Religion and science are not comparable.

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Bill Nye and Ken Ham recently had a debate - well, debate is a strong word, more like 'beautiful obliteration' - between evolutionism and creationism. But they really shouldn't have. Now, I think it was no surprise that Bill absolutely destroyed the other guy. My big surprise was that such a debate even occurred. It makes absolutely no sense to hold such a debate. Theology, while certainly viable in its own way, cannot compete with science.

I'm not suggesting that creationism is merely an inadequate form of science that is clearly incorrect in comparison to evolutionism. I am saying that creationism is not science. At all. You cannot form science from a religion. This would be akin to trying to ride a tricycle into space - there is no point at which any kind of tricycle could journey into space and still be a tricycle.

I mean, for god's sake - no pun intended - this was as close to a scientific theory as creationism has ever gotten, and look at how sloppy and nonsensical it becomes. Throughout the presentation, Ham used generalizations and sweeping assumptions to outline his entire fundamental scientific thought process. He never gave any sort of reasoned or sensible argument the entire time he spoke. If a scientist used that method, he'd be thrown out of his university and ridiculed.

I hesitate to call this a debate at all. If it had been a debate, then the opposing debaters would have exchanged clever and reasoned points that both drew from established scientific facts. There is nothing Ham said that made me believe his theories even for a second. In fact, his whole argument could be summed up in two words: Nuh-uh.

And it's the same the other way. There's nobody who watched and said, "Well, Bill Nye did establish some good points. I think he may have converted me." Scroll down to the comments on that video, and you'll find the following: "Bill Nye is going to hell." "I hate you, Bill Nye, you are the devil."

You know why? Because creationism is not a science. It is a RELIGION.

Now, I myself am a Christian. I myself believe in God, and I know that without religion, this world would be a darker place. But it's not a debatable subject. You don't see Pope Francis standing behind a lectern and debating the Ayatollah. Because religion can't move. There is no way to fundamentally alter the way a religion feels. It is entirely in a different field from science, and has no place being on the same field as it. The sooner the world realizes this, the better.

If you would please change the title to reflect your point, I would appreciate it. What you're saying is that religion and science aren't the same. Perhaps religion and science aren't comparable. Your actual post doesn't seem to say that the two are incompatible (especially since you seem to like both), so it'd be nice if that was changed before things get way off topic.

Incompatible means the two ideas cannot coexist. As in, you cannot be religious and support science at the same time.

You're really saying that they're apples and oranges; that is, incomparable. On that point, I agree, but let's not pretend the whole thing wasn't just a big PR exercise for NPR and perhaps the scientific community. And I guess maybe they found a creationist gullible enough to join in, or desperate enough for 15 minutes of fame.

Your post doesn't really seem to match up with the title, as the others have pointed out. I'll bite, however.

What Eurocentrism egregiously considered to be a Dark Age was a Golden Age for other areas of the world. Particularly, in the Islamic world, who picked up from where the Greeks and Romans left off while Europe was busy fucking up. These Islamic scholars made great strides in mathematics, physics, medicine, and philosophy. One of them made important contributions to the scientific method. And a lot of it, such as the maths (trigonometry in particular, so that people could know where to turn when they were turning towards Mecca), was done kind of in the name of their religion - with religion being a huge driving force for these scholars, their work, and learning. Hell, it was a rather common view that the only path to religious enlightenment was one through Aristotelean reasoning.

There's also plenty of friars who made great gains towards science as well.

They're not incompatible, as for much of our history they were quite intertwined. Is it correct to say that they're not comparable, however? I would agree with that.

Matthew Jabour:
Theology, while certainly viable in its own way, cannot compete with science.

I'm not sure what you're trying to say here. What does "compete" mean?

I am saying that creationism is not science.

Very true. Unfortunately, for people who practice fundamentalism, you will never be able to make a convincing case.

You know why? Because creationism is not a science. It is a RELIGION.

Strictly speaking, creationism in and of itself isn't a religion. It's a particular doctrine of a few particular interpretations of a few particular religions.

Now, I myself am a Christian. I myself believe in God, and I know that without religion, this world would be a darker place. But it's not a debatable subject.

