Monday, January 5, 2015

Bad Religion Vs. Bad Science

Nobody is going to win this battle!

I've been appalled lately when reading posts on evolutionists' Web sites. The problem I've been seeing with them is that they aren't content to discuss why Darwin's theory of evolution is "true" but seem intent on blasting creationists' beliefs.

The problem with that is that this is an argument nobody will win, and everybody will lose. The creationists will dig in their feet even deeper, refusing (understandably) to consider ideas that are presented as vile-tasting medicine; which will cause even more dislike and misunderstanding of the concept of evolution,  which will further pit parents against teachers, voters against legislators, and science itself against religious belief.

And the problem with that is that nobody on either side will work toward clarifying the nature of belief and faith; nor the nature of scientific evidence and what can be proven and what cannot be.

What is "bad" about this kind of religion and this kind of science is that no one seems willing to acknowledge that both approaches seek the same end: understanding of the world, our existence as humans, and human moral imperatives.

Articles with titles like "God is on the ropes" may certainly win readers, but they don't really have anything (except vaguely derogatory generalities) to say about God or the people who believe in God.

Talk about setting up a straw man so you can set fire to him! The problem with this approach is, of course, the stench of the ashes that remain, when believers and non-believers alike walk away from the flames that had transfixed them, and attempt to look at the real issues. In the case of this article, the stinking ashes come about three-quarters of the way through, when the author admits that the theory he has been lighting up the sky with is still just a theory and has not been proven (and does not address the issue of whether this theory can be substantiated).

And the concluding paragraph is stunning in its arrogant hypocrisy and self-satisfied back-patting. No wonder creationists have sometimes "paint[ed] scientists as arrogant..." Here it is:

"Creationists often cast themselves as humble servants of God, and paint scientists as arrogant, know-it-all rebels against him. But, unsurprisingly, they’ve got it all backwards, once again. England’s work reminds us that it’s scientists’ willingness to admit our own ignorance and confront it head on — rather than papering over it — that unlocks the great storehouse of wonders we live in and gives us our most challenging, satisfying quests."

Really? In what way has this article shown any lack of arrogance? In what way has it been about "willingness to admit...ignorance"? In what way is it about a "challenging" or "satisfying" quest? Just turn this statement around for an equivalent example of what a creationist might write about evolutionist ideas. But why bother? There's enough of this kind of nonsense on both sides already. I bring up this latest example only to show the shallowness, insincerity, and mean-spiritedness of this entire debate.

What I'd like to see on the side of evolutionists is new ideas presented as new ideas, without the extra fire-starting materials. On the side of creationists, I'd like to see an understanding of Darwinism instead of a series of misunderstandings and arguments that misrepresent the theory of evolution.

Most of all, I'd like to see what true religion and true science have to say about the issues that we are all struggling with, the "great storehouse of wonders we live in," the purposes and meaning of life.

I'd like to see scientists and religious people focus their energies on solving world hunger, disease, and wars.

And I'd like to point out that for many scientists, their religious beliefs do not conflict with their scientific studies, and their scientific research does not contradict their religious beliefs.

And that's because they are interested in true religion (from the Latin re+ligare, or re-connect) and true science (from the Latin scientia, or knowledge).

(I'll be writing more about this.)


3 comments:

Jeff Wynn said...

ELEGANTLY stated.

Jeff Wynn said...

There is CONVERSATION - discussing commonalities like seeking the truth, admitting logic flaws in your favorite religions observance (scientism OR religion), and seeking ways to take care of poor and sick human beings...

And then there is standing across the highway from each other and SHOUTING ad hominem insults.

Which do YOU think might get the human race anywhere?

Jeff Wynn said...

And here's the point:
- they BOTH have a belief system
- they BOTH make unjustifiable assumptions
- they BOTH prefer to only listen to people like them...
- and NEITHER has all the answers
- and NEITHER exercises humility
- and NEITHER will ever convince the other.