Skip to comments.Breaking the Cease-Fire Between Science and Religion
Posted on 07/09/2009 6:45:37 AM PDT by Zionist Conspirator
What is portrayed as the debate between religion and science feels increasingly like watching the very bitter dissolution of a doomed marriage. The relationship started out all roses and kisses, proceeded to doubts and regrets, then fights and silences, a mutually agreed separation, and finally to curses and maledictions: I wish you were dead!
In a recent Wall Street Journal opinion article, cosmologist Lawrence Krauss declared the inconsistency of belief in an activist god with modern science. Krausss essay was the latest eruption of a vituperative argument going on in the scientific community over accommodationism.
Accommodationists hold that even atheists should present science to the public as an intellectual activity compatible with religion. Critics of this position include those like University of Chicago biologist Jerry Coyne, who lashes out at the accommodationists because, as he wrote in an essay in The New Republic, a true harmony between science and religion requires either doing away with most peoples religion and replacing it with a watered-down deism, or polluting science with unnecessary, untestable, and unreasonable spiritual claims.
On the accommodationist side, there are forlorn figures like science journalist Chris Mooney. In a new book, Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens Our Future (Basic Books), Mooney chides popular blogger and University of Minnesota biologist P.Z. Myers, an ebullient atheist, for publicly desecrating a Catholic communion wafer an incredibly destructive and unnecessary act, Mooney complains, exacerbating tension between the scientific community and many American Christians.
Anti-accommodationists like bestselling atheist biologist Richard Dawkins, meanwhile, charge the accommodationists with hypocrisy. Says Dawkins in a recent documentary, They are mostly atheists, but they are wanting to desperately wanting to be friendly to mainstream, sensible religious people. And the way you do that is to tell them that theres no incompatibility between science and religion. The debate seems to come down to whether religious people are potentially useful idiots, or simply idiots.
Of course, it wasnt always like this. The origins of modern science, from about 1300 onward, were overwhelmingly religious. Isaac Newton regarded the universe as a cryptogram set by the Almighty, in John Maynard Keyness phrase. Scientists from Copernicus to Kepler, Boyle, Linnaeus, Faraday, Kelvin and Rutherford all sought to understand God through His creation. Because nature was the product of a mind acting freely, it made sense to them to try to understand that mind through its actions.
In his new book Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design (HarperOne), my Discovery Institute colleague Stephen Meyer writes about his days as a Ph.D student at Cambridge University, contemplating the entrance to the great Cavendish Laboratory where Watson and Crick elucidated the structure of DNAs double helix. In 1871, Christian physicist James Clark Maxwell had instructed that the great door be ennobled by an inscription in Latin from the book of Psalms: Great are the works of the Lord, sought out by all who take pleasure therein.
On a crash course with this tradition, however, was the Enlightenment narrative, with its insistence that science is destined to push religion to the margins of intellectual life. A turning point came with the triumph of Darwins evolutionary theory, purposefully excluding God, over the evolutionary thinking of Darwins contemporaries, including such scientific allies as Charles Lyell, Asa Gray and Alfred Russel Wallace, who saw a role for divine creativity in lifes history. In another new book, The Darwin Myth: The Life and Lies of Charles Darwin (Regnery), Benjamin Wiker tells this story well. With Darwins victory, envisioning a universe without design or purpose, God seemed on the way to being banished from scientific thought.
Over the ensuing century and a half, tension built as the logical consequences for religion became harder to deny. Yet a détente was generally upheld. In 1999, Harvard paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould summed up its terms as a kind of truce under the acronym NOMA, or Non-overlapping magisteria.
In this view, science and religion occupy totally separate realms of inquiry. Science is about facts, about reality, while religion is about values. Religion should be respected if it makes no claim to describe anything real and agrees not to challenge any idea accepted by most scientists.
Yet even the terms of NOMA are now being withdrawn. Today in academia, a believer like Evangelical Christian genome scientist Francis Collins, or like Catholic biologist Kenneth Miller at Brown University, can count on being ridiculed by the anti-accommodationists. In academia, where reputation is everything, you would not want to be an ambitious young scientist in their mold.
