by "Cargo Weasel"

You know what? I'm done. On one side of me I got Bible thumpers screaming that I'm going to their invisible hell if I don't do what their invisible sky-daddy tells me, and on the other side of me I got crystal gazers who channel mystic forces and see auras. I'm sick of all of it. I'm sick of pussyfooting around and being diplomatic.

IT'S ALL BULLSHIT. Yes it is. YES IT IS. I am DONE being nice. You believe in spooks and fairy tales. You base your life around them because you were told lies by your parents and by rich people who got rich off of gullible people. I no longer care if I am nice about it. I no longer care if people think I am closed minded. I only ask that when you make a claim you provide proper evidence. That's all. I only ask that you look and think.

We live on a planet that's about 4 1/2 billion years old, about 12,700 km in diameter and composed of a little less than 6 septillion kilograms of iron, oxygen, silicon, magnesium, and a few other other materials , orbiting 93 million miles around a pretty normal star. We can observe this and measure it. There are about 200 billion other stars in our galaxy which formed out of pressure applied to interstellar gas and dust. Our planet formed from a collection of dust and gases thrown off by the birth of the Sun a few billion years ago. We know this because we can see it happening elsewhere.

Life formed on this planet about two billion years ago when amino acid molecules were nudged by radiation into a form that enables them to reproduce. We still don't know exactly how this occurred but the evidence points in this direction. Some molecules were better reproducers than others. The best reproducers do it more and thus take over. Complexity arises when the best reproducers compete for resources and one is successful and the other isn't. It is a process that has been going on since the beginning of life and will continue as long as life exists. It is vast and humbling to consider. The evidence for this is overwhelming.

In about two billion years another galaxy called Andromeda is going to crash into our galaxy and ignite waves of supernovae and new star generation before both supermassive black holes at the centers of both galaxies combine millions of years after that, inundating the new massive elliptical galaxy with gamma rays. As big and inevitable as this event is, it's a fairly minor occurrence in the Local Group which is a small part of the Virgo Supercluster which is a part of the Great Wall, which is the largest currently observable structure in the universe, at least 500 by 300 million light years in area, but only 15 million light years thick. The universe is comprised of many of these walls, in a rough structure determined, we suspect, by the gravitational pull of dark matter. These structures do not require faith to exist, they are there for the observation.

And we don't understand everything about them, nor will we, most likely, as long as there is a species called humans. But we can ask and we can pursue and we can explore and we can think and we can search. And if we do it right, we'll get answers. And they won't be the ones we expect. But we have to ask and we have to search and explore, and not hide behind stories we were told as children.

If that's not impressive enough or miraculous enough or astonishing enough for you I don't know what the hell to tell you.

This universe is out there and it's real. It's bigger and more amazing than anything you can imagine. It is far more magnificent and awe-inspiring than any myth that humans invent around the campfire. It is not a spook or an aura or a mystical story that feels good. It is reality. People who bury themselves in spooks and stories are refusing to look, they are wilfully ignorant, and nothing is sadder to me than wilful ignorance.