Dr. Bob's minions tire away endlessly to help the good Doctor in the name of science,
but with what little downtime they get they would like to share with you fine people!
Don't Panic! The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is an Atheist bible
I recently had a long flight, and while I was packing up to leave, my romantic partner gave me this Douglas Adams classic novel. “You’ve never read it before; that should be rectified,” he said. “Plus, its short, you’ll finish it in a few hours.” So that’s how it came about that I am just now discovering a pop culture phenomenon older than myself. Of course I knew about the inaccurately named Hitchhiker’s trilogy, just like I knew about Doctor Who before I saw the episode ‘Rose.’
Knowing that something is geeky merely scratches the surface of its geekiness. And in that regard, Adams's work does not disappoint; all the hallmarks of stuff to nerd out about are there. There is a vast expanded universe with infinite minutiae to obsess over. There are of course, the five novels, plus radio plays, comics, spin-offs, and a film that I felt was rather good relative to the book (the film’s merits are probably debatable, but I remember enjoying it when it came out, and for a long time was my only frame of reference for the Galaxy galaxy).
Now that brings me to my title. Fun fact: The word "bible" just means book. Now, science fiction and fantasy writers come in all stripes...and Douglas Adams was a noted atheist. In fact, 'Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy' contains the famous skeptical quote, “Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?” There are other jabs made at organized religion and the like, but this lovely phrase elegantly sums up life, the universe and everything (well, not literally...that would be 42). As a non-believer myself, Arthur’s story restored my faith in not having faith. I wouldn’t try to change anyone’s belief - and I don’t believe that I can - but Adams giving voice to the notion of a universe existing without a grand plan gives me the peace and comfort that a hymn gives other. It’s great to live in a world where my community is represented by such amazing humans as Douglas Adams.
Previously on Minion Musings...