2009 was a year: a single spin around a rather ordinary star in the unfashionable arm of a typical galaxy, a miniscule journey by a minute grain of dust, a time span that represents an utterly insignificant moment on the scale of things cosmic. And yet, in that one teeny tiny year, human scientists have applied logic and observation, measurement and calculation to the natural world and made several magnificent discoveries that have extended our knowledge of reality and may well improve the quality of life for humans.
In contrast, the year 2009 has been devoid of revealed knowledge from any of the gods. Neither the god of the Islamo-Judeo-Christian faiths nor the Olympian gods of the Greco-Roman faith, nor even the gods of Asgard, of the Cargo cults, of the Hindus, nor any of the other obscure or ancient religions have added anything to the store of human knowledge.
Silence in all its essential quietness.
Let's take a quick look at just ten of the amazing things that humans have manage to learn or have invented without godly assistance in one cosmic nano-second; in just a single human year:
The release of research on Ardipithecus ramidus, a 4.4 million year old fossil ancestor of Homo Sapiens has put yet another nail in the extremely nail filled coffin of Creationism.
The location and identification of a new type of Pulsar caused by highly magnetised and rapidly rotating neutron stars.
That rapamycin, even when dosage starts in middle age, can extend the life span of a mouse. And before the religious zealots shout, "So what?" I would point out that such subtle findings often portend major breakthroughs that elucidate paradigm shifts in our understanding of biological processes.
Scientists are working on graphene based devices. Graphene is a super conductive sheet of carbon just one atom thick.
In 2009, we also learned about a molecule that helps plants survive in droughts; a molecule that is potentially very useful in reducing suffering in Sub-Saharan Africa. If any god(s) are omniscient, benevolent, and omnipotent, why didn't they tell us about this molecule? The best answer to that question seems to be that there is no Santa Claus or any other mythical figure (aka god) possessed of these traits.
How did humans come by a laser that can take snap-shots of chemical reactions as they occur? Was it revealed to some old dude on a hillside by a flaming shrub that could talk? Nope. Oddly enough it wasn't. This device was developed by humans working at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in California.
As far as I can tell by Google searching, no divine revelations were involved in the progress made to treat fatal brain diseases, inherited blindness, or immune disorders by gene therapy. Chalk up a another point for humans working without the help of any invisible cloud beings.
Of course the god(s) were silent on the production of magnetic monopoles: fundamental particles with only one magnetic pole, because the god(s) seem blissfully unknowing about such things, having never once mentioned the structure of matter in any 'revealed truth' in any religion in the (brief) history of humankind.
Mere humans proved that there is water on the Moon, a celestial body that is not made of green cheese as some religions claim (see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fDp7pkEcJVQ
And rounding out this list of ten scientific advancements in 2009: the repair of the Hubble telescope. Each picture from the Hubble is worth another thousand words, everyone of those thousand words contradicting the fake cosmologies of the god(s).
So I throw down the scientific gauntlet (my disposable latex lab glove is the only thing I can find for this task) to the religionists of any and all denominations: What has your god(s) done to improve the state of human knowledge in 2009?
Hmmmmm. I didn't think so,