Discussion in 'Religion and Ethics' started by freeandfun1, Dec 10, 2004.
A lesson for the liberal elite
I am happy to say the author is an acquaintance of mine.....
That is a very very good piece.
piece. What's the lesson, that scientists have been Christians? Of course they have, and many will continue to be. Cambridge is chock full of churches, right alongside the great universities.
What makes it truly strange, though, is that the scientific discoveries of each person mentioned were all abhorrent to many Christians at the time the discovery was made. Galileo's persecution for observing that Jupiter appeared to have moons is legendary, and resulted in a formal apology from the Vatican in 1993 (if I remember right). Kepler's beliefs can hardly be called Christian--have you read his work? His system was metaphysical and mathematical, based on the Greek idea of the harmony of the spheres. and his laws of planetary motion helped put the nail in the coffin of the Christian idea that since man was "obviously" the center of the universe, therefore man's home, earth, must "obviously" be central too. Van L's microscopic discoveries were treated with the same disdain as Galileo's, though he wasn't persecuted. Boyle too challenged notions of vacuum, air, and space which Christians had been teaching (incorrectly) for many centuries.
I think the writer is trying to make the point that these nominal Christians did not see a conflict between their work and their religion. That's true. But many other Christians did see such a conflict, so perhaps the real lesson is not for "liberal elites" but for conservatives: be open-minded to strange-sounding scientific ideas, such as evolution, or risk obsolescence.
I submit that evolution is every bit as much a faith-based theory as is intelligent design - or more.
Evolution can be seen in action every day. You and I, and every other human, have on average 300 unique mutations. Some of these mutations have no effect. Others are deleterious (and result in the spontaneous miscarriage of many pregnancies). Others confer evolutionary benefit and continue on in the population. Our lifespans are so short that we can't easily observe human evolution (although we can observe it--consider the fascinating case of sickle cell anemia, which provides protection against malaria--populations where malaria is treated evolve to have less SS anemia, while those where it is not do not). However, we can easily observe evolution at work in many other populations. Bacteria, for example, constantly evolve resistance to antibiotics. Insects evolve resistance to pesticides.
As I've said here on this topic before--if you don't believe in evolution, skip your flu shot, since it is evolution of the influenza virus that gives us new strains to battle every year.
I agree that it's an astonishing idea, that organic compounds can self-organize into reproducing creatures wtih consciences, but no more astonishing than, say, quantum mechanics, which completely undermines "common sense" notions of causality, time, and space--and yet is the most accurate theory in the history of science, making predictions correct to 40 decimal places.
But the other problem with ID is that it's not a theory. You can't test it or prove it wrong (it could be proved right if God took out ads in the world's newspapers taking credit, I guess). Therefore it fails the most basic requirement for a scientific theory: falsifiability. So if you don't like evolution, and would like to propose an alternate theory, then you have to find something falsifiable that explains 100s of thousands of facts from fossils to DNA findings to the daily observation of evolution in other creatures. So far, no other theory has arisen, though anyone is welcome to try.
I think if many people studied evolution harder, they'd become convinced. I strongly suggest starting with Darwin himself. After all, the large majority of the world's Christian scientists accepted evolution a century ago after reading his work.
Tell me this then, where did DNA come from?
That is certainly intelligent design
Micro and Macro Evolution. One of those things happens. The other simply does not/there is no(or VERY little evidence) evidence to support.
Right, nature just stumbled upon it while sitting in the circle getting baked with her friends. You know how deep your thoughts are then!
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