This is despite the fact that both men strenuously deny that there can be any empirical evidence of Gods creativity in nature. Still faithful to NOMA, they affirm that the history of life could have produced intelligent creatures very different from human beings for God to enter into a relationship with. Perhaps a big-brained dinosaur, or a mollusk with exceptional mental capabilities, as Miller has speculated, surrendering the basic Judeo-Christian belief that the human face and body mysteriously reflect the image of a non-corporeal God.
That may sound as if weve come to a final parting of the ways between science and religion. However, it all depends on what you have in mind when you speak of science.
Must religion indeed accommodate any scientific idea even if the idea is wrong, even if its bad science, ideologically motivated in its origins, intended to explain nature specifically with the view of keeping God out? If thats what science requires, then of course there can be no reconciliation.
But remember alongside the secular Enlightenment view of science, there runs a parallel tradition, seeking to explain nature without preconceptions, secular or otherwise. That way of thinking still exists among individual scientists, though it is in need of a good revival. With that tradition older, grander, more open-minded, even more enlightened, you could say there is no need for a truce with faith, no need for a separation, no need for a divorce.
David Klinghoffer, a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute, writes the Kingdom of Priests blog at Beliefnet.
Discovery Institute Twaddle Alert
So . . . you're saying that the "war" between "accommodationists" and their opponents doesn't really exist? You're saying that Darwinism is perfectly compatible with an "activist G-d" and not a mere "deism?"
Perhaps you're saying the quotes in the article were never uttered by the people to whom they are ascribed and Klinghoffer is making the whole thing up.
I think what he’s saying is that with real scientists, open minded scientists without preconceived secular notions, that there is no conflict necessary between faith and science.
The war exists between religion and pseudo-scientists that bring preconceived secular notions such as an “a prior commitment to naturalism”. True religion rejects scientific claims when the claims are not scientific.
True science makes observations and forms hypothesis and tests those hypothesis. True science does not make dogmatic statements about matters that it cannot prove.
Unfortunately, the so-called scientific establishments of today are filled with the pseudo-scientists. And it’s not just religion that the pseudo-scientists attack with their dogma, but also capitalism and democracy via the dogma of the unscientific global warming.
Well, well. Ol’ Larry knows there’s something to accomodate alright:
“But when you look at CMB map, you also see that the structure that is observed, is in fact, in a weird way, correlated with the plane of the earth around the sun. Is this Copernicus coming back to haunt us? That’s crazy. We’re looking out at the whole universe. There’s no way there should be a correlation of structure with our motion of the earth around the sun the plane of the earth around the sun the ecliptic. That would say we are truly the center of the universe.” -Lawrence Krauss
I don't know what religion the author is, but THAT is NOT what Judeo-Christianity teaches!
Spiritual image; NOT corporeal!
No matter how you slice it, a purely mechanistic view of this world will produce hopeless, unimaginable, cruelty and brutality in a struggle(s) for domination.
For what difference would cruelty and brutality make?
Despite the brains that say otherwise, design is obvious even to the unbeliever. Paul says so.
And for those who have “ears to hear” as 2 sisters are wont to remind, there is entry into the glorious Kingdom of God.
For what difference would cruelty and brutality make?
Despite the brains that say otherwise, design is obvious even to the unbeliever. Paul says so.
And it is so obvious in biological life that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Or to put it another way, we can break down a rock and rabbit and see that they are made of the same quantum fields - but something was lost along the way that the rabbit passed from life to death. And he cannot be put back together again.
For a rigorous mathematical approach to this very issue, Lurkers should read Rosen's Life Itself
That there was a Creature, a beginning, a cause of causation itself is obvious and everyone will be held responsible for noticing:
For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, [even] his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
Because that, when they knew God, they glorified [him] not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. - Romans 1:18-21
Did you see the article on FR the other day about coffee being a natural solution for Alzheimer’s....
There seems to be such a combination of anti-God and anti-Christian forces that are so powerful in this era. There is no strategy I see by which this can be overcome by human hands.
Where iniquity abounds grace much more abounds. Either God will intervene or these are final days.