I strongly disagree. It is possible to debate religion, and theologians have done so for generations. It is just that in our modern age of fundamentalism, where the shallow doctrines of unlearned followers dominate the discourse, that it doesn't happen.

You don't see Pope Francis standing behind a lectern and debating the Ayatollah. Because religion can't move.

I suspect the reason you don't see such debates has much more to do with politics and the fact that in today's climate it wouldn't be to anyone's benefit. But you are wrong when you claim religion can't move. It can move, and it does move. We can observe it moving as we look at the historical record. Movie Bob even gave us an example recently through the evolution of the character of Satan. Hell, we can even watch the notion of God himself evolve over the course of the books that make up the Bible.

There is no way to fundamentally alter the way a religion feels.

Sure there is. How do you think fundamentalism arose out of mainstream Christianity in the first place? How do you think Protestantism sprang from Catholicism. How else did Christianity arise from Judaism. Religions are constantly changing to reflect their followers (what sad statement does this make about the Christianity of modern America?).

It is entirely in a different field from science,

Well, yes, but that doesn't make any of other claims you've made about religion true as a result.

The title of this thread is wrong. Religion is compatible with science. And we have evidence to prove it:

image

Here we have a medieval illumination made at the end of the 10th century shows Otto III being enthroned, and the proof we have of the compatibility of science and religion rests in Otto's left hand - the globus cruciger. The globus is an ancient symbol of deities' domination of the world. In antiquity there were many depictions of gods like Jupiter holding (or holding their foot on) the globus, and when Christianity came into prominence a crucifix was added to make the image exclusively Christian. Now, the globus's representation of dominion over the world can only have come from a society that understood the world to be round. The Greeks established that the world was round well before the birth of Christ, and contrary to the wild tales many Americans tell, this wasn't secret knowledge that had to be re-discovered by Christopher Columbus. It was well known and widely proclaimed by mideival Christians, including even Bede the Venerable.

Now, the notion of our world as spherical directly contradicts the literal text of Genesis. According to Genesis, God created the world with the waters in the firmament above or set below the Earth. Like most Mesopotamians, the original writers of Genesis held to a flat-Earth cosmology. So how could medieval Christians have not just accepted the idea of a spherical Earth, but embraced it to the point that it could be a symbol of their God's worldly dominance? The answer is simple- they didn't rely exclusively on our modern, fundamentalist approach to religion. Medieval Christians can be faulted for a great many things, but in one way they were better than modern Christians. They knew their holy book was a tool for devotion, not a manual to literally describe the truth of the material world. They were comfortable with the idea that some parts of their religion were metaphorical. They were comfortable with the truth that in order to understand their religion, they would have to interpret it.

Attempts to treat the Bible as literal truth as I understand it didn't arise until the Age of Reason, as a reaction against science. But this reaction is not an essential part of religion as a whole, it's just a political movement from a few members of a certain religion.

DANGER- MUST SILENCE:

Matthew Jabour:
Theology, while certainly viable in its own way, cannot compete with science.

I'm not sure what you're trying to say here. What does "compete" mean?

I am saying that creationism is not science.

Very true. Unfortunately, for people who practice fundamentalism, you will never be able to make a convincing case.

You know why? Because creationism is not a science. It is a RELIGION.

Strictly speaking, creationism in and of itself isn't a religion. It's a particular doctrine of a few particular interpretations of a few particular religions.

Now, I myself am a Christian. I myself believe in God, and I know that without religion, this world would be a darker place. But it's not a debatable subject.

I strongly disagree. It is possible to debate religion, and theologians have done so for generations. It is just that in our modern age of fundamentalism, where the shallow doctrines of unlearned followers dominate the discourse, that it doesn't happen.

You don't see Pope Francis standing behind a lectern and debating the Ayatollah. Because religion can't move.

I suspect the reason you don't see such debates has much more to do with politics and the fact that in today's climate it wouldn't be to anyone's benefit. But you are wrong when you claim religion can't move. It can move, and it does move. We can observe it moving as we look at the historical record. Movie Bob even gave us an example recently through the evolution of the character of Satan. Hell, we can even watch the notion of God himself evolve over the course of the books that make up the Bible.

There is no way to fundamentally alter the way a religion feels.

