Okay. The God thing. Let me state right here, lest the ideas to come lead you to think otherwise, that I mostly believe (most of the time) with absolutely no religious dogma or weighty books to back it up.
So some people believe and some people don't and an awful lot of people have died one way or the other. (I like the one where each person in a group goes on and on about what they believe in and then they get to the guy who says, "Me? I believe I'll have another beer.")
Take the stars...how can you look at them and think they came from nothing at all? (Oh, right. The Big Bang.) Bangers believe that the universe is in an endless cycle of expansion and contraction, (an endless orgasm of planets and galaxies,) with lots of complicated ideas about everything compacting down to nothing after having expanded out past some limit or other. (This leads to lots of mental gymnastics, trying to picture the edge of everything and imagining just one mote of dust floating around past that, etc.)
I've tried to go along with the Bangers. I have, but it's like evolution. They're as bad as the hard-core religious folks. They believe it, goddamn it, and you should, too, or you're a moron.
Evolution sounds good, doesn't it? There was nothing on earth. Just water and hills and rocks. Then there were plants. That's good. Plants are nice. Then jiggly things in the water bumped into each other and made eenty-beenty things that look weird under a microscope. (Uh-huh.) Those things somehow got together and made more of themselves. Then they kind of turned into eyeless fish, then fish with eyes, then fish with legs. They walked out of the water and turned into everything else.
WHAT??? Anyone believes this? Come on. Eyes are complicated. They are reeeally complicated. Legs? They just showed up? Sure. Believers say, "but it took millions and millions of years." Oh.
I find these ideas much harder to believe than my own version, which is this: the math says that there's a very, very small possibility that everything just happened by itself. I'm fine with the idea that some being that's too complicated for my limited, human mind to grasp gave the evolution of life some help from time to time...that it didn't accidentally turn into the complicated and achingly beautiful variety of life that exists on earth today.
Why do we have to insist we know, for certain, what happened? When did theories become fact? When I was in school everyone talked about theories, and said things like, "We think..." and "We believe..." Now everybody knows for sure -- until they don't.