Where iniquity abounds grace much more abounds. Either God will intervene or these are final days.
Not by might, not by power but by His Spirit (Zech 4:6) - or Maranatha, Jesus!!!
To God be the glory!
Thank you, sister, for your links. The only thing I had to stop and think on was the part about the physical and spiritual realms (tree of life) both being created by God.
My concern regards the spiritual for the bible says, “God is Spirit.” (Therefore, eternal)
I might use the word “heavenly” rather than “spiritual” to describe the locus of the tree of life.
What do you think?
My central point is that the tree of life is in the midst of the garden of Eden and also in the midst of Paradise.
He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God. Revelation 2:7
I agree with your point, sister. I do believe that the creation includes the angelic beings. I also think that the New Jerusalem is a creation of God, and in it are also a variety of sentient beings and plants.
I liked your catching the transition from “day” to “years” in terms of “day you eat thereof” and “Adam’s days” were so many years. So much about your interpretations that I do like.
In any case, even in my reading of the future state in Revelation, there is no “depiction” of God. God is unique. There is no other.
The purely mechanistic view is motivated by a mania for objectivity. Of course, that mania is itself relentlessly subjective.
However, the mechanistic view drains all life and consciousness out of the world. There have been objections to this sort of thing from within science. The physicist Ludwig von Bertalanffy, well known as the father of General System Theory, developed his theory as an alternative to reductionist, Cartesian notions of mechanism, which he believed were not only hamstringing science WRT to the investigation of such questions as life and mind, but had deplorable social and ethical side effects for humanity at large. Evidently the Nobel Laureate biologist Jacques Monod detested Bertalanffy for holding such reprehensible views.... (Monod is a great champion of mechanistic reductionism as the prime strategy for biological investigation.)
Such "intramural spats" can be highly instructive and interesting....
Thank you ever so much, dearest sister in Christ, for your excellent essay/post!
Seems to me this mechanistic view plus consequentialism gives us the likes of Peter Singer, bioethicist who believes that parents should be able to terminate their offspring up to a year after birth (or something like that.) The end justifies the means when to them, the whole is the sum of the parts - there's nothing more, nothing precious to be preserved but rather an inconvenience to be eliminated for the greater "good."
Infanticide and euthanasia are just flavors of eugenics, taking out the trash, which sadly can be presented as "politically correct" altruism if one "drains all life and consciousness" out of the world, as you say.
Hmmm. I don't know what Judeo-Christianity (who or whatever that is) taught you but here is what the Bible says:
Before the resurrection, when Christ clearly was flesh and bone: John 14:9 - "Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father."
After the resurrection, same flesh and bone: Luke 24:39 - "Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost (pneuma or 'spirit') does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have."
Who (or what) is the Judeo-Christianity that taught you?
I see an assertion, but no argument or evidence.
Anyone know what his argument or evidence was to support that statement?
Or does it simply depend on his use of the word 'activist' and the definition thereof?
I suppose that the atom (three particles combined into one quantum entity) isn't empirical evidence of the Trinity?
“The light shined into the darkness, and the darkness comprehended it not”
“Of course, it wasnt always like this”.
But you wouldn’t know that from the posts from the cultists here who were thoroughly indoctrinated by the mess that is public schools, ruined by the ACLU and NEA with their ideology of multiple God hang-ups.
Of course, it wasnt always like this.
But you wouldnt know that from the posts from the cultists here who were thoroughly indoctrinated by the mess that is public schools, ruined by the ACLU and NEA with their ideology of multiple God hang-ups.
Recall as well that these same groups that attack "rednecks" for not kissing the backside of Lord Science are the same who have praised the mythologies of the "oppressed indigenous pipples" to the skies and have worshiped the "noble savage" for as long as they've scorned the Biblical G-d. In fact, don't they blubber about how the IP's should never have had their beliefs changed by contact with the "west" in the first place? But they sure want "Bible-thumpers" beliefs changed, don't they?
Huh? That made my head hurt..
