Creationist Scientist Wants Airtime on Cosmos for Creationist Views

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TheSYLOH:
Actually I would be genuinely surprised if Cosmos did not discuss intelligent design and creationism. Just as I would be surprised if they did not discuss global warming denial. People in general and children especially need someone to take the time to explain how and why these things are not science and why they can be so easily dismissed.
Cosmos would be the perfect platform to explain this.

Why would they (Cosmos) want to advertise a fairytale? Best way to deal with Creationism is to seat it in the corner with a dunce hat on and forget it there after the schoolday is over, lights off and all.
All publicity is good publicity, even the ones that laugh in your face. Better to let it die quietly.
Humanity is stupid enough now, so it doesn't need anymore moronic beliefs that could drive it deeper in the cesspool of ignorance.

miketehmage:

BanicRhys:
So much ignorance in this thread.

We know as much about the universe now as we did back in the back in the bronze age (nothing). Sure, we have some pretty good ideas based on what we're able to observe and comprehend around us, but they're still just ideas.

By completely disregarding other, less popular, ideas, you're being just as closed minded as those who allow themselves to be blinded by their religious dogmas.

We know fuck all about the universe, we can perceive fuck all of the universe, we can comprehend fuck all of the universe, to think anyone is anywhere close to an actual answer on anything is the height of arrogance.

This. So much this. Really couldn't have worded it better myself. The point of science is to admit we are ignorant and to try and learn more about what is around us, and if we spend all day shooting down different ideas, as crazy as they may seem, we are no different to the people we claim to know better than.

But... that's not true. We do know things about the universe, we can perceive things about the universe, we can comprehend things about the universe, and we have answers to a lot of important questions.

I mean, I guess it is possible to say "what we observe we do not actually observe, all of existence is an illusion" (Welcome to Night Vale...) and I guess I cannot prove you are wrong, but I feel like it is safe to start with the assumption that the universe does exist and that we are capable of observation. Do you disagree?

Gorrath:

In my case, my parents were very open and didn't try to force anything on me or my siblings. They just wanted us to have some exposure to religion to make up our own minds. I love them for that, and many other things. My grandparents, who we were left in the care of, and who I also love dearly, were much more responsible for the push towards Christian belief. The youth group we were a part of was all about squashing independent thought and learning repetitious dogma. We were schooled in the new testament but also encouraged to treat homosexuals as sinners (with no explanation as to why homosexuality was worse than the sins we were all supposedly committing all the time). It was simply a form of bigotry and prejudice backed up by Biblical decree from the old and new testament. So my story isn't particularly vile, just dubious, but I know of many others like myself who lost something in those years we were forcibly indoctrinated. I need not appeal to some Medieval example of the harm the church can do, I lived through enough of it to know. I tell you all this simply to explain why I view the church the way I do, not as an accusation that you're some brainwashed cultist or moron. You have your own experiences, and I respect that, as they are no less important than my own.

I should also note that I am an agnostic atheist, a skeptic and a religious person. I happen to adhere to a religious philosophy that has no deity and no supernatural belief. I think religion is best described as what one does, not what one believes. Belief has very little value when compared to what action results due to that belief. I find Christianity to be no more or less valid than any other religious practice of similar stripe. What I, and so many others take issue with isn't the belief, though we may find the tenants themselves questionable at best, the problem is with the actions of some based on their professed belief.

When a group of people try to co-opt a science class by injecting creationist propaganda into it, I don't just blame the people who are doing this, I look at why they think they should. Christianity teaches one to be evangelical, even at the expense of one's own life. I find this notion, in actual practice, to be incompatible with a secular society. So if you are the sort to hold to your religious views and are able to live and let live in this secular nation, I'd embrace you. But, those who religiously go about working to do what their religion commands, even if it conflicts with a free and open nation, I must take action against, and I cannot ignore the beliefs they hold that inform that action. So I must be critical not only of the people but of their religion as well. I do not attack the religion out of hatred from the wrongs it did to me, but because I don't want to see those same wrongs done to others.

