You can’t be on Twitter these days without being bombarded with atheistic smugness. You know what I mean. People who can’t just profess that they don’t believe in God — they have to taunt religious people for believing in “fairy tales.” Or the Tooth Fairy. Most of the time, these are geeks who have immense respect for science... and yet, they won’t recognize a situation where they simply have no data, one way or the other.
After a while, I can’t help wishing that these people would read some more science fiction, which above all is the genre of amazement and limitless possibility. [jump]
Top image: Rendezvous With Rama, artwork by Jim Burns
Of course, science fiction is also the genre of skepticism, and there are numerous examples of fake gods cropping up in SF books and other media. But there’s also a long tradition in science fiction of transcendence, and encounters with something huge and unknowable. A lot of the best science fiction also features the realization that for all our knowledge, there are still things in the universe we don’t yet fully understand.