Monday, October 6, 2008
The battle of Science (Evolution) vs. Religion (Creationism) is heating up faster than a cup of water on a bonfire.
It is really hard for me to remain unbiased in this debate. I guess I am no journalist.
I find it hard to believe that after all of what science has given us in this world, there are some that would really want an alternative to evolution taught in schools.
I am by far no Atheist. I have a fundamental issue with Atheism as much as I do with conventional Religiosity. Is there a divine creator? I just don't know, plain and simple. And there is no one on this planet that can, without a doubt, prove to me that there is or there isn't. So we are left with speculation and faith, basically what organized Religion (specifically Christianity, Judaism and Islam) is comprised of. While on the other hand Science, defined in the dictionary as "The observation, identification, description, experimental investigation, and theoretical explanation of phenomena", is based on trial and error experimentation.
A religious person will say, "I have faith that the sun will rise tomorrow", while a scientist will say "based on the frequency of previous sunrises, I am 99% sure the sun will rise tomorrow".
Of course there are things that the science cannot prove away. But Science is ok with admitting that. Our perception of the world is taken in only by five senses and a brain that functions on maybe 10-12 percent capacity. But I am a little skeptical of replacing science with an ideology that was used to explain why the sun rose thousands of years ago. It also baffles me that we are even having this conversation in 2008.
In Matthew Alpers book, "The God part of the Brain", he states that "our concepts of spirit and God are derived from the mechanics of our brain" and that is shown in the fact that every civilization on earth since the beginning of man has had some concept of a God or gods.
In other words the human brain isn't happy with things it cannot understand so we find reason either through science or religion.
In this age of information at our finger tips there seems to me at last a shift in how people are thinking. The heating up of this debate is in kind due to the information evolution we seem to be in. There is a desire to seek out the truth in every instance. Ones opinion doesn't count for much anymore. If your father says, "this is the way this works" you can quickly go on the internet, find some facts and refute it.
This excerpt from Waking Life describes this evolution maybe a little less clearer but extremely thorough:
Regarding the presence of an intelligent designer or God, all I have is my opinion and I'll share it with you. But it is just MY opinion.
I grew up going to church quite often, sometime 3-4 days/nights a week. Also I went to an all boys Catholic Junior High and High School. I've been in passion plays and the subject of God and belief is scattered throughout my work. Therefore I think I know the bible pretty well.
Like a lot of people in my age group, I now have a problem with organized religion and unrelenting faith. I feel it does more harm in the world than good. There is something fatalistic and unrealistic about there needing to be an ultimate good and an ultimate evil and a final battle between the two at the end. Every action movie is based on that ideal and even our political process and policy decisions are based on that. Heroes and Villains. I think the world is much more complicated than that. The problem with religion is that it limits God. Whatever religious fundamentalists don't stand for or dislike is explained away as not coming from God. The God I would understand there to be is more infinite than math, wider than the entire universe. For me God is everything's connection to everything else, a quilt so to speak and each microbe of us a stitch within that quilt. But hey, whatever you need to get through the day right?
Let's just not hinder ours or our children's ability to search for truth.
This is an excerpt from a speech by the late Carl Sagan:
"We have a theology that is Earth-centered and involves a tiny piece of space, and when we step back, when we attain a broader cosmic perspective, some of it seems very small in scale. And in fact a general problem with much of Western theology in my view is that the God portrayed is too small. It is a god of a tiny world and not a god of a galaxy, much less of a universe.
Now, we can say, "Well, that's just because the right words weren't available back when the first Jewish or Christian or Islamic holy books were written." But clearly that's not the problem; it is certainly possible in the beautiful metaphors in these books to describe something like the galaxy and the universe, and it isn't there. It is a god of one small world, a problem, I believe, that theologians have not adequately addressed.
I don't propose that it is a virtue to revel in our limitations. But it is important to understand how much we do not know; there is a tiny amount that we do. But what we do understand brings us face to face with an awesome cosmos that is simply different from the cosmos of our pious ancestors.
Does trying to understand the universe at all betray a lock of humility? I believe it is true that humility is the only just response in a confrontation with the universe, but not a humility that prevents us from seeking the nature of the universe we are admiring. If we seek that nature, then love can be informed by truth instead of being based on ignorance or self-deception. If a Creator God exists, would He or She or It or whatever the appropriate pronoun is, prefer a kind of sodden blockhead who worships while understanding nothing? Or would He prefer His votaries to admire the real universe in all its intricacy? I would suggest that science is, at least in part, informed worship. My deeply held belief is that if a god of anything like the traditional sort exists, then our curiosity and intelligence are provided by such a god. We would be unappreciative of those gifts if we suppressed our passion to explore the universe and ourselves. On the other hand, if such a traditional god does not exist , then our curiosity and our intelligence are the essential tools for managing our survival in an extremely dangerous time. In either case the enterprise of knowledge is consistent surely with science; it should be with religion, and it is essential for the welfare of the human species."
time stops for no one so gorealer to the future