Joined: Sep. 2006
|Quote (Peter Henderson @ Jan. 25 2009,05:00)|
|This reinforces my conviction that both the clergy letter project and evolution Sunday are a complete waste of time. Acoording to Professor Jerry Coyne, evolution and Christianity are completely irreconcilable. |
|Giberson and Miller are thoughtful men of good will. Reading them, you get a sense of conviction and sincerity absent from the writings of many creationists, who blatantly deny the most obvious facts about nature in the cause of their faith. Both of their books are worth reading: Giberson for the history of the creation/ evolution debate, and Miller for his lucid arguments against intelligent design. Yet in the end they fail to achieve their longed-for union between faith and evolution. And they fail for the same reason that people always fail: 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.|
|Now Darwin Year is upon us, and we can expect more books like those by Kenneth Miller and Karl Giberson. Attempts to reconcile God and evolution keep rolling off the intellectual assembly line. It never stops, because the reconciliation never works.|
So here is an Atheist saying exactly the same as AiG. Since you are an advocate of the clergy letter project etc. Wesley, your thoughts on the above would be appreciated. I cannot see the point in churches taking part in either.
But when people say these things, they're mostly talking about one or two religions practiced one or two ways, not all of "religion."
What is "watered down deism"? Buddhism - which in its esoteric form postulates no deity at all? Taoism? Contemplative Christianity? Hinduism? Shinto? The religion of the people of Madagascar, who believe that humans are descended from alligators, and that their spirits move into monkeys after they die? Get my drift?
It frustrates me how inexperienced with diversity most fundies and many atheists are. Why not invite some Shinto priests to comment? If the project is not working, maybe that's because its focus is too narrow. Many religions are not about doctrines, but about experiences.
If Christianity and evolution are irreconcilable, let's look for the reason for that and ask the real question: is Christianity compatible with other religions, and if not, is Christianity compatible with reality? That, in my opinion, is the essential question for Christians. Our society is changing, and this is really about how we handle change. Evolution is just the flashpoint. This country is really, really naive about other religions, and therefore creationists should not even be talking about "science vs. religion."
My attitude is: No one should criticize as impossible the actions of those who seem to be doing the impossible. If I observe Christians who are good scientists, and I have, then I accept the reality that they have achieved this reconciliation. I didn't care for Ken Miller's last two chapters of Finding Darwin's God, but I also think he didn't have to write them as he doesn't have to answer to me on religious matters, as long as his science is sound and he doesn't use religion to stop inquiry.
If this country can get past the anti-evolution/anti-science/anti-change stance, then the atheism vs. "religion" debate can turn into what it should be, a game of verbal tennis.
If people have to "choose" between their faith and science education, then they also have to "choose" between their faith and any education at all in our increasing diverse culture. That's why when fundies call me "intolerant," I just laugh my ass off; I've actually met the people they want to convert. There is no generic religion or concept of God. Not at all.
Edited by Lou FCD on Jan. 26 2009,06:34
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"I happen to think that this prerequisite criterion of empirical evidence is itself not empirical." - Clive
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