Atheon Temple To Science Open For Worship Soon

The Atheon Temple of Science is an art project conceived by Jonathon Keats. Using a grant from UC Berkeley's Chancellor's Community Partnership fund, he created the Atheon in downtown Berkeley office building.

Four millennia after Abraham fathered Judaism, Christianity and Islam, and 150,000 years after hominids introduced burial rituals to the Mediterranean, religion has finally been rendered wholly compatible with science. Beginning on September 27, 2008, a two-story downtown Berkeley building dubbed "the Atheon" will provide a spiritual home for rational people in California, and guidance to acolytes worldwide.

Establishment of an Atheon has been a high priority in the scientific community for the past several years, rivaling even enthusiasm for the new Large Hadron Collider. "When you listen to people like Nobel-laureate cosmologist Steven Weinberg, or Oxford biologist Richard Dawkins, you hear a lot of talk about how god-based religion is out-of-date," says conceptual artist Jonathon Keats. "The leading minds believe that science can and should provide a spiritually satisfying replacement. But until recently no one bothered to consider what form that alternative might take."

The temporary facility features stained glass windows showing the cosmic microwave background radiation using NASA's new WMAP satellite data.


(Atheon stained glass cosmic background radiation)

"The cosmic microwave background is the sky's natural stained glass, our origin story imprinted on the cosmos," explains Mr. Keats. "And now it's visible to us for the first time, glowing through the windows of the Atheon."

Worshippers have their path to contemplation smoothed by special music, featuring three cosmic voices asking "Why is There Something Rather than Nothing?" Audio files provided by University of Virginia astronomer Mark Whittle provide backup.

Religion and science have been intertwined in science fiction for a long time. A unique view of science and worship can be found in Neal Stephenson's new novel Anathem. In the story, "avouts" are scientifically-inclined men and women who voluntarily accept a life of monastic contemplation of scientific truths. They also have "maths" or cloistered villages and a vast cathedral called a "mynster" forming the body of the necessary multi-millennial clock; rituals are conducted with scientific liturgy and music.

In a sense the clock was the entire Mynster, and its basement. When most people spoke of "the clock," though, they meant its four dials which were mounted high on the walls of the Praesidium - the Mynster's central tower...

The chancel, the heart of the Mynster, had an octagonal floor plan (as theors were more apt to put it, it had the symmetry group of the eight roots of unity). Its eight walls were dense traceries, some of stone, others of carved wood...

Today's liturgy was something to do with developments in finite group theorics that had taken place about thirteen hundred years ago...

The Hylean Anathem now existed in thousands of different versions, since every composer among the avout was likely to take a crack at it during his or her lifetime... The most ancient versions were monophonic, meaning each voice sang the same note. The one used at Saunt Edhar was polyphonic: different voices singing different melodies that were woven together in harmonious fashion...

From The Atheon via io9.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 9/15/2008)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 4 )

Related News Stories - (" Culture ")

Lumo Projector Turns Kids Rooms Into Bradbury's Veldt
'The walls began to purr and recede... and presently an African veldt appeared...'- Ray Bradbury, 1951.

Hologram Protest World's First
'Their bodies were in their dwelling cells, but their telucid images filled the hall.'- RF Starzl, 1931.

Norlin Shoe Drone Robot UAV In-Store Delivery Thing
'Robot-salesmen were everywhere, gesturing, pleading, shrilling.'- Philip K Dick, 1954.

Brand Killer Helmet Blocks Real-Life Ads
'Some merely held the holos [ads] at arm's length.'- John Varley, 1977.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Brainwaves As Biometric Identification
'The doors of Mr. Lars, Incorporated, shut, tuned as they were to his own cephalic pattern.'

What-If Machine Concocts Creative Premises
'Books were just a commodity that had to be produced, like jam or bootlaces.'

Underwater Balloon Gardens
'He puffed heavily as he angled around the bulbous lifezones...'

Storing 1 Zettabyte In 10 Grams
'It is theoretically possible to have a matrix in which each individual molecule has a meaning...'

Laser-Powered Spacecraft To Explore The Solar System
'Whoever launched it fired a laser cannon... for about forty-five years, so the intruder would have a beam to travel on...'

Skin Chair For That 'Sitting On A Fat Guy' Feeling
'The semi-sentient artifact glided to a position behind McKie...'

Pneumatic Micro-Tentacles Kidnapping Ants
'Long, flexible, glittering tentacles...'

Bee Narcs To Perform Drug 'Stings'
'Time for a replacement of both Behren and his dipterous insect...'

3D Printed Spherical Flying Machine
'Gold dots against blue, basketball-sized, twelve feet up....'

Airbus E-Fan All-Electric Plane Now Ready
I couldn't believe it, either.

Robot Swarms Improve Culture By Forgetting
'My mind was filled to the splitting point...'

Melomics Avant Garde Computer Musician
'Rollo sat at the keyboard, prim, inhuman, rigid, twin lenses focused somewhere off into the shadows...'

Nanotech Used To Create Custom Water Filters In Tanzania
'People started out squeamish about Clearsacs...'

This Robot Swordmaster: Yaskawa Bushido Project
'The instrument of prisms and target could not think, feel caution or remorse. And it carried a real blade.'

Samsung's Transparent Display Finally As Big As HG Wells'
Wells also figured out that 16x9 is the shape to have.

Thync Mood-Changing Wearable Device
'Very gently, hypnotically, the electronic pulses throbbed in the frontal lobes of his brain.'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.