But be proud of your religious belief, tell others what you think and listen in turn. Love your neighbor even if he dismisses you or thinks you a fool. Enjoy yourself and indulge in your religious practice without shame. Just make sure that whatever you decide to practice, it does not work toward subverting the secular society in which we live. So long as we stay true to secularism, we can all live peaceably by whatever creed we deem fit for us. In the case of this story, that means not pretending as if some religious belief belongs on a show about science. But you already know that, and have said as much, and for that I respect you.

I've never really been exposed to one of those brainwashing type of youth groups. The whole homosexual part I'm still grappling with. I know what I think and personally I think my parents, my mom in particular, don't exactly see eye to eye with me on that. They haven't mistreated or would mistreat any of them but they are like "Does that have to be on TV?" "We don't approve of their lifestyle." "Its a choice that we don't approve of." Which if I remember correctly its slowly being proven that it may not be a choice in some cases. Anyway they are really passive aggressive about that but that is just going way the heck off course if I keep rambling. I have a feeling that many others would accuse me of being brain washed cultist or a moron.

Religion is like all things more action than words and honestly the likes of Christianity and such aren't exactly bad doctrine to live by. I mean there is a reason there are several Bible Stories that pretty much everyone knows. They teach just good lessons in general. Which ultimately the Bible is just a guide book. A record of experiences and knowledge gathered in one place for people to read and learn from to guide their lives. The only laws written by God are the 10 Commandments. Not the Bible. Going strictly by those it says nothing about homosexuality or anything like that. Basically they boil down to: 1. Put God before anything else, 2. respect your parents, 3. The last half being various forms of don't be a dick. If they were written today instead of thousands of years ago the last 5 would be condensed into "Use common sense and don't be a douche."

Being Evangelical to that extent is totally impractical. Yes I know we are supposed to do it but it is not my job. If the church was in some way shape or form my job I would. It is not but that does not stop me from every now and then trying to talk about it to someone who may be on the fence or is having a difficult time. Basically when an opportunity arrises I'll take it if I can to spread the word. Other then that I let people mind their business. Otherwise you chase more people off when you just try to jump down their throats with it.

At this point I've pretty much said "screw it" to being ashamed of anything. I work at a sports bar but all my coworkers know that I'm a walking encyclopedia or nerd knowledge, my main music growing up was Disney and Nsync, my choice of entertainment is video games, etc...Here I'm more or less blaring that I am Christian when someone makes a touchy thread on the subject and the aim seems to be to prove us as a bunch of nut jobs. To the people that claim all of the Bible is just some fake story book my best argument for them is that Jesus did exist. There are historical records saying he was actually walking around that aren't the Bible. Thats another thing for another time though I think.

..Creationism science is a thing?

If Creatonism is is the belief that how everything came to be isn't how science has proved it to become the way it is now, and what it is sitll becoming, then... how can one be a person (scientist) who believes that everything can be explained with research, studies, or other methods, and that they must look at what they know to uncover those facts?

I think the concept os someone whose two central beliefs conflict completely is confusing enough.

captcha: check your work. I swear, these things just... know.

I don't get it. Why do these guys want to be compared to science all the time, as though there are truly scientific questions about whether or not evolution or the book of Genesis happened? Like, why not compare yourself based on faith (something religion is) as opposed to factual accuracy (something religion is not)? Is their faith truly so weak as to be shaken apart by science saying some events in the bible might not be 100% fact? I'm not a religious person, but dear lord, that seems pretty sad to me. Your faith in something should not hinge on words written and retranslated over thousands of years by imperfect (see: humans) beings. That's why they call it "faith."

KazeAizen:
snip

Thanks for sharing with me, I like to learn about other people and discover why they are who they are. I could get into a deeper theological/philosophical discussion about some of the points you make here, but this thread is likely not the place to dig into all of that. I know quite a bit about the Bible and it's stories and the apologetics that surround it and would get a kick out of having a rambling discussion with you about various points, so maybe in some place more suitable we can do that.

