Monday, April 9, 2012

The South Shall Fail Again!

The South is at it again.  Having failed to secede from the union, they've been trying secede from reality ever since.  I suppose I must say it again, but I am deeply spiritual person.  I feel the need to repeat this often because there are so many who insist that you can't be spiritual and also believe in the accuracy of science.  There actually is no such conflict. The problem arises because of basic differing worldviews which are pilososphic more than religious.

Now, try not to let your eyes glaze over because this actually is more interesting might sound at first.  The issue is actually not about believing or not believing in the existence and nature of God. It is, rather, about the nature of knowledge.  Epistemology is the philosophic consideration of what can be known, how we know it, and how much we can trust that knowledge.

Essentially, it comes down to a question of what we consider to be the most dependable and reliable source of knowing what is real.

The problem between those who accept the findings of science and those who insist that science and religion are eternal enemies lies in where the two different groups place their trust.  Those who insist that science is in fact accurate and factual place their confidence in a belief that the world is empirical. That is, one can determine the nature reality by testing and experimentation.  Those who reject science anytime it disagrees with their opinions, believe that the ultimate reality is what is contained in the Christian Scriptures. The source of conflict is obvious once you realize this basic fact. Obviously, the two groups have a totally different view what is real and what is not.

But there are Christians who believe that the objective world is real.  So, in fact, the conflict is not between science and religion. The conflict is between the worldview that there is an objective reality and the worldview that objectivity does not matter since what the Scriptures say is the only thing that is real.

In other words, only some religious views are inherently opposed to science. Many are not. Which is why many scientists do hold both religious and scientific beliefs. Which is why I hold both religious and scientific beliefs.

It isn't that the conflict doesn't exist. It does. But it exists only for a small group. Science does not automatically oppose religion except in the minds of a very small number of scientists. And religion does not negate the accuracy of science, except in the minds of a very few members of the religious community.

It's all just a matter of epistemology.

From the LATimes:

-- The Tennessee measure does not require the teaching of alternatives to scientific theories of evolution, climate change, human cloning and "the  chemical origins of life." Instead, the legislation would prevent school administrators from reining in  teachers who expound on alternative hypotheses to those topics.

...The measure's primary sponsor, Republican state Sen. Bo Watson, said it was meant to give teachers the clarity and security to discuss alternative ideas to evolution and climate change that students may have picked up at home and want to explore in class.

...On its website, the council says the bill is needed because "in many classrooms, Darwinian evolution is currently taught in a completely one-sided manner, with most students never learning anything about  growing scientific controversies

...Biologists say there is no scientific controversy over evolution, only a political one. --

I must give Tennessee credit for one point, however.  it is true that science is currently taught in a completely one-sided manner in our schools. So is mathematics. It's about time for math teachers to tell students that 2+2 might equal four. At least some mathematicians say so. But then again it might just equal 79. It's up to you to decide.

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