So you can read my books

Thursday, June 25, 2015


Critics, book and movie, turn up their noses at fantasies.  They shouldn't.

The world as we "know" it is mostly made up of fantasies.

Take Phlogiston --

the phlogiston theory is an obsolete scientific theory 

that postulated a fire-like element called phlogiston,

contained within combustible bodies was released during combustion. 

The name comes from the Ancient Greek φλογιστόν phlogistón (burning up), from φλόξ phlóx (flame).

When America was just a new country, 

the "educated" believed in it as they believed that four humors controlled behavior. 

And they believed that the earth was only a few thousand years old.

 Now we believe the earth is four billion years old, 

and we believe in photons and electrons, 

and we think human behavior is controlled by things like ego and id. 

We think those beliefs are more scientific and better.

But are they?  No.  They are not real either.

 Have you ever seen an id? Can you bring me one on a plate?

How about a photon? Can you bring me one of those?

You never will, because those things don’t exist. No matter how seriously people take them.

Take the theory of evolution.

Evolution is just the result of a bunch of mutations that either survive or die. Right?

There’s a time problem.

A single bacterium

— the earliest form of life—

has two thousand enzymes.

Scientists have estimated how long it would take to randomly assemble those enzymes from a primordial soup.

Estimates run from forty billion years to one hundred billion years.

But the earth is only four billion years old.

Second, there’s the coordination problem.

If you believe the current theory,

then all the wonderful complexity of life is nothing but the accumulation of chance events

— a bunch of genetic accidents strung together.

Yet when we look closely at animals,

it appears as if many elements must have evolved simultaneously.

Take bats, which have echolocation:

they navigate by sound.

To do that, many things must evolve.

Bats need a specialized apparatus to make sounds,

they need specialized ears to hear echoes,

they need specialized brains to interpret the sounds,

and they need specialized bodies to dive and swoop and catch insects.

If all these things don’t evolve simultaneously, there’s no advantage.

And to imagine all these things happen purely by chance

is like imagining that a tornado can hit a junkyard and assemble the parts into a working 747. 

 A hundred, two hundred,  years from now, people will look back at us and laugh. They’ll say, 

‘You know what people used to believe? They believed in photons and electrons. Can you imagine anything so silly?’ 

They’ll have a good laugh, because by then there will be newer and better fantasies.

Feel the ground beneath your bare feet?  That's real. 

Feel the warmth of the sun on your upraised face?  That's real.

Feel your arm around the one you love and who loves you back?  That's real.

If you have friends, health, and shelter, Life is wonderful. 

It’s a gift to be alive, to see the sun and breathe the air. And there isn’t really anything else.

What do you think is real
and what is fantasy?


  1. I love this post, Roland! It's very thought provoking.

    I think it's a fantasy that we're the most intelligent creatures on the earth and that our way of doing things is the right way. I believe that there are animals that are much smarter than us, and just because they don't--or don't want to--speak our language doesn't make them dumb.

    I also don't believe an animal's willingness to be trained by humans should be the sole measure of its intelligence.

    What do I believe is real? I believe the power of human connection is real. I believe that physical affection can make you feel better and speed healing. And I believe many things exist that we don't have scientific explanations for yet.

    1. Thanks, J.H. :-)

      Human beings are so destructive.

      I sometimes think we’re a kind of plague, that will scrub the earth clean.

      We destroy things so well that I sometimes think, maybe that’s our function.

      Maybe every few eons, some animal comes along that kills off the rest of the world, clears the decks, and lets life proceed to its next phase.

      Like God wiping clean his chalkboard.

      Dolphins, elephants strike me as intelligent -- perhaps in ways that would astound us if they trusted us enough to share.

      I am with you -- human connection is real and perhaps makes us real in ways that words cannot properly express.

      Certainly, I believe with you that there are realms of life of which we do not even suspect much less comprehend. Humility is a good start at trying to understand the world around us.

      Thanks so much for the contemplative comment. :-)