As for homosexuals, I always think about it this way. Assuming you are a heterosexual, did at any point as a kid did you sit down, toss a coin and decide to be heterosexual? My guess is probably not. You simply were attracted to the girls you were attracted to. I'm not homosexual myself, but I don't imagine the process works any different for them. Choosing to have sex with another person is a choice, but your attraction to that person is not, and I think that's easily demonstrated. What I usually tell Christians when I talk about this subject with them is, you don't have to think it's okay for homosexuals to engage in homosexual sex, but it's not our place to tell anyone what to do with other consenting adults in their own bed.

You don't have to like it, you don't have to think it's okay, but it's really none of our business. Unfortunately, in the United States, there is a strong push to codify purely religious/theological opinion into law. So long as you aren't a part of that Christian movement, I not care one way or the other how you felt about homosexuals. Think it's a sin? Fine. Think they'll have to answer to God? Fine. Think they'll go to hell? You're prerogative. Think homosexual acts should be outlawed or that they shouldn't be given the same freedom of choice the rest of us are? Now we've got a problem. But you don't strike me as that sort, so I'm likely preaching to the choir here. It's good to have met you.

This title made me laugh so much. I'm still giggling.

Sofus:
I believe that the universe exists within the belly of a giant odder and that the universe expands because the odder is eating alot of muffins.

Oh really? Then who created this odder? Or the muffins?

Also, what's an odder?

The Ultimate Problem is Religeon cant co-exist with science because science disproves religeon.
Religeon need to focus on the WHY, Science on the HOW of the ultimate questions of life.

Religeon is greedy and want to be the why and the how, all the while not even following its own tenants.

Ratty:

Newton also believed in Alchemy, do you think we should believe that to just because he did? What matters is what the men and women said and how much of it is supported by the current body of evidence. Otherwise, you're just arguing from authority. "Well these guys were really smart in certain fields so obviously you're dumb to disagree with them on anything." That's like saying someone with a Doctorate in Sports Medicine is automatically qualified to speak on geology.

Even the most brilliant ancient thinkers did not have access to the data and data collecting techniques we have now. No matter what names you can pull out of a hat the simple fact is that creationism does not follow the scientific method, therefore it is not science.

All you're doing with this post is propagating the stereotypes about "atheists" (in reality the neo-atheist movement). If you actually take the time to analyse what I posted you would have discerned that the only thing I said was that being religious and a scientist are not mutually exclusive, and proved my point with evidence. Not only have most great minds leading up until the modern era religious, I know more people in research positions that are religious than irreligious. These are two facts, the second one obviously being anecdotal and impossible for you to verify, but none the less a fact. I'm not religious. I wasn't not arguing "from authority" because I was not in an argument or debate, but clarifying a fact. Just because someone has a different opinion than you does not mean that they have the opposite opinion.

Gorrath:
Snip

I wasn't aware that "creationist science" was a field, thank you for clarifying. Though they just probably just stick to the term "theology" if they want to be taken seriously.

immortalfrieza:

That's because practically everybody on the planet was religious at the time, as well as being raised under it's doctrine. You could be imprisoned, exiled, or even executed for being otherwise back then, so there wasn't really any room for any "notable thinkers" that weren't religious. This is the same reason why the claims that religion and science do go together because religious people came up with the very foundations of science to begin with is completely groundless. If there had been real room for atheist scientists back then, then the scientific method would have not only been created far sooner but science as a whole would have advanced SIGNIFICANTLY more readily than it actually ended up.

Again, many of these claims are completely false. First off, the scientific method was created by theistic philosophers in ancient Greece. Secondly, the Christians and Muslims the two curators of literacy and culture after the fall of Rome. Saying that religion held humanity back and squashed any attempt at "science" is false. I will not argue the merits of religion, but the fact remains that for the majority of the time leading up until the enlightenment people were not being "thrown in jail" for being "atheist". The idea that irreligious scientists are better than religious scientists again is laughable.

BanicRhys:
Unless the defininition of ignorance has shifted to the complete opposite of what it used to be, I don't see how my post was in any way ironic given that I was advocating the acceptance of alternative ideas.

