize that the very molecules that make up your body, the atoms that construct the molecules, are traceable to the crucibles that were once the centers of high mass stars that exploded their chemically rich guts into the galaxy, enriching pristine gas clouds with the chemistry of life. So that we are all connected to each other biologically, to the earth chemically and to the rest of the universe atomically. That’s kinda cool! That makes me smile and I actually feel quite large at the end of that. It’s not that we are better than the universe, we are part of the universe. We are in the universe and the universe is in us.” ~Neil deGrasse Tyson
The more I read and study, the more I see the best and brightest of humanity come to these same kinds of conclusions. We are nature, and nature is everything.