The other day I became bored (surprise) and decided to hop on Omegle. I typically find morons or people who don’t speak English very well, whether they are native speakers or not. To my surprise, there was one person who seemed engaging enough and somehow our conversation turned to “science.” It didn’t take long for him to discover, by asking, that I am an atheist just after I figured out he was a creationist based on a question posited to me about genetics.

I’m not an expert, but the sciences, both physical and biological, have been an obsession of mine since childhood. I can confidently say that I have a better working understanding of physics, biology and astronomy (maybe some chemistry) than most non-science majors. (Of course, explaining some of these issues to the guy on Omegle, or anyone else trying to understand basic scientific principles, becomes difficult when they can’t grasp the math involved.)

He asked, “Can you give a single example in which mutation has shown an increase in genetic information?” I wasn’t born yesterday, asshole. The question is flawed because it presupposes the fact that it can’t be answered. (Much like the challenge “Prove to me there is no god.”) There are also elements of the question that need to be further defined, such as the notion of an “increase in information.” Luckily, an expert has already answered this question in depth for me.

I had to end the conversation. It was just another creationist masking his intentions by appearing to make a sincere effort in discovering truths when he was alluding to the fact that a god must have been responsible for all things living (and non-living).

Then it struck me.

Through the years, while examining every single philosophical and scientific argument for or against atheism, it dawned on me that I was clinging to facts that would never be accepted by a creationist or theist. It didn’t matter how much scientific fact I presented or studied. It also doesn’t matter that some of the questioned posed defied logic (from both camps for their own purposes). A creationist or theist is never willing to concede the possibility that they might be wrong. Never.

So, here is my concession: I give you theists everything. Evolution is fake – both micro and macro. The Big Bang didn’t really happen. Things didn’t just appear from nowhere; they must have been created. Christ really did exist and he really did perform miracles. Everything I have fought tooth and nail for, it’s yours.

Now, tell me, how does that prove there is a god?

From the famous philosopher Socrates, “To find yourself, think for yourself.” While this is very true, it has become increasingly difficult these days. How do you think for yourself when you’re bombarded with advertising, media, and frivolity everyday? I live in Los Angeles and there is no shortage of hive-mindedness around here. Then again, I find the same problem everywhere now thanks to the Internet. All it takes is one remotely reasonable idea, and the world becomes engulfed in flames with the new idea – no matter how wrong or right it might be. Take, for example, the news of Steve Jobs’ health. A popular tech blog called Gizmodo wrote up a piece a few weeks ago stating the reason for Steve Jobs’ absence at Macworld: He is in bad health. Many were quick to shoot these rumors down, though some actually believed it. Personally, I think Gizmodo wasn’t all that confident but ran with the story, anyway, and they happened to get lucky that it was confirmed. Everyone took their side of the fence and were awaiting the news hoping their team would be the one that gets to say, “I told you so.”

There is a major problem with group thinking or hive minds. I have had many controversial ideas or opinions, being a natural skeptic, and have been shot down or ostracized by many for what I think. I’d also like to think that I’ve turned out to be correct three out of four times, but that’s a different story. My issue with group thinking is that there is a complete lack of skepticism. Someone starts an idea, it sounds pretty damn good, more people perpetuate that idea and suddenly it is accepted as fact. It reflects the power of ignorance, the inability to think for onesself, and today’s complete lack of skepticism. If the Internet says it, it must be true, right?

I’m going to remain controversial and I am going to continue to question things that I find questionable. It’s funny, a lot of people in Los Angeles always feel like they’re not a typical Angeleno. The stereotype is either the male who’s far too concerned with his paycheck, car, clothes and hair, or the woman who’s immersed in her looks, her diet, and who she parties with and where. If you happen to be just shy of being any one of those characters, you’ve probably heard the phrase, “You’re such a breath of fresh air; you’re nothing like the typical L.A. guy/girl.” The irony, of course, is to find that statement coming from someone who believes he or she is also not cut from the L.A. cloth, but they’re happily wrapped in it.

Whatever the people in your community believe in, whether it’s your hometown, your professional community or spiritual group, don’t ever be afraid to question what you’re being told. Don’t ever worry about looking like a fool for being brave enough to exercise free inquiry. Remember, just because millions of people think the earth is flat, it doesn’t mean they’re right – and in many cases, they’re not.