©William O. Straub, fl. 2004-2016
Index photos courtesy ETH-Bibliothek,
Who Was Hermann Weyl?
Wheeler's Tribute to Weyl (PDF)
2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Weyl's Spinor and Dirac's Equation
Weyl's Conformal Tensor
Weyl Conformal Gravity
Weyl's 1918 Theory
Weyl's 1918 Theory Revisited
Weyl v. Schrodinger
Why Did Weyl's Theory Fail?
Did Weyl Screw Up?
Weyl and the Aharonov-Bohm Effect
The Bianchi Identities in Weyl Space
Conformal, Parameter-Free Riemannian Gravity
Gravity Wave Tutorial
Conformal Kerr-de Sitter Gravity
A Child's Guide to Spinors
Levi-Civita Rhymes with Lolita
Weyl's Scale Factor
Weyl's Spin Connection
Weyl and Higgs Theory
Weyl & Schrodinger - Two Geometries
Lorentz Transformation of Weyl Spinors
Riemannian Vectors in Weyl Space
Introduction to Quantum Field Theory
A Children's Primer on Quantum Entanglement
Veblen and Weyl
The Four-Frequency of Light
There Must Be a Magnetic Field!
Non-Metricity and the RC Tensor
Curvature Tensor Components
The Divergence Myth in Gauss-Bonnet Gravity
A Brief Look at Gaussian Integrals
Differential Forms for Physics Students
Einstein's 1931 Pasadena Home Today
She did not forget Jesus!
"Long live freedom!"
Visitors since 11-4-2004:
Why I Quit Christianity
William O. Straub. Pasadena, CA
"If, somewhere within the Bible, I were to find a passage that said 2 + 2 = 5, I wouldn't question what I'm reading. I would believe it, accept it as true, and then do my best to work it out and understand it." -- Peter LaRuffa, Pastor, Faith Fellowship Church, Florence, Kentucky, 2014
Readers of this site have often emailed me asking why some of my earlier papers appear to promote Christianity, while my more current posts invariably disparage that faith and its more fervent believers. That's because in 2007 I stopped being a Christian.
I have read the entire Bible numerous times and the New Testament more times than I can count. In the years before I retired in 2001, I led a lunchtime Bible study group for many years at my place of employment, and in the 1970s I taught a Sunday school class at a non-denominational Christian church. While I invariably rejected the more hardcore beliefs the church promoted, I nevertheless remained enamored of the teachings and philosophy of Jesus, particularly as they applied to treating others as we would be treated ourselves. As a Christian I've made more than my fair share of mistakes, hurting numerous people (and myself) many times along the way, but I always believed that forgiveness and salvation was guaranteed by my Christian faith.
That all changed when President George W. Bush launched the Iraq War in March of 2003. Like many others I prayed that America was doing the right thing, and that the 9/11 attacks were somehow tied to Saddam Hussein. But before long it became apparent that all of Bush's reasons for going to war were based either on bad data, misleading evidence or outright lies. By 2007 it was clear to me that the war had been based all along on political expediency and military hubris, and that approval of the war was predicated on the irrational fears of a woefully misguided nation gone stark raving mad.
I soon began to realize that fear and religious belief were almost synonymous, and that nearly all religious belief systems are based on the fear of death and suffering and an irrational need to believe that our lives somehow have a supernatural purpose and meaning. As an amateur historian (especially the history of the ancient Levant and 1st century Roman Judea), I began to realize that religious belief systems have never stemmed mankind's inhumanity to his fellow man and our ongoing history of greed, war and killing. I also realized that catastrophes not related to humans (hurricanes, tsunamis, plagues, earthquakes and the like) occurred regardless of supernatural pleas involving prayer, sacrifice, repentance and atonement.
This awareness came to me almost as an epiphany, and I was instantly aware of how religion was at the root of many if not most of the ills of the world. Nevertheless, I did not go down gracefully -- I became irritable and fairly antisocial at the time, thinking not so much about the time and energy I had wasted over the years praying, contributing to the church and thinking about God and Jesus, but how I had unconsciously sacrificed my own intellectual integrity out of a need to believe what I suddenly realized was unbelievable nonsense and superstition.
I've since read hundreds of books on Christianity, Christian philosophy and the historicity of Jesus of Nazareth, and what I've learned is that there is indeed an innate human need to try to do what's right. Although Jesus no longer is the Christ for me, his teachings still resonate with me, and I try to follow what I believe he was trying to say to the people of his time regarding how we should treat one another.
In my wanderings since then I've come across the writings of numerous Biblical scholars, notably those of John Dominic Crossan and Bart Ehrman, whose books and videos I encourage others to seek out and consider. I also encourage others to read about the history of ancient Rome, Egypt, Israel and Assyria, which provides a useful counterpoint to the irreconcilable contradictions, inconsistencies and outright errors on the Old and New Testaments.
Meanwhile, I'm leaving all of my older physics and math papers on this site as they were when I first wrote them, primarily as a reminder to myself of how ignorant, naive and stupid I was at the time concerning their embedded Christian messages. For awhile I entertained the idea that science and religion could coexist peacefully, since both are supposedly dedicated to unveiling the truth about the world. I am now militantly opposed to such a view -- while science does indeed seek the truth, occasionally stumbling along the way, religion is completely static, seeking only to propagate superstitious nonsense as a means of allaying fear, to make money and to promote various political and cultural goals. But the worst -- absolutely the worst -- aspect of Christianity is its unwavering adherence to militarism, money, the so-called "American Way" and its insistence on absolute certainty and absolute security. All of these negative attributes are the result of fear, both short term (the fear of illness, poverty and suffering) and long term (the existential fear of eternal unconsciousness and nothingness), and in the end they are used to justify war, environmental destruction, the hatred and persecution of minorities, the insane pursuit of money and security, and the rejection of rationalism and science. It is this last aspect of Christianity that grieves me the most, and it's the one aspect of America and its citizens that I truly detest.