The Ergosphere
Sunday, February 12, 2006
 

Did you get the message today?

Today, February 12 2006, is the 197th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin.  (Happy Darwin Day!)

It is also Evolution Sunday, a day on which hundreds of congregations nationwide (at this writing, the page says 441 in 49 states and DC) have "... come together to discuss the compatibility of religion and science."

That's only an average of 9 congregations per state, but it's a start.

 
Comments:
Interesting. I didn't know that.

Many have rightly pointed out that science and religion are two entirely different things, and are thus eminently compatible. Religious people believe in truth from an absolute source; this does not preclude us from believing truth garnered from the observations of men.

Seriously, as a religious person I find absolutely no conflict between science and religion. I personally believe that God has told us only about those things we could not find out for ourselves, and for the rest he expects us to use our minds. That's part of why we're here, after all.
 
The only conflicts between science and religion are created when one needlessly provokes the other. Scientists can say that there doesn't need to be a God for the universe to exist, religious zealots can seek to invalidate science if it isn't compatible with their chose Scripture. Neither position is necessary for the betterment of either establishment.
 
" The only conflicts between science and religion are created when one needlessly provokes the other."

The problem is that some religions make claims of fact about the natural world, and science inevitably winds up covering the same areas and usually comes up with different answers; the religion's adherents then take up (usually metaphorical) arms against science.

If these conflicts are needless, I'd like to know how they can be avoided; fundamentalist religion is not about to stop making claims of fact regarding cosmology, paleontology, geology, biology and a host of other sciences, and science certainly should not cede the field.

It's a pity that we cannot, as a society, conclude that fundamentalism is false, full stop, and its adherents deserve no public accomodation.  Frankly, anyone whose rationalization amounts to "the entire natural world is an extremely elaborate lie" is something close to paranoid needs counselling and perhaps medication.  After all, the deity they describe is the best of liars, and the Prince of Lies is Satan, not God; by their own definition, they worship Satan.
 
"The problem is that some religions make claims of fact about the natural world, and science inevitably winds up covering the same areas and usually comes up with different answers; the religion's adherents then take up (usually metaphorical) arms against science."

I guess you have some denominations that do that, politcally active fundamentalists likely, but mainstream Christianity manages to avoid such confrontations. The problem is, these fundamentalists tend to command a lot of media attention, yet they speak for a minority. A good example is this Intelligent Design nonsense, which I consider to be a political issue.

Likewise, scientists generally leave religion alone, yet every now and then you have folks like Carl Sagan who went out of his way to push the idea of God being a myth.

I believe most Christians view the Bible as metaphorical when it comes to describing 'history' and don't feel threatened by the fact that the world wasn't created in a week. Science doesn't need to 'cede the field' as much as realize that the opposition is a truly minority one.

I suppose that rational minded Christians could help by supporting their local scientist whenever possible.
 
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