Oct 29, 2004

RE: 500 channels of Heresy

Skinny Legs and All

Thanks to SLAA for inspiring this response:

Strange, but I've never seen any exclusivity between science and spirituality. To me they enhance each other. Evolutionary theory can't explain *how* we got here - only some of the staged it took to take the forms we see now. Evolution has never has been a "creation" theory – as some people who have dabbled enough in the sciences to get confused like to think.

Stephen J Gould has written some wonderful things on this very subject.

I'm not a religious person particularly but I see that faith has an important role to play in people's lives. What has always amazed me about BOTH religion *AND* science, is their suborn adherence to believing only in what you know: If the bible says it happened "this way" that's the way it happened. There is no appreciation of the metaphoric, poetic, and symbolic language used. The bible doesn’t have to be TRUE to be important.

Likewise, there is a certain degree chauvinism within the scientific community which believes that “if it can’t be quantified or qualified it doesn’t exist”. This bias in favour of measurement is so problematic. What happens when they discover a new subatomic particle? Does the person who found it get credit for inventing it? No, of course not. They get credit for discovering something that was always there. But think how many things we don’t know about… energy “signatures” of certain elements have begun to be found that can’t be credited to particles of matter we already know about. And yet, homeopathic medicine has been vilified within the allopathic medical community in spite of success rates, for believing that dilutions above Avigadros number could still contain anything of therapeutic value.

I don’t see how this is different from an overly simplistic reading of religious texts. Blind faith in what you already know with no appreciation for the infinite subtleties underlying every in the world that we are still too new to comprehend is equally ignorant whether it takes a secular or religious form.


Arethusa said...

Excellent post. I think that a part of what made me like my Church and stick with it for as long as I did, was our priests acceptance of science and the role it plays with religion and vice versa. This was done much to some members' chagrin as I guess the often more traditional route was to look askance at most things scientific and look to the Bible.

hallvardur said...

yeah thats pretty amazing. its like the indian joga science, one teaches stretching, the other teaches dronelike thought, but its like an elefant where one hand touches the ass, the other the head, or whatever, but otherwise they're blindfolded. but i am always hoping for another world behind this one, especially because of the point to which i do not understand my own life. much less life in general. it is never good to ask why? why only gives one answer, just because.

thephoenixnyc said...

Hey there Bella. I'm glad my post inspired some thought in you.

As I tried to make clear in my piece, I distrust and dislike people who claim scientific absoluteism as much as people who claim religious or dogmatic absolutism.

I belive humna beings are equal parts Reason/Science and Spiritualism/Emotion.

In 1998 I met a very interesting professor in Israel who wrote several books explaining how Evolution and creationsism actually complement and support each other.