Pittsburgh, PA Thought I'd share this

Discussion in 'NorthEast Regional Discussion' started by CernStormrunner, Feb 17, 2009.

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  1. CernStormrunner Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 6, 2000
    star 4
    Not Star Wars or Sci-Fi related whatsoever, but I found myself agreeing with it, and wanted to see what everyone else thought:

    Today is the 200th birthday of Charles Darwin, father of the unifying theory of life sciences and the cause of about half the posts at Little Green Footballs lately (seriously, did some creationist run over Charles Johnson?s dog or something?). Before his death, the guy had a massive beard which doesn?t have anything to do with anything but I can?t help but point it out.

    Despite the controversy, a lot of his theories have graduated to the point where we would arrogantly say, ?Well, no duh,? about them, like that antibiotics will lead to stronger, more resistant microbes if it doesn?t kill every one. I never really got the controversy about evolution, though. I always believed in God and came from a religious family, yet I can?t remember ever thinking evolution conflicted with that whenever it was I first learned about the theory. I just always took it for granted that God was scientifically unprovable, but whatever was found out in science, God was the ultimate cause of it? so there. Basically, if you did a Venn diagram of the relation of God and science, God would be this giant circle with the science circle would be completely inside it. No matter how big the science circle gets, the God circle would always be a lot bigger and all encompassing. I remember once for about ten minutes in my Sophomore year in high school my scientific understanding of the world caused me to doubt my religious views, but for my entire life minus ten minutes I?ve found the two viewpoints quite complementary.

    Apparently, I do not fall within the majority on this, though.

    Anyway, I hate the evolution controversy. It?s the biggest waste of time both religiously and scientifically. Religiously it?s a waste of time because I don?t remember Jesus ever lecturing on science or acting like that was something important to salvation. I believe that if you think any science conflicts with your religious views, your putting both science and God into tiny little containers that won?t quite contain them. Scientifically it?s a waste of time because what does it matter to a few scientists in the relevant fields what most people think about the origin of the species? Despite the seeming importance of evolution in how it explains all life on the planet, it?s completely an inconsequential trivial fact to 99.9% of the population. For most people, whether they go through life believing in evolution, creationism, or the flying spaghetti monster will have absolutely no effect on any of their actions. Yet everyone thinks its super duper important than everyone believe whatever is the scientific orthodoxy of the day because otherwise? something. That?s because much of science has become a belief system these days. Everyone is sure its super horrible for someone to believe the earth is flat even if they haven?t spent time to rationalize why. It?s not enough for our world views to be right, they have to be important. There?s probably an evolutionary reasons our brains work that way (and, as a crazy Christian, I?d add a reason why God wanted things to end up that way).

    The thing is, science is not belief in certain pieces of data. The data is the unimportant part of science; it?s almost like its excrement. The important part is the process, the ability to analyze and evaluate that data that will keep changing and being added to throughout our lifetime. Being able to recite something you read in a science magazine doesn?t make you scientifically literate, it just makes you plain old literate. In fact, believing in evolution doesn?t make you any more scientifically inclined than someone who believes in in creationism; for most people, those are both just beliefs they read somewhere. Unless you actually apply that knowledge to do something, its not science. For the average person, whether they believe the earth is flat or round will have as much affect on them as whether they believe that black holes have a ch
  2. BonMothma Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 1, 2003
    star 4
    Charles Darwin himself struggled with reconciling his theories with his religious beliefs.

    I have never spent a great deal of time thinking in detail about how these reconcile with each other, but I believe that they do. As far as I'm concerned, the Bible does not conflict with scientific fact and what we learn of this world and the people in it. These are lenses through which we are to look at the text.

    The Bible cannot be taken literally. It conflicts with itself. The people who claim they can take it literally are lying to themselves about the interpretive lenses they are looking through when they read it.

    Regarding beliefs that conflict with proven facts, people who use only the Bible to back up these beliefs (or prejudices) are what I call "superstitious Christians." Their "faith" is a blind faith and has no more basis than the myth of the tooth fairy.

    God gave us brains and hearts, and we are supposed to use them.

    </sermon> [face_mischief]
  3. CernStormrunner Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 6, 2000
    star 4
    Exactly!

    If the Bible is "revealed truth" from God, it was told to humans like 6000 years ago. They wouldn't understand anything about DNA or reverse-transcriptase or molecular structures.

    So you explain it like you would explain it to a child. Babies are brought by a stork, or from a cabbage patch.

    I'd like to think we as a culture have grown up enough to understand things now, but sometimes i think we're just entering our Terrible Twos...
  4. BonMothma Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 1, 2003
    star 4
    My best friend shared a link to a sermon from a church near her. There is a series, "When Christians Get it Wrong." You can find them here. She sent the one on homosexuality to me since I am an advocate, but I've listened to most of the others, and they are all really good. Check out the one on conflicting with science and you will see echos of what we're talking about here, especially things in your last post.

    He's long-winded, but an excellent speaker. He has a master's degree in Biblical studies. I like to put one on while I'm doing something else and just listen while I work.

    If I lived near this church, I would join it.
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