Sure there is. How do you think fundamentalism arose out of mainstream Christianity in the first place? How do you think Protestantism sprang from Catholicism. How else did Christianity arise from Judaism. Religions are constantly changing to reflect their followers (what sad statement does this make about the Christianity of modern America?).

It is entirely in a different field from science,

Well, yes, but that doesn't make any of other claims you've made about religion true as a result.

The title of this thread is wrong. Religion is compatible with science. And we have evidence to prove it:

image

Here we have a medieval illumination made at the end of the 10th century shows Otto III being enthroned, and the proof we have of the compatibility of science and religion rests in Otto's left hand - the globus cruciger. The globus is an ancient symbol of deities' domination of the world. In antiquity there were many depictions of gods like Jupiter holding (or holding their foot on) the globus, and when Christianity came into prominence a crucifix was added to make the image exclusively Christian. Now, the globus's representation of dominion over the world can only have come from a society that understood the world to be round. The Greeks established that the world was round well before the birth of Christ, and contrary to the wild tales many Americans tell, this wasn't secret knowledge that had to be re-discovered by Christopher Columbus. It was well known and widely proclaimed by mideival Christians, including even Bede the Venerable.

Now, the notion of our world as spherical directly contradicts the literal text of Genesis. According to Genesis, God created the world with the waters in the firmament above or set below the Earth. Like most Mesopotamians, the original writers of Genesis held to a flat-Earth cosmology. So how could medieval Christians have not just accepted the idea of a spherical Earth, but embraced it to the point that it could be a symbol of their God's worldly dominance? The answer is simple- they didn't rely exclusively on our modern, fundamentalist approach to religion. Medieval Christians can be faulted for a great many things, but in one way they were better than modern Christians. They knew their holy book was a tool for devotion, not a manual to literally describe the truth of the material world. They were comfortable with the idea that some parts of their religion were metaphorical. They were comfortable with the truth that in order to understand their religion, they would have to interpret it.

Attempts to treat the Bible as literal truth as I understand it didn't arise until the Age of Reason, as a reaction against science. But this reaction is not an essential part of religion as a whole, it's just a political movement from a few members of a certain religion.

What I'm trying to say is that you cannot base your science on religion. They are 'incompatible' because you cannot get one from the other. They should be kept completely separate from each other, otherwise it all ends in disaster.

Matthew Jabour:
What I'm trying to say is that you cannot base your science on religion.

Well, yes, anyone who understands the basics of the scientific method knows this. On that score you're preaching to the choir.

They are 'incompatible' because you cannot get one from the other. They should be kept completely separate from each other, otherwise it all ends in disaster.

Erm... what does "kept separate" mean? And you haven't given us evidence that "it all ends in disaster". It's weird that for a post talking about science you would make such a sweeping claim without backing it up.

Science is a tool, nothing more. It is a method of arriving at knowledge that is as objective as possible. It's very easy to reconcile this with religion, as countless people over the course of history have done. All you have to do is not let religion get in the way of your objectivity. Now this might be so inconceivable to modern audiences that people think it's impossible, but that's more of a reflection of how shallowly we approach religion than on the nature of religion itself.

Matthew Jabour:

What I'm trying to say is that you cannot base your science on religion. They are 'incompatible' because you cannot get one from the other. They should be kept completely separate from each other, otherwise it all ends in disaster.

You indict the religious, say they will not change their view in the face of evidence. Then do the same yourself.

A humble religion which claims a god is a possibility not an inevitability, and believe the study of natural order to be a noble pursuit could do well as a building block for scientific progress. Such religions do exist. Look up Taoism.

Matthew Jabour:

And it's the same the other way. There's nobody who watched and said, "Well, Bill Nye did establish some good points. I think he may have converted me." Scroll down to the comments on that video, and you'll find the following: "Bill Nye is going to hell." "I hate you, Bill Nye, you are the devil."

Religions as a whole cannot be critiqued by science. But any religion that makes an objective claim on reality can have that CLAIM critiqued by science.