Accommodationists hold that even atheists should present science to the public as an intellectual activity compatible with religion. Critics of this position include those like University of Chicago biologist Jerry Coyne, who lashes out at the accommodationists because, as he wrote in an essay in The New Republic, "a true harmony between science and religion requires either doing away with most people's religion and replacing it with a watered-down deism, or polluting science with unnecessary, untestable, and unreasonable spiritual claims."
Liberals are a really really sick lot.
I did not realize that "The Jewish Daily Forward" was a Discovery Institute publication. Nor did I realize that the "tentacles" of the Discovery Institute reached from Seattle to New York.
Three independent entities becoming one entity? When combined into an atom, the neutron, proton and electron essentially lose their individual identities and become a single quantum entity. Outside the atom, each particle can exist independently with particular properties.
Seems like the perfect, scientifically-empirical representation of the Trinity to me. The very thing both Collins and Miller deny the existence of.
“Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.”
Please tell me that you’re really not THAT simple!
You apparently, like many others, can’t seem to grasp even MINOR metaphors!
Your second quote has absolutely NOTHING to do with the subject.
Except the concept of ‘three entities’ as being part of an atom is the third grade version. There are actually six “flavours” quarks: up, down, bottom, top, strange, and charm;
, six types of leptons: electron, electron neutrino, muon, muon neutrino, tauon, tauon neutrino; and twelve gauge bosons (force carriers): the photon of electromagnetism, the three W and Z bosons of the weak force, and the eight gluons of the strong force. Composite subatomic particles (such as protons or atomic nuclei) are bound states of two or more elementary particles. For example, a proton is made of two up quarks and one down quark, while the atomic nuclei of helium-4 is composed of two protons and two neutrons. Composite particles include all hadrons. These, in turn, are composed of baryons (e.g., protons and neutrons) and mesons (e.g., pions and kaons).
Here we see how man imposes his number (the number 6) on creation. Quarks do not exist naturally, but are a product of man's efforts. Notice the emergence of the occult with the naming of the 'strange' and 'charm' quarks.
"and twelve gauge bosons (force carriers): the photon of electromagnetism, the three W and Z bosons of the weak force, and the eight gluons of the strong force. Composite subatomic particles (such as protons or atomic nuclei) are bound states of two or more elementary particles. For example, a proton is made of two up quarks and one down quark, while the atomic nuclei of helium-4 is composed of two protons and two neutrons. Composite particles include all hadrons. These, in turn, are composed of baryons (e.g., protons and neutrons) and mesons (e.g., pions and kaons)."
Also notice the emergence of certain Biblical numbers. 12 being the number of divine government, 8 being the number of resurrection, 6 being the number of man or the flesh and 4 being the number of creation. Notice that life is carbon-based and carbon is element number 6. It also has 4 bonds. Matter has 4 natural states and there are 4 forces.
"Except the concept of three entities as being part of an atom is the third grade version."
"For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualitieshis eternal power and divine naturehave been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools..."
Perhaps I am not the one who is simple.
"You apparently, like many others, cant seem to grasp even MINOR metaphors!"
You apparently, like many others, can't seem to grasp even obvious truth.
"Your second quote has absolutely NOTHING to do with the subject."
Sure it does. Flesh and bone in a corporeal, resurrected body. The very thing you deny.
I see, you are into numerology and the ilk.. sorry, that is a type of religion I can’t comment on... I thought we where talking about Christianity here.. my bad..
No, numerology is something completely different than what I presented. In both Hebrew and Greek, letters have numerical values and so do words. As a result, certain numerical concepts arise quite naturally. We also have certain numerical values arising from the text independent of letter and word values. 12 apostles, 12 tribes, man created on the 6th day, the Trinity (3), 4 corners of the earth, 4 seasons, etc.
But I see that you used the 'ilk' word, so it's clear that your mind is already closed.
"sorry, that is a type of religion I cant comment on... I thought we where talking about Christianity here.. my bad."
Clearly this is based on your particular understanding and definition of Christianity. To conclude that we are not talking about Christianity simply because it doesn't meet your definition is your bad...
For example, do you know what the number 153 stands for? Did they teach you that in Christianity class or did your teachers even know what it meant so that they could teach you?
