We love a good miracle, us humans. There’s just something about our psyche that is compelled by the mysterious and the unexplainable. It’s this instinct that has probably led us to create the often opposed fields of science and religion, both are a way of understanding the world around us, and both of them deal in mysteries and miracles.
There are some true mysteries in the universe. Unfortunately, many of these revolve around the dense and sometimes tedious subjects of wave particle duality, plate tectonics, the absence of lithium in the universe and the mystery of dark matter. These all certainly qualify as “mysterious”, but not necessarily captivating.
There are lots of other “mysteries” out there which, rather ironically, can be quickly and easily explained by some very basic scientific principles. However, our thirst for magic, excitement and a healthy dose of media hype, have caused many of these ideas to perpetuate, and their comparatively dry and even somewhat disappointing explanations to be drowned out and mostly forgotten.
Whether it’s the word of the Catholic church (because, boy, do they love a miracle), the flim-flam of new age healers, or the assertions of UFO hunters, there are plenty of people out there who don’t let a little thing like science get in the way of magic – even if the answers are hilariously simple.