You said, and I quote:

We know as much about the universe now as we did back in the back in the bronze age (nothing). Sure, we have some pretty good ideas based on what we're able to observe and comprehend around us, but they're still just ideas.

We know fuck all about the universe, we can perceive fuck all of the universe, we can comprehend fuck all of the universe, to think anyone is anywhere close to an actual answer on anything is the height of arrogance. Odds are, creationism is just as likely to be correct as evolution and the big bang theory, so why not give it its fair share of coverage?

Besides being completely wrong, you're also dismissing (or are unaware of) hundreds of years of research and progress in science and knowledge in favor of an idea from a book written thousands of years ago, by goat herders who didn't even know what the world actually was.

And you have the gall to call the rest of us "ignorant"?

By completely disregarding other, less popular, ideas, you're being just as closed minded as those who allow themselves to be blinded by their religious dogmas.

So now it's close-minded to expect some evidence to support a claim? Because that's where this is coming from. A lack of evidence supporting the hypothesis of "Creationism".

If expecting someone to prove to me; with quantifiable, demonstrable evidence; that what they assert is true makes me close-minded.....then I will happily say that I'm the most close-minded person in the world.

Besides, why should the Christian idea of creationism be the only alternative hypothesis presented in Cosmos? Why not the other hypothesis's of creation from the thousands of other religions? How do we decide which nutty unproven hypothesis's are presented and which are ignored? Where do we draw the line in presenting real, proven theories along side untested; and indeed often untestable; hypothesis's?

You can be as insulting and indignant towards me and others like me as much as you want, but it won't change the fact that skepticism is the true "default position". As such, until a creationist can provide some proof of their claim, I have no obligation to accept their ideas nor give them equal merit as that given to proven ideas like evolution.

Isn't Creationism more theology than science? People can believe whatever they want, but how do you scientifically explain God?

I honestly wouldn't mind watching an episode on "science-y" creationist theories. I'm an atheist, but I find creationist thinking very interesting. How does a creationist scientist use science to explain creationism? I'm assuming that one would be faithful to science to an extent and fit that into the Bible's explanation somewhere.

We need to preach the controversy and preach evolution in church.

Joey Bolzenius:
Isn't Creationism more theology than science? People can believe whatever they want, but how do you scientifically explain God?

It is theology and pseudo science mixed , creationists simply try to pass it off as actual science to attempt to gull the uninformed. Or they try to debunk actual science with it.

Goliath100:
There is no "creationist theories". In a scientific context, "theory is the highest level of truth. Socalled "creationist theories" do not pass this test and can at best be call a "hypothesis".

Technically not even that. A hypothesis is, by definition, both falsifiable and testable.

Creationism is neither.

It's just a random idea a lot of people happen to share.

BanicRhys:

Vigormortis:
The irony of these posts is palpable...

Unless the defininition of ignorance has shifted to the complete opposite of what it used to be, I don't see how my post was in any way ironic given that I was advocating the acceptance of alternative ideas.

Shaidz:
Ermmm... i am not sure what school you went to, but we know A LOT more about EVERYTHING, universe included, than we did back in the Bronze age. Such as, what the sun is, how a solar system works, evolution, electromagnetism, gravity, weak and strong nuclear forces. True, there is still a massive amount we don't know, but we do indeed know more than we did a few 100 years ago.

People have always thought they've "known" what the sun is etc etc etc.

The universe is infinitely more complex than we give it credit for, the limits of our knowledge are defined by the limits of our ability to comprehend, the one and only thing that I cannot believe is possible is that the human race has reached the pinnicle of comprehension.

Note: I'm in no way saying that I believe that the world was created in 6 days 6000 years ago by a singular god that incarnated into the form of a man named Jesus roughly 2000 years ago etc etc etc etc etc... I'm just saying, that for all we know, it's not compeltely outside the realm of possiblity that a higher intelligence had a hand in humanity's/the universe's creation.

We can't just blanketly rule out points of view because they seem outlandish.

