Let's see now...
* Spaghetti Monster reference: check.
* Babel Fish/"Puff of Logic": check.
* Father Christmas/Tooth Fairy/Easter Bunny: check.
* Invisible Pink Unicorn: check
* Science-religion mutually exclusive: check
* Religious belief equates to lower intelligence: check
Yep, it's another religion thread on the Reg.
@AC, 11:41 23/10/09:
"Most people using the internet are a little tech savvy, hence most will veer more towards science as more credible answer to the great questions"
There's that fashionable false dichotomy again; the one where science and religion are presented as being in opposition and intrinsically incompatible. But as has been explained thousands of times by moderate commentators on both sides, this assumption depends on the definition of 'religion' in very specific, narrow terms. Personally, as someone who's moderately 'tech savvy', I see no reason why science and religion cannot both contribute to the way humans approach those 'great questions'. There are questions that science answers far better than some religions do, and some that I suspect science won't ever really answer at all. For example, "why does anything exist at all", or "why am I conscious, and why I am I conscious of me, specifically?"
All of these questions can be answered - or at least dismissed - in 'rational' terms, if you're willing to be sufficiently vague and inconclusive. The implications of our current - scientific! - understanding of the Universe require us to accept a 'Big Bang' that was apparently caused by nothing and happened in an 'environment' (for want of a better word) where neither time nor space existed.
Even if it's argued that the Big Bang must have had a cause, and we just haven't been able to identify it yet, then we're faced with the prospect of an infinite regress: an endless parade of causes stretching back into an inexplicable eternity of past. What caused the cause of the cause of the cause of the...? If at any point the regress stops, then we're still faced with the problem of something from nothing. It strikes me that this alone torpedoes all our precious notions of what's rational and what's not: at some point we just have to accept that the world around us is extraordinarily strange. Fine, insist on being evidence-based if you wish, no problem there at all: but I'd still be very careful indeed about venturing beyond "there's no evidence for..." to "you're a wicked moron if you believe...".
For the record, I'm not Christian. I hold no belief in Original Sin, or the eternal torture of sinners in Hell by a loving, merciful God, or any of the other dubious tenets so beloved of atheists still - for some reason - desperately keen to harangue me (as one of the generalised 'religious') for my primitive superstitious idiocy.
And I agree: the Alpha Course's question was loaded. There were indeed two affirmative answers for only one negative. But, like the angriest and most vocal of the atheists, the Course website was clearly operating based on a very specialised and specific definition of 'God'. Ask me if THAT God exists and I'll give it a pretty confident 'no'. Ask me if some sort of divinity exists and I'll give you an equally confident 'yes'. (Not absolute, of course: there's always the possibility that nothing really exists at all.)
Obviously it's the fashion to mock those who adopt a religious attitude towards the world we live in. It's comforting for those doing the mocking because it allows them to feel superior, when the truth is we're all just groping along in the dark, with even our best and brightest scientific minds barely scratching the surface of an unspeakably vast, incomprehensively ancient and utterly baffling Universe.