Many adults are put off when youngsters pose scientific questions. Children ask why the sun is yellow, or what a dream is, or how deep you can dig a hole, or when is the world’s birthday, or why we have toes. Too many teachers and parents answer with irritation or ridicule, or quickly move on to something else. Why adults should pretend to omniscience before a five-year-old, I can’t for the life of me understand. What’s wrong with admitting that you don’t know? Children soon recognize that somehow this kind of question annoys many adults. A few more experiences like this, and another child has been lost to science. There are many better responses. If we have an idea of the answer, we could try to explain. If we don’t, we could go to the encyclopedia or the library. Or we might say to the child: “I don’t know the answer. Maybe no one knows. Maybe when you grow up, you’ll be the first to find out.
GZA of Wu-Tang Clan to release a science inspired album: “Dark Matter”
And that’s the thing about people who mean everything they say. They think everyone else does too.
What aspects of religion should atheists (respectfully) adopt? Alain de Botton suggests a “religion for atheists” — call it Atheism 2.0 — that incorporates religious forms and traditions to satisfy our human need for connection, ritual and transcendence.
This piece is perfect for me right now. I’ve struggled with my love for tradition and my not believing in god. I think ritual is part of humanity, and as we don’t have anything further than this life, glorifying being part of the whole and history of what we are is really special. Of course, Alain de Botton sums it up much more eloquently than I can.
The morning breezes have secrets to tell; don’t go back to sleep.
—Rumi (via misswallflower)