Spacemonkey430:
Is it me or did this just hit it on the head? I mean, you had to expect that posting something like this on the internet would only bring about the whole "I'm ok with religion because can be wrong dummy-heads all they want" cliche out in force. But it kind of amazes me that in the era of such "open mindedness" people can't see how creationism and science are not mutually exclusive. Believing that God created the universe does not supplant any sort of scientific evidence. The two can compliment each other. Some people don't choose to believe that the really abstract questions can be explained by a god. Some people do. I find that in this case the anti-creationist, hardcore science people are just as elitist and close-minded as religious fanatics on Fox News because they have science to wave in people's face.

This post is kind of what I'm trying to get at.

I think what Shaidz was saying is that we know a heck of a lot more about the universe than in the Bronze Age. We know Our Solar System is heliocentric, and we know a lot more about outside our solar system. Also, what we DO know invalidated the Bible's "facts", because the Bible says that the sun revolves around the Earth. So forgive me for not giving a grain of salt about creationism since the Bible can't even get our own solar system right. Evolution has been supported over and over again and creationism has not. The Big Bang has been supported over and over again and creationism has not. In fact, young-earth creationism is completely false and has been since Clair Cameron Patterson calculated the 4.55 billion-years age of the Earth in the FIFTIES. The fact that the universe was apparently proofed from light and darkness is crazy since the Earth is made up of elements, and light radiates heat, caused by atoms moving extremely fast. Considering the hottest things in the Universe-stars-can't burn any element with a bigger atomic number than Iron, which is only the 26th element, humans could exist, yes, but gold, lead, silver, tantalum (which is almost in every electronic), tungsten, and cobalt couldn't come from light alone. If a creationist could provide EVIDENCE other than the book, I'll listen to them. Otherwise? Not on your life, buster.

Nooners:
Or, you know. All science that we see everywhere is true because God did it. Why is it so hard for these two views to coexist? God made the universe able to run on science. He made it with a firmly established set of rules for physics, biology, geology, etc, etc... Why is this so hard to understand?

Thank you! I completely agree. I'm Christian, but I have always supported a scientific approach to just about everything. I had an anthropology professor in college who I thought put it very well; he said that science is a tool, a mindset that can be used to tackle and explain things, but that it couldn't be used to explain everything. Does that mean that science or religion are wrong? No, it just means that sometimes science is the wrong tool. Now, I consider science to only seldom actually be the wrong tool. And I think that being religious doesn't give you license to throw that tool out the window, either. It's a damn useful tool!

The best interpretation of Genesis I've ever heard is simply this: it's *poetry*, not science. You have to remember that science as a tool/paradigm is, historically speaking, incredibly new. The scientific method as we understand it did not exist for most of human history. And expecting a scientifically accurate accounting of the creation of the world from a book written thousands of years ago is just ridiculous. Similarly, expecting said accounting to be inherently incorrect purely because it's not scientific is also ridiculous.

So, Genesis says God made the world in six days. But what does "day" mean, in the context of the poetry? The Bible is riddled with symbolism and allegory, and there is zero reason that can't be true for Genesis, too. Is a "day" an eon? Who knows? When you realize Genesis isn't literal, just as a poem isn't literal, then you can also see that there isn't any conflict between science and religion when it comes to where life came from.

To put it another way: Let's say that your significant other gazes deeply into your eyes, and then writes down what they see there. They'll probably write down something about the beauty of your eyes, or the depths of your soul, or if they're feeling snarky, how the flecks in your eyes resemble something weird or something like that.

Now let's say your opthamologist gazes deeply into your eyes, and writes down they see there. They'll probably record some numbers and jargon about what kind of glasses you may need, as well as anything else significant to their line of work.

So, now we have two detailed records of what your eyes look like, from two very different sources operating under two very different paradigms. But here's the thing: *both records are accurate*. Neither one is superior to the other; they're just different. They're not incompatible, and the existence of one doesn't invalidate the other. They were written for different purposes and using different approaches, but they both accurately describe your eyes in the context of those approaches.

It's the same way with Genesis and evolution and all that. They're two very different approaches constructed by very different authors that both happen to describe the same thing. Expecting one to invalidate the other makes as much sense as insisting that a metaphor-laden poem written about a cat's beauty can't be correct because it's not a scientific accounting of your cat's biology.

