A friend of mine is fond of saying, "No one's life is ever completely wasted. He can always serve as a horrible example for others."
This adage came to mind as I watched a video of Bill O'Reilly showing his ignorance in an interview with Richard Dawkins.
Dawkins is an eminent scientist who has just published a well-reviewed book about evolution, "The Greatest Show on Earth." O'Reilly is a right-wing talk show host who is fond of mangling facts.
And, in this case, making up facts when they are lacking.
The fundamentalist mindset is on display beautifully at the beginning of the interview. O'Reilly says that since science isn't sure about how life began on Earth, he embraces Christianity -- which does provide an answer to this question.
Dawkins is appropriately incredulous.
He can't understand why a gap in human knowledge has to be filled by make-believe. Why not just leave the gap as it is, while working to fill it?
O'Reilly demonstrates the true believer's fear of uncertainty.
It's just too damn scary not to know what happens after death, how the universe came to be, or what led life to arise from inorganic matter.
Science, as Dawkins points out, has made great strides in expanding the horizons of human knowledge, especially in the past century. There's no reason not to think that this will continue, likely at an ever-increasing pace.
Biologist Craig Venter is working on creating artificial life. If he and his team succeed, this will help to fill the gap with facts that O'Reilly wants to have Christianity plug up with mythology.
Here's the interview.