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Humanists of Rhode Island Message Board › Space maddness

Space maddness

Warwick, RI
Post #: 17
I was driving around doing some errands today and as is my habit I was listening to WGBH the NPR station out of Boston I happened upon a segment of the show “On The Media” which discussed the idea of “space madness”. http://www.onthemedia...­ This is the idea that if we send people into space the isolation and the deprivation of creature comforts such as cigarettes and Coke would drive astronaut MAD. Those who supported the idea of space madness also suggested that going “into the heavens” may have an impact on the space traveler’s faith, either positively or negatively. It was pointed out that many people assumed that these scientists must have such a strong faith in god to undertake such a dangerous mission. The segment goes on to point out that the astronauts had to constantly point out that their “faith” was in themselves, their skills and their coworkers in a constant and deliberate attempt to counteract the idea that they would entrust themselves to a god or gods.
I was also struck by the idea that they used children to fight against the idea of going into space. Many children wrote letters to the space explorers asking them not to go because the children feared the rocket may crash into angels on its celestial voyage, thus decreasing the angelic population.
What struck me was how we treat the attack on science by the religious right as a NEW thing, well perhaps it is not. Just as the religious right of today wants to stop the advancement of science such as stem cell research, the teaching of creationism as fact, and the denial of evolution; the religious extremists of the 1950’s used their mythology to try to stop the Space program. Furthermore just as the religious fear mongers of today want to perpetuate their misinformation by brainwashing their children getting them to fear the advancement of the space program through the fantasy of angles, the religious of today want to use our children to advance their ignorance and keep all societies from reaping the benefits of scientific advancements.
This is nothing new, but now just as then, reason and logic will win over fear and magic. But not without a price, the religious proponents of ignorance will slow this progress and affect millions of lives in the process. It is time to rid ourselves of the drudge of religion, and replace it with the advancement only science can offer.
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