Or, here's an idea: it focuses on science.

persephone:
To put it another way: Let's say that your significant other gazes deeply into your eyes, and then writes down what they see there. They'll probably write down something about the beauty of your eyes, or the depths of your soul, or if they're feeling snarky, how the flecks in your eyes resemble something weird or something like that.

Now let's say your opthamologist gazes deeply into your eyes, and writes down they see there. They'll probably record some numbers and jargon about what kind of glasses you may need, as well as anything else significant to their line of work.

So, now we have two detailed records of what your eyes look like, from two very different sources operating under two very different paradigms. But here's the thing: *both records are accurate*. Neither one is superior to the other; they're just different. They're not incompatible, and the existence of one doesn't invalidate the other. They were written for different purposes and using different approaches, but they both accurately describe your eyes in the context of those approaches.

And here's the problem with your argument - one of them is not accurate, because it's not consistent enough.

Ask an opthalmologist and he'll write down some things. Ask another opthalmologist and he'll write down the same things. Ask a significant other - who goes in there with the expectation of what they'll find - and they'll write something down. Ask a random off the street and they'll write something completely different.

Therein lies your problem. Science is about observable, repeatable results verified in a particular way (the "scientific method"). Religion is about nothing more than gut feelings. Strong, powerful, but when it comes to understanding the real actual physicality of certain structures, utterly irrelevant.

No offense to whoever did the writing and posting of this whole article, but... why even bother?
I like the escapist as much as the other guy but I think we all knew how this would end up. A big ol' eight page circlejerk where anyone of dissenting views gets insulted and the people insulting get warnings and probations.

Rhykker:

We ask that readers remain respectful in their comments and not attack anyone's religious views. Thank you.

Not a good sign when it feels like I should report like half of the posts here.

As others have already pointed out, religion and science are not mutually exclusive. To believe that they are is rather condescending and close-minded. I try to understand the atheist point of view, and while I might not agree with it, if one is honest in their scientific endeavors, it matters not if they have faith or do not. I'd ask that those bereft of faith in a higher power extend the same courtesy to those of us who do scientific research yet maintain belief in a higher power, an organizing force in the universe.

Hagi:

Goliath100:
There is no "creationist theories". In a scientific context, "theory is the highest level of truth. Socalled "creationist theories" do not pass this test and can at best be call a "hypothesis".

Technically not even that. A hypothesis is, by definition, both falsifiable and testable.

Creationism is neither.

It's just a random idea a lot of people happen to share.

I'm getting somewhat pissed off about this: you are the 4th person saying this, and after I made a post pointing out that "AT BEST can be called a "hypothesis".

hermes200:
A creationist scientist is simply someone that does not adhere to the theory of evolution, but either works on other branches of science or adheres to any version of creationism in regards to the origin of life. Not that weird at all, considering there are many scientists that don't agree with the Big Bang theory or Strings theory, without being considered pariahs.

Moving the goalposts a bit here. There's a huge gulf between "thinks there's some issues with current scientific models" and "thinks 'God' created everything"... and then another huge step between that and "believes, in the face of all evidence, that the earth is 6k-10k years old". (the last being what these "creation scientists" claim)
The first is perfectly acceptable. It's even laudable, as it should encourage further testing and experimentation to improve our scientific models. The second is fuzzy, but not inherently a bad thing; as people have said repeatedly, religion and science do not have to be in conflict, they just shouldn't overlap. The third is absurd, anti-scientific, and blind self-deception.

Goliath100:
I'm getting somewhat pissed off about this: you are the 4th person saying this, and after I made a post pointing out that "AT BEST can be called a "hypothesis".

Which is why my post took the form of a clarification and not a denial.

If you're tired of replies then by all means edit your post to say it can't even be called a hypothesis. But don't get mad at a stranger for simply adding onto what you've said.

Goliath100:

Hagi:

Goliath100:
There is no "creationist theories". In a scientific context, "theory is the highest level of truth. Socalled "creationist theories" do not pass this test and can at best be call a "hypothesis".

