Was playing golf with a guy.
Never met him before- 
Said his name was Randi.
We were getting along pretty well.
Started chatting it up a bit waiting to tee off on 10th hole.
I told him I greatly admired “The Amazing Randi” who debunked all magicians and psychics in my youth, and said that every single bit of magic is just some gimmick.

I told my golfing Randi that thinking back, the Amazing Randi was actually a central figure in my entire belief system. I not only agree with him completely, but I’m mystified why 90% of the people seem not to.

Golf Randi seemed to be nodding in agreement.

Then I took a chance.
I said that I put all religion in the same category. Baseless claims that can’t stand up to scrutiny.
Every one of them.

I waited.

He told me he was a science teacher - physics and chemistry.
(GREAT I thought - we’re really on the same wavelength).

Then he told me that nothing comes from nothing.

(Uh oh)

So what was before the Big Bang then, he asked me? Nothing?

I said it’s unknown. That doesn’t mean it’s nothing.

(I could see now, this wasn’t going to go well).

Then he offered the least compelling, most (pardon me) idiotic “proof” of creation that I ever heard.

Isaac Newton (who supposedly held deep religious beliefs) had built a model of the solar system. Halley (for whom the comet is named) was an avowed atheist.
Newton showed Halley the model solar system - I suppose it was something like the one we’ve all seen in high school Earth Science.

So Halley says, wonderful! Who made it?
Newton says, nobody.
Halley: come on, Isaac! What do you mean nobody? Someone must have made it!

By now I had already guessed what was coming, and probably you have as well.
Read on.

So Newton says come outside with me. Halley follows.
Newton: look up at the sky. The sun, the moon and the stars. If it’s impossible that nobody made my model, how is it possible that nobody made all that?

Randi looked at me proudly, as though this logic contained in his anecdote was iron clad and inescapable.

I said to Randi that a model was one thing, and the universe was quite another - that the question of “who” made it was absurd - there is no “who”. I asked did he think a magical wizard that did nothing for an eternity, suddenly just whipped up the universe, and just for us?

I could see it wasn’t going to deepen our friendship. I didn’t continue the conversation, although I kept thinking of how his Newton anecdote could be torn to pieces. Instead I complimented a few of his golf shots to smooth things over.

Most people recognize that magical miracles are impossible, yet they think religious miracles explain the whole universe.

All I know about it is, I’m going to play golf and the guitar, until I die. Then if there’s anything that comes after that, I’ll take it from there.


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