Lets say my religion says every thursday my god lifts a stone in my front yard 3 feet in the air. You can test this scientifically by waiting for a few thursdays to observe the phenomenon, if you cant its safe to assume im wrong about it happening. Creationism is a VERY poor attempt to make a scientific theory but since its an objective claim about reality it most certainly can be destroyed by science. Any claim about the metaphysical cant be touched by science so the vast majority of "religion" isnt really comparable to science at all. However when a religion makes a claim an event happened or a certain thing occurs (Like prayer healing patients in hospitals) thats something we can test since its an objective claim on reality. Science tests objective claims on reality to determine if they are true or false. So in that sense science and religion CAN interact to some degree.

Not to mention I think youre totally right there is a subset of people who will never be converted and dont really care about evidence ect (Ken ham effectively lost when he couldnt answer, what will change your mind since he admitted its not science anymore) but theres a lot of stories of ex creationists. Just check out any atheist forum or page and you will find a few ex fundamentalists. Sure its rare but if the debate educated, or began to educated, even a few people then thats something admirable.

this world would be a darker place.

Bluh bluh trying to ignore my pet peeve. But seriously "If the world was full of people like you it would be a DARKER PLACE" is a little insulting :P I just cant let that one go, im not a fan of underhanded insinuations that Im less kind and capable of making a bright world than religious people. I think religious people could run the world just fine if they were kind people! It wouldnt be "darker" to have no atheism necessarily. Offer me the same courtesy :P

One assumption that tends to sway these debates is the incorrect idea that for something to qualify as a religion is MUST be false.

Based on that you can readily claim that religion and science don't fix. To take a traditional example, person's religion is Flying Spaghetti Monster, because one doesn't exist, it is a religion. But IF a Flying Spaghetti Monster were proven TO exist, then it would be science, but it would yet remain a religion as well.

Let's say as a more realistic hypothetical that a religion came out similar to Buddhism, but it had a technique of meditation that, if done properly, was proven to 100% of the time guarantee you would be reborn with full memory of your last life. And that could be tested and demonstrated conclusively. Well then that too would be a science, but it would STILL be a religion, because it has to do with one's personal beliefs and way of life.

So yes, if you assume for something to be a religion it must be false, then science and religion don't go well together. But if you allow that there could be truth to some religion (or some truth to any religion) then they obviously can co-exist. Because even science isn't all truth, with offbeat theories and vested, political and economic interests. In fact there are some branches of science so stubborn in insisting their rightness despite a complete lack of proof, that they could be considered a religion themselves... Not to name any names.

BiscuitTrouser:

Matthew Jabour:
this world would be a darker place.

Bluh bluh trying to ignore my pet peeve. But seriously "If the world was full of people like you it would be a DARKER PLACE" is a little insulting :P I just cant let that one go, im not a fan of underhanded insinuations that Im less kind and capable of making a bright world than religious people. I think religious people could run the world just fine if they were kind people! It wouldnt be "darker" to have no atheism necessarily. Offer me the same courtesy :P

Religion offers people hope in times when there is little. You, personally, could probably make the world just as bright as any random religious person. But if there was no religion altogether, that would be a dark world indeed.

I'm a little confused how you managed to get insulted by that. It's pretty illogical to leap from 'Religion, on the whole, makes the world better' to 'you, personally, are bad because you don't subscribe to religion.'

Matthew Jabour:

Religion offers people hope in times when there is little. You, personally, could probably make the world just as bright as any random religious person. But if there was no religion altogether, that would be a dark world indeed.

I'm a little confused how you managed to get insulted by that. It's pretty illogical to leap from 'Religion, on the whole, makes the world better' to 'you, personally, are bad because you don't subscribe to religion.'

Its not that you think im a bad person. If everyone was an athiest Im sure the world would tick over much the same as it does now. Same with religious people. I'm sure to some degree you agree with that sentiment.

Im not offended as such, its just the idea that without religion the world would be crap pretty much indicates atheists kinda suck because a world with only us = dark and crap and a world with only you does not. I dunno maybe im reading a lot into it.

If i said "A world with more/ all people being religious would be a dark world indeed" or "A world where everyone believed in god would be TERRIBLE" would you not see that as an attack on religion? Wouldnt you feel a little offended that im saying "If more people were like you the world would be a shittier place?"

