Science not mystery is the source of wonder and awe.

I usually get much more from secular meetings. I do attend traditional meetings occasionally for ethical reasons. They are also a source of the most wonderful bullshit. At one recent traditional meeting, I heard a member claim that love was intangible and therefore mysterious. From its mystery sprung forth wonder. If one was to believe in science and only that which can be measured, we would have no wonder or awe.

I don’t know why theists seem to think that they have a monopoly on wonder and awe. Obviously I do not agree that they have such a monopoly. And they are simply wrong. Love can indeed be measured. Love materially changes what actions people perform and the things they say. These can be observed and recorded over time. Patterns would emerge that could be used to confirm a person’s feelings of love. I am sure that neuroscience could tell us about any changes in brain state when a person claims to be in love to love something/someone.

Not only is this an argument from ignorance and a failure of observation, it is harmful. To believe in the process of knowledge accumulation through science is to recognise that we can measure the material world. A sense of wonder and awe can then flow from the recognition that we have only one world. We have only one planet. We can treasure the wonder and awe of the here and now, without pinning for more ethereal and intangible mystery. There is enough mystery in the depths of the oceans and the far flung cosmos. And even better they can be measured and understood and added to the wonder and awe of our accumulated human knowledge.

To find only wonder and awe in mystery is to pin for an age of willful and deliberate ignorance. Wonder and awe for me come from the search for an acquisition of knowledge. It is the opposite of sticking my head in the sand and calling that wonder and awe.