“All of human experience, over millennia, suggests a richness and complexity of reality beyond the material.”
I’ve heard there’s a heaven, its streets paved with gold,
Where diamonds and platinum gleams
It’s as real as my hand is, or so I’ve been told,
Though it might just be Swedenborg’s dreams.
I’ve heard I have angels who watch what I do
And act, if I do something rash
The lady who told me, she swore it was true
Then she charged me a whole lot of cash
I’ve heard I can heal any ailment at all
But first, I just have to believe
No matter what problem, how big or how small,
But science just cannot perceive!
I’ve heard there are miracles, wonders, and more,
Overflowing reality’s cup
And I’m thinking it’s something I ought to ignore…
Cos it looks like just making shit up
So yeah… my aggregator threw this at me today. From the Jamaica Gleaner, it’s “Science and Religion: a clash of two faiths”. The title alone tells you pretty much everything you need to know about the author’s position. The only additional info you might need is to note that this article is a response to a previous article… or, as the present author puts it:
Every now and again, some of the puff-chested doctors-cum-priests of science and a wide variety of coat-tail-hanging quacks emerge to advise us that religion, and particularly Christianity, is terminally ill. This is especially strange since modern science is irrefutably a product of Christian faith, more particularly of Protestant Christian faith.
So here comes another one, Dr Patrick White, who holds a doctorate in engineering and has led research groups at Bell Labs, puffingly announcing ‘Christianity losing race against science’ (Gleaner, July 1, 2013).
Initially, I was a bit confused as to whether science or puffery was the enemy. Turns out it’s science.
Science is replete with its own pet prejudices, bigotry and religious zealotry. At its epistemological core, science, as preached by many practitioners and bandwagon believers, operates on two weak assumptions: The reductionist view that reality is purely material, the interplay of matter and energy; and that the only way of truly knowing is by ‘scientific method’.
All of human experience, over millennia, suggests a richness and complexity of reality beyond the material. Science has been quite glibly willing to dismiss the mountain of evidence of non-material reality in defence of its own pet prejudice and in a deliberate and concerted effort to get rid of ‘god’ and the supernatural, which might be more properly described as the ‘othernatural’ rather than the ‘supernatural’.
Go ahead and read it… look for the critique of religion that matches the critique of science. Science is critiqued, and by virtue of a version of special pleading, religion is there to pick up the pieces.
Taking science on its own ground, no hypothesis of origins can be established by scientific method because it simply cannot be tested, a key requirement of validating hypotheses. Origin, whether of matter or of life, is a unique, one-off, non-replicable event of the distant past without human witnesses. Scientific method proceeds by examining replicable phenomena for attaining reliable and valid results. In matters of origins, we all ultimately stand on a platform of faith.
The only rational, purely natural ‘scientific’ position is that we, conscious and self-reflective human beings, find ourselves here. We do not know where we came from. We do not know why we are here. We do not know where we are going.
Science can answer none of these critical existential questions. And science can assign no value to human life. The object cannot value itself. Value is derived from being valuable to another.
Sure, religion can’t answer scientific questions, but that’s not its fault:
Religion, and Christianity in particular, has often been its own worst enemy in the contrived conflict with science. The Bible is not a science text and was not intended to be. The pronouncements of the mediaeval Roman Catholic Church upon cosmology which led to its ‘routing’ by Copernicus and Galileo, over which Patrick White now gloats, had no warrant in data sources available to the Church.
The article concludes
As powerful and productive as they have been, science and scientific method are not without boundaries of competence to define and to examine reality. Trespassing outside those boundaries is definitely not scientific, and bluff and bluster by the doctors, priests and quacks of science cannot change that simple fact.
which the casual observer will note does not advance the cause of religion one inch. The argument is, roughly, “if it is not the 4th of July, it must necessarily be Christmas.” Sorry, but knocking down science (worse, knocking down science based on your inadequate understanding of it) does not strengthen religion.
Tearing down my neighbor’s house does not strengthen my own. Pretending to tear down my neighbor’s house is just as futile, with the added benefit of making me look like a fool.