Before I pitch into this discussion, could I ask for a clarification? Are we arguing about whether religion and science are incompatible (this town ain't big enough for the both of us) or incomparable (science does what religion doesn't, and vice versa)? Or a bit of both, as in the case of creationist science, intelligent design, etc?

Batou667:
Before I pitch into this discussion, could I ask for a clarification? Are we arguing about whether religion and science are incompatible (this town ain't big enough for the both of us) or incomparable (science does what religion doesn't, and vice versa)? Or a bit of both, as in the case of creationist science, intelligent design, etc?

A bit of both. If you try to form a science out of religion, it's like putting a round block and a square peg. They may be just fine individually, but you're not going to make any kind of progress. They're best separated, with little or no overlap.

BiscuitTrouser:

Matthew Jabour:

Religion offers people hope in times when there is little. You, personally, could probably make the world just as bright as any random religious person. But if there was no religion altogether, that would be a dark world indeed.

I'm a little confused how you managed to get insulted by that. It's pretty illogical to leap from 'Religion, on the whole, makes the world better' to 'you, personally, are bad because you don't subscribe to religion.'

Its not that you think im a bad person. If everyone was an athiest Im sure the world would tick over much the same as it does now. Same with religious people. I'm sure to some degree you agree with that sentiment.

Im not offended as such, its just the idea that without religion the world would be crap pretty much indicates atheists kinda suck because a world with only us = dark and crap and a world with only you does not. I dunno maybe im reading a lot into it.

If i said "A world with more/ all people being religious would be a dark world indeed" or "A world where everyone believed in god would be TERRIBLE" would you not see that as an attack on religion? Wouldnt you feel a little offended that im saying "If more people were like you the world would be a shittier place?"

A world at either extreme would be bad. The answer lies in the middle, as it always does.

Well, this all sounds nice and good and a bit like Gould's nonoverlapping magisteria.
But I cannot fully agree with that notion. Not while religious people make claims about the real world, because that's when the magisteria do start to overlap.
Now, Creationism is obviously one of the worst offenders in that regard because it flies in the face of all scientific evidence, but even less Literalistic interpretations step in it quite often.
Think of the supposed power of prayer: Even if we don't understand the mechanism scientifically, if prayer was effective, you'd at least expect an empirically measurable influence on, say, patient outcomes. But we don't.
This is just one example of many. Basically, the moment any religious claim has any bearing on the real world, the magisteria start to overlap and the claims can possibly be investigated. And thus they can come into conflict with observed facts.
The only way for magisteria to be utterly nonoverlapping would be to so strongly cut back on the religious claims, that they no longer affect the empirical. And few people are willing to go that far.
So instead of a truly nonoverlapping situation, we get attempts at compromises like Theistic Evolution, which - as any who've read my posts on this forum know - I'm much in favour of compared to Creationism and various types of which all of my religious friends take as their approach.
But it's still overlapping at that point. And the best they can do is hope for gaps in our knowledge to remain and be filled with their belief, causing the ever receding deities of many more moderate religions and religious people.

Matthew Jabour:

A world at either extreme would be bad. The answer lies in the middle, as it always does.

That i can get behind, diversity of opinion and thought means people who desire different solutions to their lives and feelings can find happiness. And thats amazing. Sorry for assuming you didnt hold that view.

People like Ken Ham just muddle the issue because, IMO Creation Science is really more an attempt to get Christianity in schools that it is a serious attempt at organized spirituality. I'm not saying Genesis is wrong, rather than Creation Science or ID is a misuse of Religion for political gains.

For the most part, in modern society, Religion and Science collide very rarely.

You might be interested in reading about the Templeton prize.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Templeton_Prize

The most apparent reason to say that religion and science are incomparable is to avoid the conclusion that some religions and science are incompatible. They are not incomparable: they both produce claims about the world intended to be regarded as factual.

Matthew Jabour:
I hesitate to call this a debate at all. If it had been a debate, then the opposing debaters would have exchanged clever and reasoned points that both drew from established scientific facts. There is nothing Ham said that made me believe his theories even for a second. In fact, his whole argument could be summed up in two words: Nuh-uh.

And it's the same the other way. There's nobody who watched and said, "Well, Bill Nye did establish some good points. I think he may have converted me." Scroll down to the comments on that video, and you'll find the following: "Bill Nye is going to hell." "I hate you, Bill Nye, you are the devil."

