As a theist you use a presupposition where no evidence is due. This is using false positive and projection. I can start explaining to you how a child learns about dependancy on its parents, interaction with it, building first an emotional structure that gains certain responses, which will be the base of the cognitive structures later on in life. But that will take a lot of time (took me some years of study for the different psychological and neurological directions in science). These structures are, when not met with correct consideration, causing individuals and from that groups, to respond to patterns in nature and more importantly society, with irrational behavior. Why? Because instead of understanding the physics and psychological evolution of humanity, people are then building their responses and insights/assumptions on these patterns based on ignorance. (this was an explanation still, so if you want to know more, check for instance http://lifeisadecision.blogspot.com (going to be moved here too). But I will elaborate answering two common questions that are giving theists the assumption that their idea about superstition is warranted.
The most important question:
1. How did it all begin?
If you have some understanding of science, you will understand how humanity has evolved its knowledge regarding its place in its own mind, society, nature and on Earth. Like children, humanity itself has learned to move away from fully emotional being (which animals are), to cognitive beings. (having reasoning skills, not merely emotional dependency skills). As children first have a dependency on their parents, so did humans still have a dependency on nature, causing it to project any ability of itself onto the patterns (signals coming from any source around us: plants, weather, light, animals, peers, events). Thus causing us (humanity or more likely even before becoming homo habilis) to create animism. Why? Out of fear. Any emotion humans have, are based on the evolutionary bred emotion fear. The single cell organism and every intermediate species have this same first emotion: fear. Fear of dying, and from that survival is based on balancing this emotion with all other evolved abilities.
We as humans have come to a moment where we are able to make objective (without emotion) reasoning (inductive/deductive) about patterns around us and see the causation between them. This has given us most if not all technological advancements you and I are using today. This technological advancement is both proof of the ability of humans to make our interpretation of reality consistent AND use the interpretation to determine and predict related causality that we are not able to directly touch (physically). As such we came to understand the microcosmos and microbes, quantum physics (though this is a slippery slope subject still), we came to understand from simple roling balls (Newton) that the Earth could not be the center of the solar system, nor universe, simply because the forces that we witness and the related consistency in reality, could not work if it was. Then we found more and more methods and evidence that the earlier theories by both theist scientists and secular scientists were correct or false, making things possible for humanity to evolve in both cultural, scientific and technological sense. This gave us things like the laws of thermodynamics, of gravity, of relativity, of evolution. These have caused humanity to reinvent itself many times. It is like a child having its puberty. The phases of transcending to another cognitive level. We first grew into our habitat. We demolished it, until we saw what the effects were (like a spoiled child in its egocentric phase, we thought everything was ours). We started to understand the causality of nature. We started to research ecosystems, biosystems, relations between amount of species that were part of each others lifecycle. We found more and more evidence that older species had gone through the same cycle and had become extinct (even before the hand of man took hold of Earth). We found out that there were ways to determine what the age of bones were, that there was DNA, that there were obvious relations between kin, between bloodlines, between ancestors. Though, as a child we first thought our parents and family were the world, we started to understand as humanity, that there was way more. Our parents had parents and this went on for thousands and thousands of generations. We found out that, physical resemblence was more than just face value. This caused us to look beyond our habitat, beyond Earth and we saw that people like Galilei, Copernicus, Newton and many more were right about how forces were not just acting here in our ‘little’ world. The observable ‘universe’ which at first was our solar system, was holding to the same laws. It never wavered from it, never changed its mind. We found out that the Earth had gone through many catastrophies, which humanity never knew about. We came to understand that if these forces worked in the solar system, we could start explaining why stars (previously just pinholes in a blanket on the sky) weren’t always in the same place and not even had the same distance among themselves. we created (based on the confirmed formulas and models that were proven by independant researches and tests) bigger models and formulas, that sometimes upset the existing ones, but were often improvements of the older models, not refutations (though sometimes they were). Eventually we came to understand that atoms weren’t the smallest parts we could calculate with, photons, particles and quarks were found to exist as smaller bases. They gave us insights on why nuclear forces degraded over time, why the Earth stayed going around the sun. But also, how elements were expelling or absorbing energy in their cycle (like the research had previously proven the causality in life cycles of animals), how eventually entropy would set in and a match would stop burning if no fuel was left. Theories about how the sun burned in a vacuum came and went. We found more and more radiation types, particles, levels of light and magnetic frequencies. These caused us to find that the whole of the universe was holding to this type of change, where energy and matter were exchanged. How background noise proved that there was a long history to the universe. Humanity was becoming the eye on the universe. We could see further and further, like an infant that could see only 30 cm after birth, one meter at age 6 months and further and further as its eyes adjusted to the level of detail around it. Humanity now understood why on Earth there were so many archeological finds in sediments that were old, very very old. The universe itself was very very old. Using different calculations, some precise, some crude, humanity found out what could and what could not be correct ages of things, of life, of rocks, of energy of movement. We found out that the solar system, the galaxy it was in, the universe we could see, was moving. Away from it something, but some things were moving towards each other. The universe was expanding. At first this was thought rediculous, so at least half of the scientific community set on a quest to falsify this idea. And even now there are still individuals that will look for calculations that will hold all proven laws and models, but will disagree with an expanding universe. However, this expanding universe meant also that it had to have been a starting point of the expansion. This is what currently is know as the singularity. Whether it is the correct name or cause, is to be determined, but the best answer in such case is: I don’t know yet! Why is that the best answer? It gives you the option to research and find the answer, but also any other answers in between. So, where did it all begin? At a point, approximately 17.8 BILLION years ago. (and even if science is a billion years off, or 10, it is still immeasurable by human mind). What started it? Well, the models all indicate that at some point friction caused the start. But for now, it is an unknown, which is fine.
The second question:
2. Do you believe the earth is eternal?
As you might have imagined from the long and winding road above, I don’t. Why would I? Rule number one in our reactionary universe; Everything changes. The Earth itself isn’t 17.8 BILLION years old, it is only 4.5 BILLION years old. So it already didn’t exist for ever, so why would I even consider it to exist for ever from now on? The elements that make up Earth will last a long time in their current form. BUT as science has proven that matter and energy shift sides every now and then, the matter that makes up Earth will eventually turn to energy (whether that is before the universe either collapses onto itself or outstretches itself of poofs like a soap bubble) and that energy will cool down and become new matter somewhere in the far future. Current calculations say that the sun will burn for another 5 billion years, so if we as species haven’t obliterated earth before than and haven’t settled our differences or have perished, Earth will go to an energy state in matter of seconds or years if the sun ends (either in cooling, or in explosion. Our sun isn’t very big in comparison to others, so we won’t have a supernova).
I hope that answers your questions. When Logically inclined, Honesty frames the view of Reason