Thursday, November 18, 2004

Science and Velveeta

By now I suppose everyone has heard about the Virgin Mary in Grilled Cheese that was offered earlier this week on eBay (and which inspired a rash of parodies).

It is easy to chuckle when some dozens, or hundreds, or even thousands of people take this sort of thing seriously, and to feel a bit of smug superiority. But when you think that almost half of Americans believe the universe is less than 10,000 years old, it makes one wonder just what is happening to science-based thinking in America.

As Carl Sagan wrote: "Science has beauty, power, and majesty that can provide spiritual as well as practical fulfillment. But superstition and pseudoscience keep getting in the way, providing easy answers, casually pressing our awe buttons, and cheapening the experience."