You know why? Because creationism is not a science. It is a RELIGION.

This is nothing to do with it being a religion. This is to do with people being stubborn and set in their beliefs. Science would have the same problem-- and particular scientists still sometimes do-- but for the emphasis on the fallibility of all knowledge in the scientific philosophical tradition. The scientific method is born out of recognizing how full of shit we typically are when we say things about the world. The primacy of evidence in science doesn't make science a different kind of thing-- it just makes it actually reliable to some degree.

There has been a move to try to separate religion into its own compartment primarily because its epistemology is just so grossly and apparently inferior. There have been people recognizing this for quite some time: Maimonides put his chips on a metaphorical Genesis way back in the 1100s precisely to avoid being embarrassed by possibly contrary scientific discoveries in the future. This is more desperation to stay relevant than anything else. It is an attempt to carve a niche for these philosophies entirely separate from our apparent reality because science has grossly out-competed all other contenders when it comes to answering questions about that. The result is generally a woolly Deism which doesn't really say much of anything about anything because doing so would need reasons and reasons might require regarding some ideas as factual.

Matthew Jabour:

What I'm trying to say is that you cannot base your science on religion.

But can you base your religion on science?

Matthew Jabour:

They are 'incompatible' because you cannot get one from the other. They should be kept completely separate from each other, otherwise it all ends in disaster.

I respectfully disagree. Its only a disaster when you base your science on religion. This is to say on predetermined conclusions. When you base your religion on science you aviod that trap. More importantly you get an objective morality that simple humanism lacks.

Third-eye:

But can you base your religion on science?


...I respectfully disagree. Its only a disaster when you base your science on religion. This is to say on predetermined conclusions. When you base your religion on science you aviod that trap. More importantly you get an objective morality that simple humanism lacks.

Have you read Asimov's Foundation series? A major theme is religion constructed around science and technology. Still, it doesn't approach objective morality, exactly-- I fail to see how we could derive one from scientific principles.

Silvanus:

Have you read Asimov's Foundation series? A major theme is religion constructed around science and technology.

Sure, it's a classic.

Silvanus:

Still, it doesn't approach objective morality, exactly-- I fail to see how we could derive one from scientific principles.

It's simple really. Science shows that dark matter/gravity seeks to slow time and shrink space. When you analogize this to morality "good" becomes what slows time and shrinks space. "Good" then is found in words like "life", "growth", "prosperity", "health", "freedom", "flourish", "longevity", "exploration", "wisdom", etc. "Bad" then is the opposite notions, found in words like "death", "stagnation", "drought", "sickness", "confinement", "wither", "stymied", "parochial", "foolishness", etc.

You can go farther and say that the purpose of life is to mimic the universe's general relativity through special relativity. We mimic general relativity through our technology of transportation and communication. Its no accident the Einstein developed special relativity while contemplating time on a moving train. It is through such technology that we slow time and shrink space. It's also no accident that throughout history, it's the culture with the most advanced forms of transportation and communication that becomes the dominant social, political, and military power of its time. From Roman roads through British sea-power to America's dominance in aerospace, world hegemony has always been based on technology that slows time and shrinks space. Morality has the same bases.

Third-eye:
Science shows that dark matter/gravity seeks to slow time and shrink space. When you analogize this to morality "good" becomes what slows time and shrinks space...

You'll need to explain how this equalisation occurs objectively for "Science" to have any kind of determinable base objective morality. As it stands, all you've done here is made a very large assumption, asked that we go along with it, and then used skewed thinking in conjunction to agree with yourself. "Gravity makes things fall down, so down is good" doesn't really translate in any meaningful way.

This reminds me of Sam Harris' talks about scientific morality - wherein he essentially wants to have his cake and eat it to. He believes spiritual enlightenment and morality should absolutely be a goal of scientific research... despite being an atheist, and not believing in the spiritual. He's been rightly dismissed by a lot of people on both sides of the discussion because of this hypocritical thinking. An atheistic worldview makes any kind of absolute morality authority impossible. Harris is, essentially, attempting to turn science into one - and it just so happens to agree perfectly with him.

