Saturday, August 13, 2011

SCIENCE & RELIGION



There have often been debates in fundamentalist Christian circles about not being able to reconcile science with religion, or vice versa. I was told, recently, about the geology not being reliable because of the "arrogance of academia" and how fallible it is. Yet, engineering (math) is not seen as that, by many of these same people (or so it seems). This is my response to that position.

As far as geology is concerned, it is a science, just as the knowledge we have of engineering is (hence, why we have engineering science, engineering physics, hydrology (a mix of geology and engineering)). It is information that is studied, researched, collected, analyzed, critiqued, presented, critiqued by colleagues some more, updated, expanded, analyzed and critiqued again, updated, and so this is the methodology of science, on and on, constantly improving over time with new information or evidence or mathematical equations (like Einstein's E=mc2). If someone got a degree through academia in engineering, then would we think that the degree is bogus and untrue and so incredibly fallible because of its academic origins? It would get him the education the person needs to get a good paying job and support their family, proving its worth, yet by default by the argument would imply that a different person's geology degree is inferior because it comes from the same source... "arrogant academia." This is illogical, and a double standard, IMHO. 

People are able to communicate (and even argue LOL) long distance via these amazing scientific things called electrons and the virtual reality of computer systems, all that are part of the "arrogant" scientific community who discovered and invented it all; and yes, they are so wrong that we cannot even bother to buy their stuff they create, let alone use it. I speak tongue in cheek, obviously. We go to the moon, to space, have lasers and technological weapons that are so powerful that it is scary, yet we dare call it inferior compared to our religion? I am not talking about God or spirituality, but religion and dogma (most know the difference). Regarding the claimed arrogance (or even ignorance) of academia as a whole, it would be an Argument by Generalization, considered one of the many logical fallacies. Basically, a broad-sweeping stereotype of a group or type, in essence. 

I predict that spirituality and science--if either are ever to be true--eventually and ultimately, will be as one superimposed on the other, meaning that one will point to the other, and prove each other out. If not, then we have to question if either are true in and of themselves. If the belief is true that God created all, and all spirituality comes through him/her, and (s)he created the laws of physics and all that we know about in science, then there can be no "wrong" in learning more about his/her creation and how (s)he made it. 

The real question is... What church is claiming that it is a SIN to learn about their God's earth by taking a geology class? If they claim the science of geology is "wrong" (inferior to their dogma) then that is exactly what they are doing. In time, as science continues to expand and change and grow (as we do, spiritually - there is no such thing as anything completely static or stale), this will prove out on its own... in fact, it already is, little by little. 

For instance, Christians around the world used to believe that the cosmos was geocentric (sun revolved around the earth) rather than heliocentric (earth/planets revolve around the sun). Science proved this wrong, the early Christians called it heresy, but in time people "got it" and understood the bigger picture, agreeing with science. Unless someone is a flat-earther, and still thinks that the "four corners of the earth" mentioned in the Bible refers to an actual square, flat earth shape, then there is hope for humanity reconciling science with their religious views about the world and how it was all made. Enlightenment of this kind is almost always assumed with great opposition (at first).

You will find this interesting... There is an old lesson from the ancient Greek and other mythologies from times past, and it is true in the church system today, as well as the criminal justice system, the political system, and many other of mankind's systems. It is the same story told over and over... where the gods of yesterday, who were revered, were later replaced by newer, younger, more powerful gods, and so the older gods were "demonized" and so their view in the eyes of the people changed over time... first loving the old gods, and then later hating them. You can actually witness it--the transformation--by reading old literature on mythology. It is an archetypal story as well. Very interesting stuff! It is something you can see for yourself through the ancient scripts and texts and stories, changed over time. Always, when one person, or god, or system, or power sees another person/god/system/power that it feels threatened by, it attempts to remove that power in the eyes of their followers, by demonizing it. 

