Tuesday, September 18, 2007

[science] religion and evolution


Wolfie believes science is not a religion:

There are many within science who attempt to elevate the scientific method to the position of religion which in itself is a dishonest practice. Science is nothing more than an intellectual tool and can only offer support to philosophical enquiry but there are many who believe, in their nihilist delusion that it can supplant philosophy.

The power of belief can be astounding, but one should be discerning in whatever you believe and belief can and will define your personal reality. Its up to you whether you create a heaven or a hell.

Gracchi agrees:

Scientific method is simply the idea that if you have a hypothesis about the world you then test it in an experiment, nothing more nothing less. Therefore that cannot prove or disprove anything you say about a supernatural event or person because obviously that isn't testable.

Commenters here generally see science and religion as mutually exclusive and I imagine they'd also see the latter as untestable. Christians might be upset with me for this analogy but it seems to me that Christianity is quite testable, in the way that LSD is testable - you're not going to know, until you're actually on it, if it works or not.

In other words, the proof comes to those who've signed on but will never come to those who haven't. Therefore all argument between Christians and non-Christians is pointless.

So where does that leave evolution? Where indeed, with so many turning against it now? Is it testable or is it merely theory [good theory though, quite logical] about the origin of the earth?



Crushed by Ingsoc said...

They are not mutually exclusive- I am often asked how I can hold such strong Darwinist views, yet be a practising Catholic.

Simple. Evolution actually coincides perfectly with a Free Will view of the universe.

Of course, my interpretation of Catholicism isn't strictly Orthodoc- I see the Church as a vehicle for perpetuating a message it hasn't always quite understtod itself.

But I do believe that The Universe came alive in Christ, that he somehow GOT it, saw how the whole thing worked, in human terms at least.

I think the Universe is Conscious, Dynamic, and Purposeful.

I also think stories about Arks and Apples are amusing, but have purely allegorical significance to Christians.

Science can never be wrong, because Empirical knowledge can never be wrong.
It's CONCLUSIONS can be.

But the Age of the Earth and the Mechanism of natural selection are too watertight in terms of logic to be in any real danger.

But does that make Christ wrong?
Of course not.
And what else should it be about

Longrider said...

That sounds awfully like Pascal's wager to me...

The problem is; if you don't believe in god(s) and I don't, you can't just decide to believe in order to cover your bets. You either do, or you don't; lying to oneself and others doesn't change the facts.

Matt Wardman said...

My take is that anyone arguing that science and religion are in total conflict has a vivid imagination.

CityUnslicker said...

Extremists will always disagree. I think alot of the huff about creationism is overblown by extremists.

Evolution is testable and will win out in the end. Passing fads of religous revisionism not withstanding.

Dr. James P. Holdren said...

The other way round, CUS - there are no passing fads of Christianity. It simply is, like a rock. Evolution though is the johnny-come-lately on the scientific hit parade. It might pass as well.

Wolfie said...

Science and religion are hardly in conflict, they are simply exclusive. One cannot be used to support, supplant or undermine the other. You can "believe" in both if you wish without being a hypocrite.

The description of creation in the bible is not discredited by science, its mererly an allegory of evolution.

Just because there are laws of physics does not mean that a "super-being" cannot defy the laws of physics.

The fact that we cannot "see God" with the hubble telescope does not mean that he does not dwell beyond the bounds of the Universe.

Gracchi said...

The thing about the scientific test James is that its public- so anyone can reproduce it. Your feeling upon becoming a Christian can't be tested in the same way, because I can't be you.

That's not to say that that experience isn't real or that religion isn't a valid branch of knowledge- that is another discussion. But you can't test religion in the same way. I think mostly you can establish or seek to establish religion upon a priori grounds. Roger Scruton has a good section on the philosophicla justifications of religion in his companion to modern philosophy- I'm not sure I agree with him- but I would that scientific questions are seperate to the religious.

There is of course the other question of how you get from a God to a personal God and from a personal God to the God of a denomination but that is another question as well.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

I said the other day that I think there could have been evolution AND that there could be a god. Are you and I to stop arguing forever, then? - That won't be any fun!

Wolfie said...

WL @

He, he, he ...