Its one of the many reasons why I believe religion will never be killed off. Pull down the Gods, and we'll just worship something else. We'll simply call it "science" instead. We're already seeing the seeds of such "thinking" today.

Matthew Jabour:
Bill Nye and Ken Ham recently had a debate - well, debate is a strong word, more like 'beautiful obliteration' - between evolutionism and creationism. But they really shouldn't have. Now, I think it was no surprise that Bill absolutely destroyed the other guy. My big surprise was that such a debate even occurred. It makes absolutely no sense to hold such a debate. Theology, while certainly viable in its own way, cannot compete with science.

They both seem to give pretty weak answers as to what created everything.

Matthew Jabour:
I'm not suggesting that creationism is merely an inadequate form of science that is clearly incorrect in comparison to evolutionism. I am saying that creationism is not science. At all. You cannot form science from a religion. This would be akin to trying to ride a tricycle into space - there is no point at which any kind of tricycle could journey into space and still be a tricycle.

You also seem to be saying that Theology is limited to Creationism, which is not just an ignorant, sweeping generalization, but also widely inaccurate considering that not all religions support Creationism. For example, Pope John Paul II recognized evolution. I'm sorry if this comes off as aggressive, but it seems like a repeating cycle for people to want to proclaim that the views of some Protestant Christians are somehow reflective of not just all Christianity, but every religion as well. The simple fact is that they don't represent every religion or sect, and their beliefs should not be interpreted as representative of every religion.

Matthew Jabour:
My big surprise was that such a debate even occurred. It makes absolutely no sense to hold such a debate.

A lot of people say that but I think they're wrong.
Yes, in a perfect world, this debate shouldn't happen.
You must remember however that, in the US (don't know about other countries), creationism has a large number of followers, including celebrities and politicians who keep pushing for it to be taught in schools instead of actual facts.
Most people don't know how science works (when you're talking about evolution with them , you might as well be talking in a foreign language) so you can persuade them with clever wordplay, misdirection and an engaging presentation.
Creationism needs to be destroyed in the public eye in order to really get rid of it.

Others have said this - but science and religion are incompatible, on a fundamental level.

Religion depends on divine revelation - the idea that some truths just ARE truths, because God spoke them, and you have to take it on faith that divine revelation exists. Religion doesn't depend on tests or statistics or mathematical models - it depends on Divine Revelation and Faith. Let me ask you this - if you're a Christian, where did you first hear about God? Chances are, your parents told you about God. Maybe your friends. Maybe your teachers (depending where you live). But you heard about God from SOMEONE else - God didn't come down and tell you about his existence personally. You have to have faith that you were told truths by others. And of course, where did the others hear about God? From their ancestors! Being religious means you have to have faith that some time in the distant past God divinely revealed himself to a prophet and that the immortal truths of God have been passed down correctly from generation to generation.

Science doesn't depend on that - science depends on tests and experiments and you can SEE it work in the technology that surrounds you. It WORKS. Not only that - you DON'T have to take a scientist's word that science is pretty accurate - you can run experiments yourself. You can, if you want to! You could learn it, test it, experiment with it and see for yourself. Not so with Religion - you HAVE to have faith that it is correct. That's literally the entire deal with Religion.

Science depends on Evidence, Testing, Hypotheses and Creating Predictive Models. It doesn't depend on faith - every new significant paper gets put through the wringer, and while fake science does get past the checkers, eventually the truth WILL be found out - because if it's fake, it won't work and other scientists will catch on. Science is a self-correcting process that depends on whether or not something works or has proof behind it.

Religion isn't. Religion says that some things don't require Proof, don't require evidence. The Bible is True, because, according to religion, IT JUST IS. End of story. End of discussion. And you can debate whether or not that model is superior to any other model.... but it's not science. It just isn't. It's 180 degrees different to science. It's almost Science's EXACT opposite - no testing, no alternative hypotheses, no self-correction. Our beliefs are true because we say they are, end of story.

Is it really so hard for Americans to figure out that maybe Evolution is *how* God made us?
As far as I'm concerned (As a Lax Roman Catholic), God made us and the world around us, Science is us figuring out how he did it.

I know this sounds like me saying "Both sides are right", but it is such an easy concept to grasp.