It is numerology when you take it out of the Biblical context and try to use it with every form it takes if it suits your purpose.. but hey, that’s cool.. if that’s your form of religion, we are all free. I know some ‘Christians’ who even use Tarot cards just like you use number, and find Biblical justification for it..
I am laughing you brought up 153 because I’ve seen a lot of people who use numerology use this, just like 11:11. 153 is one of those mathematical numbers that have unique attributes (look up “happy cube”) Some people like to make a Biblical symbol out of it because in John, that is how many fish where caught.. when, instead of a symbol, it could just happen to be how many fish where caught.
If you start getting into the whole 9 is the Holy Spirit, 17 is the earth, 153 is 9 x 17, then you have reached into well beyond Biblical territory and into, sorry to tell you, pure numerology. Just because you stick God’s name on it doesn’t make it any less so.
But all that is between you and God.. for folks on a forum, it is just an indicator on how seriously to take your posts in the future.
Hey, I noticed the Biblical symbolism that you built into your home page.
The angel wings with the death skulls is a nice representation of demonic angels.
And did you know that Mary Magdalene had 7 demons cast out by Christ? Quite appropriate for your choice of music.
Gotta run. Catch you later.
Cute, glad you like my friend’s band. FYI, they pulled that symbol off a Japanese Anime cartoon.. so much for reading so much into things.
I'm still waiting to hear from steve-b as to which claim David makes is factually untrue. Apparently he has a strange definition of "twaddle."
But then, what can you do with someone who reduces morality to social utilitarianism and "rational self-interest" without recognizing the Theonomic, cultic aspect behind all morality and ethics?
Yes, 153 is an important Biblical number because the fish that are caught represent Gentile 'sons of god' that will be brought into the Kingdom of God by the gospel. It is the numerical value of the term 'sons of god' in Hebrew and is important for that reason.
But all that is between you and God.. for folks on a forum, it is just an indicator on how seriously to take your posts in the future."
And all that is between you and God as well.. and thanks for letting me know that you have been appointed the final arbiter of the value of posts for the forum.
Interesting that you think it cute and that you think I like your friend's band.
Don't know how you reached those conclusions, but I'd say it is completely consistent with the images displayed by your friends, denying the existence of evidence for God in nature and denying the importance of Biblical numbers for understanding Christianity.
I suppose the thinking that anything displayed in Japanese Anime is therefore harmless is consistent with those thought patterns too.
And on what basis should we take your word on it as authoritative?
How do YOU know that God doesn't look like us physically?
Or... how do you KNOW that God doesn't look like us physically?
I always find it amusing and ironic, that evos pitch a fit about Christians making statements about God and then going on to declare that Christians are wrong but THEY know for sure what God meant when He said things.
It's interesting how evos are so adamant about Christians being wrong about Scripture, and then turn around and expect others to take THEIR interpretation as the final word.
It’s so much more fun to post without reading first....
Two, I can't believe there are Christians who are SO ARROGANT as to assume the Almighty Creator looks like a human being! Most BIBLICALLY EDUCATED Christians recognize that the passages quoted refer to spiritual nature, NOT physical.
For cryin’ out loud; our Lord said “I am the bread of life..”; do you therefore say that Christ was saying he is a loaf of bread?????!!
Number one, what part of Darwinism do you disagree with? I take offense that you imply metmom said you were!
"Two, I can't believe there are Christians who are SO ARROGANT as to assume the Almighty Creator looks like a human being!"
Two, I can't believe there are Christians who are SO ARROGANT as to assume the Almighty Creator doesn't look like a human being!
"Most BIBLICALLY EDUCATED Christians recognize that the passages quoted refer to spiritual nature, NOT physical."
Appeal to argumentum ad populum NOTED!
"For cryin out loud; our Lord said I am the bread of life..; do you therefore say that Christ was saying he is a loaf of bread?????!!"
For cryin' out loud! Our Lord said, "I am the bread of life..."; NOT "I am a loaf of bread"! Do you therefore say that when Christ said, "No one comes to the Father but by me..." that people can get to the Father by getting by Christ?