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Name:
Location: Austin, Texas, United States

I'm a software engineer / partner working for a young company in Austin, Texas, USA. I spend most of my free time hanging out with friends and family, eating out, and partying in the Warehouse District. I should spend more time working on my house....

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Faith vs. Science

I don't have a problem with religion. I have a problem with willful ignorance. An essay in today's New York Times by Lawrence M. Krauss makes this point well:

But perhaps more worrisome than a political movement against science is plain old ignorance. The people determining the curriculum of our children in many states remain scientifically illiterate. And Kansas is a good case in point.

The chairman of the school board, Dr. Steve Abrams, a veterinarian, is not merely a strict creationist. He has openly stated that he believes that God created the universe 6,500 years ago, although he was quoted in The New York Times this month as saying that his personal faith “doesn’t have anything to do with science.”

“I can separate them,” he continued, adding, “My personal views of Scripture have no room in the science classroom.”

A key concern should not be whether Dr. Abrams’s religious views have a place in the classroom, but rather how someone whose religious views require a denial of essentially all modern scientific knowledge can be chairman of a state school board.

I have recently been criticized by some for strenuously objecting in print to what I believe are scientifically inappropriate attempts by some scientists to discredit the religious faith of others. However, the age of the earth, and the universe, is no more a matter of religious faith than is the question of whether or not the earth is flat.

It is a matter of overwhelming scientific evidence. To maintain a belief in a 6,000-year-old earth requires a denial of essentially all the results of modern physics, chemistry, astronomy, biology and geology. It is to imply that airplanes and automobiles work by divine magic, rather than by empirically testable laws.

The reason why people of science and reason struggle against such ignorance is not because we hate religion. It is because we are disgusted by the idea that willful ignorance is not only acceptable, but should be promoted by schools and society. Have faith if you wish, but recognize that it is faith, not proof, not evidence, not truth.
faith:
  1. Confident belief in the truth, value, or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing.
  2. Belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence.
  3. ....

Religious faith is truthiness not truth.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Hunger Games jewelry said...

I agree with your last statement, but the real question is why there is so much hatred towards anyone that even entertains the idea of a healthy skepticism of evolution, because there are many holes there.

Thursday, March 15, 2012 10:18:00 AM  

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