Matthew Jabour:
A world at either extreme would be bad. The answer lies in the middle, as it always does.

To be perfectly honest, while compromise sometimes leads to the truth, and a better world, it's far from always being the answer. There are a lot of situations where compromise for the sake of being in the middle is flat out wrong.

Diablo1099:
Is it really so hard for Americans to figure out that maybe Evolution is *how* God made us?
As far as I'm concerned (As a Lax Roman Catholic), God made us and the world around us, Science is us figuring out how he did it.

I know this sounds like me saying "Both sides are right", but it is such an easy concept to grasp.

I agree that evolution and the belief in a deity can coexist, certainly I do.

That said, why would a deity use a process which requires no guidance, and takes millions upon millions of years? If a deity is Omniscient, he already knows what the finished product will be when he starts. Why not cut out the middle man?

Silvanus:
I agree that evolution and the belief in a deity can coexist, certainly I do.

That said, why would a deity use a process which requires no guidance, and takes millions upon millions of years? If a deity is Omniscient, he already knows what the finished product will be when he starts. Why not cut out the middle man?

Well, why should he cut out the middle man?

I know this is that BS "He moves is mysterious ways" cop out answer, but...Well, that's all I got.
This is where the faith part comes in I guess, least until we figure out why he did it this way.

I'm really hope I'm not coming off as some Ultra Religious type (Because I'm totally not), but I just wanted to point out this bit of logic:
You believe in God and that he made everything that is and will be, then why object to scientists and their work when you know for a fact that God is the reason they do it and find out what they find?

Kinda like the whole "Why doesn't God stop making Gay People if he hates them so much?" argument.
I figured out that kinda reasoning years ago as a kid, just surprises me that so many Americans fail to make the same connections.

Silvanus:

I agree that evolution and the belief in a deity can coexist, certainly I do.

That said, why would a deity use a process which requires no guidance, and takes millions upon millions of years? If a deity is Omniscient, he already knows what the finished product will be when he starts. Why not cut out the middle man?

God is eternal and cares absolutely not at all about things taking time. When one experiences all things simultaneously forever, why not let it work itself out if the end result is the same?

Diablo1099:

I'm really hope I'm not coming off as some Ultra Religious type (Because I'm totally not), but I just wanted to point out this bit of logic:
You believe in God and that he made everything that is and will be, then why object to scientists and their work when you know for a fact that God is the reason they do it and find out what they find?

Kinda like the whole "Why doesn't God stop making Gay People if he hates them so much?" argument.
I figured out that kinda reasoning years ago as a kid, just surprises me that so many Americans fail to make the same connections.

On this, I can certainly agree. Christians have as much reason as anyone else to discover how things work, I'm with you there.

tstorm823:

God is eternal and cares absolutely not at all about things taking time. When one experiences all things simultaneously forever, why not let it work itself out if the end result is the same?

Simply because there's no reason to. It's an incredibly intricate and complex process to accomplish something an omnipotent deity could accomplish without it. It would mean it was utterly purposeless.

Silvanus:

Simply because there's no reason to. It's an incredibly intricate and complex process to accomplish something an omnipotent deity could accomplish without it. It would mean it was utterly purposeless.

Evolution is intricate and complex? Isn't that opposite the idea? Isn't evolution supposed to be the brilliantly simple theory?

tstorm823:

Silvanus:

Simply because there's no reason to. It's an incredibly intricate and complex process to accomplish something an omnipotent deity could accomplish without it. It would mean it was utterly purposeless.

Evolution is intricate and complex? Isn't that opposite the idea? Isn't evolution supposed to be the brilliantly simple theory?

In theory, yes, in practice you have to let the thing simmer for a few billion years to get the right results.

thaluikhain:
In theory, yes, in practice you have to let the thing simmer for a few billion years to get the right results.

And also let trillions of lifeforms suffer, get eaten or fall ill and die, not to mention the countless life that's not even capable of suffering. What kind of monster would employ such a method? Or, well, it would at least have to be some kind of utterly amoral entity. Not for nothing did Dawkins say that a society based on Darwinian ideals would be an awful thing: As elegant as evolution is, nature is actually pretty cruel and careless in its trial & error.

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