I rarely come across a quote that so precisely sums up my thoughts about a topic, in this case, the amazing nature of the universe around us and the existence or need for an all-powerful deity, spirit, whatever you may call it, to explain or clarify things.
In her book Why Are You Atheists So Angry? 99 Things That Piss Off the Godless, which I don't recommend (see below), blogger Greta Christina notes that:
The physical world is anything but mundane. The physical world is black holes at the center of every spiral galaxy. It is billions of galaxies rushing away from each other at breakneck speed. It is solid matter that’s anything but solid: particles that can’t be seen by the strongest microscope, separated by gaping vastnesses of nothing. It is living things that are all related, all with the same great- great- great- to the power of a million grandmother. It is space that curves, continents that drift. It is cells of organic tissue that somehow generate consciousness. When you take the time to learn about the mundane physical world, you find that it is anything but mundane.
And this crap about “I don’t follow any organized religion, but there has to be more to life than what we see” does a grave disservice to the wild and astonishing complexity of what we see.
The more I read about the universe, the origins of everything we know of since the big bang, the way things hang together from the smallest particle up to the largest galaxy and all the human-sized constructions and natural artifacts in betwee, the more in awe of it all I am. As the author notes, if you think "there must be more to it all than this," then in my opinion you really haven't bothered to try to understand how amazing "all this" really is.
While there are a few decent quotes and ideas in this book, I don't particularly recommend it for two reasons. First, most of the author's arguments are not particularly new or even that well presented. She has none of the eloquence of some others with similar opinons and the book can be best described as a summary of well-established arguments. Second, she writes from anger and her style is quite offputting even though I agree with much of what she has to say. Anger with an injustice may be a healthy motivator, as both Martin Luther King Jr. and Gandhi noted. But they both won precisely because their message was about the injustice, not the anger.
It's perhaps a decent summary of many of the arguments made against believing in the supernatural (whether in the form of a "god" or any other less-specific supernatural phenomena). It might be useful for somebody who's unfamiliar with the general landscape and doesn't mind getting the overview from an author who doesn't bother to hide the chip on her shoulder. It made for a quick airplane read -- I never can concentrate very well on planes -- and there are a few good passages in it, of which the one above is far and above the best, or at least the one that spoke loudest to me.