Paul L. Caron
Dean




Sunday, January 2, 2022

If You Can Only Read One Book In 2022: Believing Is Seeing Is A Life-Changing Choice

Following up on my previous post, Why Atheists Need Faith:  Mark Tapscott (HillFaith), Believing Is Seeing: Once Upon a Time, in a Galaxy Far, Far Away:

Believing Is Seeing 5If you can only read one book in 2022, Believing is Seeing by Dr. Michael Guillen could well be a life-changing choice regardless whether you are a determined atheist, a hard-nosed scientific materialist, or a Bible-believing Christian.

The subtitle of the book describes this work perfectly: A Physicist Explains How Science Shattered His Atheism and Revealed the Necessity of Faith.

But Guillen is not just any physicist, he’s one with expertise in physics, astronomy and mathematics, an award-winning former Harvard professor and for years the ABC News Science Editor.

To get a deeper idea of why I recommend this book so highly, check out the following excerpt from pages eight and nine of the book as he describes the beginning of his realization as a Cornell graduate student that the universe is vastly more complicated than he had ever dreamed:

Very quickly, I learned that galaxies rotate slowly, like enormous merry-go-rounds. According to a scientific law called the Virial Theorem, the more massive the galaxy, the faster it spins.

I also learned that galaxies spin much faster than they should, in apparent violation of the Virial Theorem. It’s as if they are far more massive than they appear — like they’re bloated with some kind of unseen material that makes them spin abnormally fast. My astronomy professors called this mystery the Missing-Mass Problem.

Today, we call this hypothetical missing mass Dark Matter. Based on what little we know, we speculate it could be an entirely new invisible form of matter, ruled by an entirely new kind of force. But honestly, we don’t know what it is — or even if it really exists.

More recently, we’ve discovered another oddity about the heavens that is also totally invisible: Dark Energy. From what we can tell (which is precious little), it behaves like a repulsive force that causes the universe to balloon out an accelerating speed.

And get this: Together, Dark Matter and Dark Energy seem to constitute 95 percent of the entire universe. That’s right, scientist now believe that 95 percent of the universe is invisible to us.

When I first learned about the Missing-Mass Problem and what we now call Dark Matter, it blew my mind, rocked my reality, and challenged my perception of everything (So did the discovery of Dark Energy, but that happened after I graduated, when I was teaching at Harvard).

As a pious scientific monk — a liberated, free-thinking Atheist — I lived the by the trusty adage that seeing is believing. I refused to believe in anything I couldn’t actually see and that couldn’t be proved.

But that worldview was now out the window because science had discovered that what we are able to ‘see’ — what we’re able to prove the existence of — is only a small fraction of what is out there.

The Missing-Mass Problem made me realize that if I stuck with my hard-nosed, scientific worldview — if I insisted that ‘seeing is believing’ — then I’d be turning a blind eye to 95 percent of what’s out there in the universe.

It needed some expanding. It had to become big enough to include belief not only in what I could see and prove but in what I could not see or prove — such as Dark Matter. Otherwise, I couldn’t honestly continue calling myself a scientist.

https://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2022/01/if-you-can-only-read-one-book-in-2022-believing-is-seeing-is-a-life-changing-choice.html

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