Three motivating reasons to reverse the "wedge" between science and religion


(Mark Bloom) #1

I was raised in a Christian home and learned much about the Creator of the universe long before learning about the universe itself. Throughout my K-16 schooling, I focused on biology; this remains my primary interest today. Sadly, during my middle and high school years, my growing understanding of the natural world collided with the teachings from my religious leaders. I encountered a supposed contradiction between the teachings of science and those of the church. It was implied (and later asserted) that I should choose which knowledge path I would pursue: that of faith, or of science. I wish my experience was uncommon during this modern age in which we live; sadly, I cannot. There is a wedge that continues to force such a choice and strives to encourage future generation to reject scientific teachings in favor of supernatural causes (Discovery Institute, 2008). The Discovery Institute is not alone in this cause (see Answers in Genesis, the Institute for Creation Research, and the Creation Research Society). While the primary focus of such organizations centers on questions of origins, their implications extend far beyond this focus of scientific investigation. Instead, their efforts erode their followers’ confidence in science and create unhealthy skepticism about scientific claims.
A major motivation for my involvement in this blog is to counter the effect of this wedge between science and religion. I have three primary reasons that I feel motivated to use my voice in this endeavor. Please visit my blog at http://bit.ly/1F7fwRf to read more.


#2

The wedge is not between “science” and religion. Religion, particularly the christian faith, supports and encourages science. But not all christians agree with all postulated conclusions, either by scientists or by theologians. If there is a war on science then there is a war on theology. Making a broad generalization out of a small percentage or out of one example of a difference, wedge, or divide, is simply unscientific.


#3

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(Mark Bloom) #4

Eddie, I do not see anywhere in my two posts how I could be accused of conflating ID and creationism. I am fully aware of the two positions and quite clearly see how different they are. My problem with ID (which was what I referenced in the posts) is that, as you said, suggests that intelligent design is the “‘best explanation’ for many features of the natural world”. My problem with this is that intelligent design is not a natural process; scientific explanations should be restricted to natural causes. I am fully aware that most ID proponents are old-earth, evolution acceptors.

I also never said that the Discovery Institute advocated rejecting scientific explanation, but rather they they advocate rejecting scientific explanations (e.g. natural selection) in favor of supernatural explanations (intelligent designer).


(Mark Bloom) #5

Also… I was raised in a Christian environment that fully supported my investigation of science…hence my three science degrees (B.S., M.S., and Ph.D).


#6

It’s good that you received various levels of science degrees, Mark. However, you ought to carefully evaluate what you are saying, when you propose that “intelligent design is not a natural process”. Really? Can you prove that? How do you define intelligence? Is it intelligent for a coyote to wait along a rabbit trail for a rabbit to come by? Is it intelligent for pilot fish to clean shark’s teeth? Is it intelligent for swans to go south for the winter? What do you mean by intelligence? Is it intelligent for water buffalo to stick together in herds, or for wolves to hunt in packs, or for beavers to build dams, or bees to build hives, or birds to build nests, or penguins to trade jobs caring for eggs? What’s the definition of intelligence? What about humans… are none of their natural processes intelligent?


(Mark Bloom) #7

…of course, I meant that I never said the Discovery Institute advocated rejecting scientific INVESTIGATION (as was implied), but rather that they do advocate rejecting scientific EXPLANATIONS (which I stand by: namely, natural selection)… sorry for the typo.


(Mark Bloom) #8

JohnZ,
No, I cannot prove (or disprove) that an intelligent designer is not a natural process. That is why one is not a scientific explanation. It is not falsifiable.


#9

I think you have a habit of generalizations, Mark. They do not always reject scientific explanations either. Some of them even agree with consensus evolutionists. They see ID as a scientific explanation as well, based on what is observable. “Compare and contrast” was a favorite saying (including on exams) for a prof of mine. This is what they are doing. They say, does this look random or purposeful? Does this look random or designed? Does it compare to random gravel, or to designed computers? For most of them this leads to a deduction, a logical scientific conclusion, that design is a very good answer for how things look.

So now you would do the same. If you looked at a beehive, would you say that all of that stuff somehow assembled itself in such a pattern by accident… or was it designed by something. And you discover that indeed it was designed by a bunch of bees. This is science. It would be falsifiable by seeing it all just assemble itself by accident. Same with a beaver house and dam. Accident - brush pile up in pond?, or… designed by something. If you could take it apart, you would begin to think it was designed, and if you saw beavers build it, you would know it was designed by the beavers.

You argue that ID is not falsifiable (in the sense of design of the entire biological system). There are those who would argue that evolution is also not falsifiable.


#10

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#11

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(system) #12

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