Friday, September 21, 2007

Dinner with a Kenian Disbeliever

I wouldn't have guessed that a group dinner with a group at work yesterday, an indian, two kenyans, a chinese, and myslef would end with a short debate over creation vs. evolution, a debate between a believer and a disbeliever, between myself and Mugathia.

Mugathia, or Samuel as everyone calls him, is a very intellectual Kenyan. He is a very strongly opinionated person. Through our interactions this month I was impressed by how knowledgeable he is and how good a reader he seems to be. He is 33 years old, married, studied commerce, and worked for different organizations in and outside Kenya, spent some time in the US, and he's an Atheist.

Mugathia, similar to other disbelievers, believes that all religions are man made to cover for their scientific shortcomings among other things. He says that as science uncovers different phenomenas we now know that there is a logical reason behind everything not a mighty creator. If someone from 1000 years ago saw someone talk over a piece of stone to another 100s of miles away, they would think this is God. But now that they understand its scientific explanation they wouldn't see any signs of divine power.

But advancement in science can only be explained in that sense if it makes us more knowledge. But the reality is that it only shows us how more ignorant we are. The ancient man had only the sun, the moon and the relatively few stars they can see as big mysteries. We might have known more about these objects today, but we also came to realize that there is a substantially bigger universe that lies beyond these countable set of objects. The amount of things we need to learn about today as we explore the universe by far exceeds what that ancient man thought he doesn't know when he looked up into the sky.

Our knowledge in absolute terms has increased. But it has dwarfed relative to the growing unknowns.

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