Happy New Year! Some predictions.by Don Lacey on Jan. 01, 2013, under Armageddon, Atheism, AZ Politics, Critical Thinking, Environment, Faith, Freethought, Fundamentalism, History, Materialism, Reason, Religion, Science, Separation of Church & State, Skepticism
This year, many of the Atheists are looking forward to another year of finding each other. Local and state organizations like Tucson Atheists, FreeThought Arizona, the Tucson Chapter of Recovery from Religion, and Secular Coalition for Arizona along with the national and international groups will continue to grow as closeted Atheists begin to realize that they are not alone. While it is not the mission of the organizations to create new Atheists, they stand ready to support and defend people who have mustered the courage to question the “common wisdom” of belief and have come to the conclusion that the answers to questions about our world and universe can’t be found in a church pew.
The Skeptics just came off of a big boost in credibility when the world didn’t end on the 21st of December. Also, people are beginning to realize that we have just had the 332nd consecutive month with and above average temperatures. The last colder than average month was February 1985. A famous “climate skeptic” made headline news back in July when his study caused him to change his views. While Skeptics rail against UFOs, psychics, ghosts, Chupacabra, and Big Foot, their cause celibre is exposing the anti-vaccination movement headed up by notable celebrities. In 2012, news reporting turned on the anti-vaccine movement and reported the return of epidemics and death caused by their actions. As the cost of anti-vaccination efforts become more apparent, the celebrities pushing the effort will lose favor and sanity, as far as getting vaccinated, will return. Skepticism as a movement had its challenges this year but it was a symptom created by its rapid growth and will rise above petty disagreements and power plays to recapture its momentum during 2013.
Superstition and dogma will give way to more humanist concerns in 2013. More people will come to realize that there is no intelligent influence outside of time and space responsible for the current state of reality. Humanist derived answers and the fact that we’re living in a completely natural universe are what remain. This change to accept Humanism will continue to happen at a frustratingly slower pace than it should. The evidence and knowledge that leads us down this inevitable path has been overwhelming for decades, yet change has been too slow. Cosmologists and theoretical physicist doctors Stephen Hawking and Lawrence Krauss have proposed well supported and argued hypotheses that God was not necessary in creating the universe and the sum total of the energy of the universe is exactly zero. These ideas are basic and if proven will reduce the “God of the gaps” to insignificance. Humanism will advance but not quickly enough.
Finally, science will find answers and create even more questions. It is as it has been for centuries and growth in science will continue to accelerate as the amount of knowledge and its availability increases. There will be an enormous number of answers and they will be better, more robust.
People will die but more people will be born. Famous celebrities will most certainly reach their end only to be replaced by new celebrities. Some of them will be deserving of our attention and some will not. The world will continue to warm and there will be natural and man-made disasters. Politics will remain contentious and fundamentalism will frame many of our discussions.