The protestant church system does this very thing even today regarding Judaism, claiming that the God of the OT (Old Testament) was a God of punishment, always bringing destruction to people and whole cities of people (Sodom and Gomorrah comes to mind, as does Jonah, etc.), and that the Jews are all about upholding the LAW (Ten Commandments, and their rituals), and that the God of the NT (New Testament) supersedes the letter of the law because it is "reformed" through Jesus Christ because now God chooses love and forgiveness and the living Word over punishment, and that ALL people have the right to go to heaven if they believe, because Jesus absolutely will forgive them of ALL their sins if they repent and believe. The Jewish system of faith (remembering Jesus was a Jew and LIVED by the Jewish ways and lifestyle, completely) is now "demonized" (made to look bad) in order to promote the resurrected Son of God and faith in him now, today, in the new way as opposed to the old. I grew up being fed this stuff by spoonfuls at church, that Jews were outright WRONG because they didn't accept Christ, even though they still worshiped the same God as we did. By demonizing the old way, it reinforces the belief in the new. I'm sure you know all of this already, but there's more...

Additionally, the fundamentalist church systems today see scientific knowledge as a threat to their age-old belief systems of a literal interpretation of the Bible (young earth creationism, dinosaurs actually fitting on the ark, etc., specifically), and so they demonize the scientific community in order to remove the power they have in the eyes of their own church community, so the church doesn't lose the power over the individuals who support them financially, and in their quest for proselytizing, or whatever else their agenda is (even if their only agenda is to help people, have an honest following or congregation, etc.). Demonization is the key. This is something you can witness for yourself within the religious community, the many books and pamphlets, articles and reports, websites and paraphernalia that is available almost everywhere. In order to seemingly support one's own agenda, it absolutely *must* demonize its apparent "enemy" and make it into an enemy, even if it is NOT really an enemy at all. In the right light, one sees this clearly. 

What I have shown you here is merely a pattern. A pattern of human behavior that is quite predictable throughout time, simply because we are human, and fear and "hatred" is learned, usually through the context of our culture at the time, just as the Greeks did with their gods and goddesses. I'm sure you already recognize this pattern.

Dare I say that fundamentalist Christian's own disgust with academia is not necessarily their own... it was inherited by those around them, who taught it to them. The same information is parroted over and over and over until it becomes part of their psyche. Or did they have a very personal and negative experience with all of academia that made them feel this way, personally? Unless the latter is true, then it is most likely their enculturation talking. An opinion that they have heard so much that it became their own. 

Do you see it? I think most do. 

As you watch for these patterns you will begin to notice this same trend of demonizing something that *appears* as an enemy, and you will see clearly, with absolute certainty, that it is a method, a means to an end. Only you (the observer) can determine what that end is, but you will know it when you see it. It will come in time, as you see the many signs all around you. The spirit of this "demonization of science" by the church will haunt you until one day it passes through, and then you will know the truth of it. Not because of anything written here, but because you have seen it with your own eyes, and will feel it in your gut, and you will know it to be true within. At that point, there will be no turning back to 'not knowing' what you will then know. 

The demonization of the "perceived" enemy is an ancient war tactic, and a way to control the masses, akin to the logical fallacy called a Straw Man argument, which is a part of the Red Herring fallacy. But that gets into philosophical issues beyond the scope of seeing the pattern itself, which is the whole point here.

If the individual Christian who believes such demonizing antics is strong in spirit, and up to the challenge, and a truth seeker (as opposed to one who thinks they already know the truth) they may take a college-level geology class and ask ALL the questions they can to see the other side, and see if it is "all that" or if there is truth there in the hate-agenda of the church. Then they can decide for themselves, rather than letting the church systems, and their paraphernalia and propaganda, do their thinking for them. 


The demonizing of science by organized religions (specifically fundamentalists of (m)any religion(s)) is a common pattern, just as it was ages ago, when it was a FACT that the earth was still flat, and the sun revolved around it.

DISCLAIMER: I am not picking on Christianity as a whole, only delineating the fundamentalist view of the "YEC's" (Young Earth Creationist's), and suggesting a college-level education (secular) rather than a constant diet of anti-science agendas by those who obviously do not want to lose their members. I also have no intention of allowing this blog to become a place to "debate" this issue. It is for informational purposes only, and hopefully an inspiration to those who are still searching and not "completely happy" with the "truth" they presently know (or think they know).


No comments:

Post a Comment