Saturday, January 19, 2008

When science & faith find common ground

Daily Kos contributing editor Steven Andrews wrote a fantastic Op-Ed in Wednesday Jan 16's Austin American-Statesman, "When science and faith find common ground." He starts by saying
"The age-old, simmering conflict between science and religion is threatening to boil over in Texas with the usual battle lines being drawn around evolutionary biology and public education science standards. Here's a thought: Instead of a long and potentially bitter stand-off between science advocates and creationist proponents, why doesn't Texas skip that mess and go straight to a reasonable compromise? Instead of arguing about fossils, radiometric dating methods or constitutional law, I'd ask those skeptical of evolution what better natural evidence for the brilliance of a Creator could there be than myriad complex processes unfolding over billions of years through countless steps in exquisite order spanning the entire cosmos?"
But my favorite line is when he uses the term "professional creationists" in this paragraph:
"It's no coincidence that professional creationists try to frame the issue as a struggle between science and religion. It's a false dichotomy to be sure, but it's also a powerful public relations tactic, one that serves their goals well. But despite what creationists may say, the choice is not between science and religion, or belief vs. atheism."
I've never heard it put like that, but it's such a perfect characterization of the people who devote their lives to pushing creationism in the classrooms and in society. I strongly believe that despite it being led largely by (right-wing conservative) Christians, creationism detracts from Jesus' message and does far more harm to Christianity than good. In fact, I don't see any good coming from it at all. It wastes taxpayers money (over $1 million spent on the recent Dover court case), tries to insert a religious concept into science classrooms, weakening science education, specifically and our school systems, generally, and last but not least, makes Christians look foolish to educated scientists and academics, many of whom are turned away from religion because of such tomfoolery. And as a concept, it's simply wrong, false, untrue, a lie masquerading as "Christian truth" which is really the most insidious of all things. A wolf in sheep's clothing, if ever there was one. Beware of creationism and inteligent design!

Christianity is about loving God and loving your neighbors of all sizes, shapes, creeds, colors, and religions. And forgiveness and grace. Fighting to get everyone to take a literal view of Genesis creation account should not be the central focus of any Christian's life. Nor should fighting to get schools to remove evolution, or introduce its supposed "weaknesses" or to push intelligent design (another form of creationism). What the Creation tale offers us is not a scientific treatise on Creatoin, but a story of how humanity got a soul, a conscience. Adam didn't eat an apple. It didn't have anything to do with sexual sin. What he did was eat of the "fruit of the knowledge of good and evil." If that is not profound, and clear, I don't know what is.


David said...

well put!

genexs said...

Well said. I'm a Wiccan, yet I can't find fault with anything you've written. Heh, not that I should or would 'find fault'. What's sad is watching Darksyde getting attacked from the Movement-Atheist noise machine, as displayed over at scienceblogs.


Hmm I'l hav eto check that out. Not sure who Darksyde is...?