After much thought, I have decided that scientists must be, at least to a certain extend, afraid of God.
• The Physicist will tell you of the conservation of energy, of vacuum energy, quantum physics, and radio-active decay
• The Astor-physicist will speak of warped space-time, tell you of an almost impossibly large universe of tremendous age, and how it started.
• The Geologist will speak of the age of the rocks on earth and their movement, and reveal pre-history to us all
• The Biologist will tell of the wonders of all life forms past and present and their evolution
• The Chemist will describe the formation of molecules and their remarkable properties. Medical and industrial advance is their field.
• The medical professionals will save you from death and disablement wherever they can and it is all based upon scientific knowledge.
• The Archaeologist will work out what happened, where and when, and reveal old customs and lifestyles.
• Anthropologists, Historians, Psychologists and Psychiatrists and Linguists will accurately describe the Ascent of Man, his behaviour patterns and limitations.
• Engineers will use materials and calculate forces to give us the very best machines, structures, and everyday needs.
Each one will want to know more and more – each step discovered reveals more detail. Even though the sum of their knowledge is mind-bogglingly huge, they know they need to know more and keep on working – working for us. They will share their knowledge and correct their mistakes: they will even tell you why they were wrong and why they are right. You will see if what they say is true: what is true wins, what is not is sent back for more research and improvement: ask for proof of anything – anything at all – and they will either give it to you or give you as much as they have and explain their hypothesis and point out what they need to be able to be more certain.
All this study to get there; all this work to discover the means to discover something; the understanding it gives to us all; the rationality that it brings to the universe, the understanding of and to our lives and the lives of others: each generation living an improved life over that of their ancestors.
Why should scientists fear anything? They do no more that tell us how, who, where, and when it is…
But… in the form of their mysterious and invisible deity, the priests and acolytes of the unseen enter and say,
“All this is heresy; all this is lies; nobody knows everything except our gods – our gods explain all. Thousands of years ago, our gods told us all we need to know and what they told us is inerrant.
“Who can understand this? We ask these scientists so-called for proof, and proof of the proof, and proof of the proof of the proof, and proof of the….etc., and finally they cannot answer: It must therefore be wrong, for we know that the beginning of everything was magic. We do not need the proof that we ask of science, we have magic."
And so, every year, scientists must be afraid of the gods of ignorance and that one or other of the world’s shamans will gain enough publicity to appear on Fox & Friends, spread that ignorance and destroy, like the hoards of Genghis Khan, the potential of their hard won knowledge. Time will now have to be wasted taking horses to water and hoping a few will drink.
Imagine you are the only sane person in a lunatic asylum and then having your basic advice and knowledge dismissed by the inmates – Here is a reason for scientists to fear gods.
“Wandering in a vast forest at night, I have only a faint light to guide me. A stranger appears and says to me: 'My friend, you should blow out your candle in order to find your way more clearly.' This stranger is a theologian.”
-- Diderot, c1762
(Edit for a couple of typos)