Technically not even that. A hypothesis is, by definition, both falsifiable and testable.

Creationism is neither.

It's just a random idea a lot of people happen to share.

I'm getting somewhat pissed off about this: you are the 4th person saying this, and after I made a post pointing out that "AT BEST can be called a "hypothesis".

That's like saying a boiled egg can "at best" be called a roast chicken.

FalloutJack:

Ninmecu:
Ok...Someone tell me if I'm wrong here. But isn't a Creationist Scientist an oxymoron?

Well, yes. I mean, unless he was one of those open-minded people who actually accepted, you know, science. But a Creationist into science is like a fish not only out of water, but in the desert on a horse with no name.

This is like a scientologist asking for an audience with the Pope, or Stephen Hawking getting up and walking like Dr. Strangelove, or god apologizing for the inconvenience. We'd love to see it, but we know it ain't gonna happen.

I looked this guy up, distinguished professor emeritus at USC at Lancaster, a PhD in Astronomy, and several other degrees as well. I read an article of his about belief in quantum mechanics and string theory as a creationist. He seems like a smart guy, who clearly understands scientific method and the difference between hypotheses and theories. So why the hell did he even bother asking for this? He had to know the answer and where his beliefs stand in the scientic community.

As a European, an academic, and a Christian, I would thank the Holy Inquisition for driving those goddamn morons out of Europe. It's awesome living in a place where "Christian" does not equal "republican/imbecile". If I lived over there (and I did, but before Bush jr let the Jesus freaks run the entirety of American politics), I would be a radical atheist, no doubt.

Seriously, American "Christians", by and large, are too daft for a religion which incorporates elements of stoicism and epicureanism, platonism and - since Aquinas - even aristotelian syllogism. Anybody who does gun raffles at "churches" and talks about "Jesus is my buddy" has no business defiling the faith of someone like Kierkegaard. I suggest that they switch to radical Islam, which seems to be the religion of choice for bigoted, gun-wanking, women-hating illiterates these days.

Keep in mind, I am not attacking anyone's religious views. Because those who drive to a megachurch to listen to some inbred talk about how Jesus would own AR-15s and use it to kill gay people do not HAVE religious views, at least not by any measure recognisable to somebody who actually understands what the big words in the Bible mean.

LastDarkness:
The Ultimate Problem is Religeon cant co-exist with science because science disproves religeon.
Religeon need to focus on the WHY, Science on the HOW of the ultimate questions of life.

Religeon is greedy and want to be the why and the how, all the while not even following its own tenants.

Yeah, you see, by typing badly written stereotypes such as these, you're not exactly helping science's cause.

Religion and science CAN co-exist beautifully. You can see Creation as an act of supreme love, and you can see purpose in the beautiful complexity of life, the universe, and everything. You don't have to - but to a person who is thus inclined, meaning can be found in the beauty of science. That's what Douglas Adams got wrong, by the way: if God exists, he's not the fairy underneath the beautiful garden. He is our capacity to feel moved by beauty.

But that's neither here nor there. Again, stereotypes - yes, organised religion has many faults, but for every bishop building a mansion, there are thousands of people of faith helping the poor, healing the sick, comforting those in need etc. "Religion" isn't greedy - every large organisation founded by human beings is. Banks are greedy. Political parties are greedy. Sports clubs are greedy. There exists a critical mass beyond which greed supersedes the organisation's orignal purpose, every time. As for being greedy in a sense that they want to dominate all aspects of thought - same thing, really. Capitalism works in the exact same manner. Hell, it IS a religion - what is it that Chris Rock said? "If banks were open on Sundays, churches would be empty".

The problem isn't religion. The problem is the idiots on both sides who have no idea what a bloody episteme is. Science can disprove that the Earth was made in six days, sure, but anybody focussing on that has no idea what religion really is. Let science disprove that loving your fellow man is the key to a happy life. How about priests don't try to teach astronomy, and biologists don't try to teach religion, because both are academic fields (yes, theology is an academic field, and having taken a few courses, a bloody tough one) which outsiders should shut up about. Unfortunately, when most religious people you hear are bloody illiterate taliban, and so many critics of religion only want to feel smarter by regurgitating stereotypes...

Westaway:

All you're doing with this post is propagating the stereotypes about "atheists" (in reality the neo-atheist movement). If you actually take the time to analyse what I posted you would have discerned that the only thing I said was that being religious and a scientist are not mutually exclusive, and proved my point with evidence. Not only have most great minds leading up until the modern era religious, I know more people in research positions that are religious than irreligious. These are two facts, the second one obviously being anecdotal and impossible for you to verify, but none the less a fact. I'm not religious. I wasn't not arguing "from authority" because I was not in an argument or debate, but clarifying a fact. Just because someone has a different opinion than you does not mean that they have the opposite opinion.

Actually I did realize that was one interpretation of your post, but with the way it was worded the intent seemed a bit ambiguous. And I'm used to hearing Newton etc. held up as examples of why theism in general (and creationism in particular) are super awesome and irrifutable so I decided to point out the problems with that argument as I usually do. (Also I should have said appealing to authority instead of arguing from it but meh.) Plus, I think the person you were responding to was talking specifically about someone claiming that Creationism was science, though I could be wrong.

That said, of course someone can be religious and still be a scientist. Most people are religious to one degree or another, and it seems that an inclination towards faith may have had some sort of evolutionary advantage. One interesting possibility I've heard is that faith may have given a slight boost to the immune systems of our ancestors through the power of positive thinking. Even if this only had an extremely slim effect on survival rates (say an extra 1 in 10 people living a little longer to reproduce for example) this would have had a profound effect on the human population over the span of a few hundred thousand years.

But if there is a problem with the new more vocal forms of atheism, it's mostly that nobody likes outspoken evangelicals of any worldview but their own. From donation begging TV preachers to door-to-door Mormons to airport dwelling "Hare Krishnas"[1]. The outspoken internet atheist is destined to join the ranks of those constant sources of cheap comic relief.

But "new atheism" is an inevitable reaction to decades (since at least the late 1970s) of the politically powerful "religious right". Particularly with all of the high profile scientific work and personal liberties (like stem cell research and birth control) that have been threatened or even actively held back by these (relatively) newly revitalized religious groups. Perhaps I and a lot of my fellow skeptics can be a little reactionary, but when you grow up in a town that had mass Harry Potter book burnings you learn to be wary.

[1] Members of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness

There was a documentary on HBO couple of months ago called "Questioning Darwin". Where creationists were expounding their views against evolution. All they were able to come up with is, there was no mention of evolution in the bible. It was really disappointing to watch. With all their protests about evolution, they could not come up with one single fact that proved evolution was wrong or, at least, should not be considered as fact.

Ratty:
[quote="Westaway" post="7.845564.20839260"]You wrote things here that I'm replying to

I hope you realize that swinging on the idealogical pendulum is highly unintelligent. Just because the neocons exist doesn't mean that having an equally outspoken group on the other side of the spectrum is necessary.

Ninmecu:
Ok...Someone tell me if I'm wrong here. But isn't a Creationist Scientist an oxymoron?

Well, science is a pretty broad term. He could be a literary scientist or something.

Westaway:

Ratty:
[quote="Westaway" post="7.845564.20839260"]You wrote things here that I'm replying to

I hope you realize that swinging on the idealogical pendulum is highly unintelligent. Just because the neocons exist doesn't mean that having an equally outspoken group on the other side of the spectrum is necessary.

Oh I do realize that it's not purely a result of unemotional analysis. But it's an inevitable reaction none the less. Particularly in a time like this when, as I said, religion[1] is being used as a supposedly criticism-proof stick to beat down progress. Including social progress like equal rights for LGBTs. Of course many skeptics are going to get defensive and, after a while, outspoken.

[1] Or, more precisely, politically herded religious congregations.

Well, that's just rude of them. Until, there can be sermons about the scientific method, those kind of people shouldn't complain about being unfair.

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