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Sunday, July 08, 2007

Is Science a Religion?

Science explores the natural world and makes predictions, retrodictions and constantly tries to falsify itself. Very few religions make daily attempts to falsify themselves. Very few religions (certainly not Christianity or Islam) spend day after day trying to refute the very fundamental tenets of their beliefs. If we use Christianity as an example, Christians accept on faith that God is a holy trinity and that one of the godhead came to earth as man, died as a man and rose again as a god. That tenet is not tested, it is not testable and it is not science. When most people say that 'science is religion' most of the time they are speaking of evolutionary biology. In extreme cases it means everything from geology to chemistry to physics, but I find that extremists generally don't understand geology, chemistry and physics. Instead they view those sciences as supporting evolution, and they then reject them as religious.

What I find particularly odd is that the assertion 'science is religion' is actually used in the pejorative. It's not elevating science, it is denigrating science. That we all know, but how many of use pay equal attention to the fact that when calling 'evolution a religion', they are also denigrating their religion. The mocking tones are really saying 'evolution is stoopid' (to paraphrase inmate Kent Hovind). But if evolution is a religion and it's stupid, then aren't Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Taoism etc all 'stoopid' as well? In calling science a religion, creationists are shooting themselves in the foot. Read these two sentences and tell me which one is more likely to be defended by a creationist.

(1) If science is a religion, then why should I believe evolution?
(2) If Christianity is a religion, then why should I believe Christ rose from the dead?

They will try to separate these two statements and convince you that you should believe in Christ even though it is a religion and should not buy into evolution because it is a religion.


Joe Meert

Lucky 7 Day July 7, 2007?

A first class exhibit of the pseudoscientific belief in the USA is the fact that so many believed that yesterday July 7, 2007 or 7/7/07 was somehow a 'lucky' day. A news report notes

More weddings will be held Saturday than on any day in recent history, experts say. Hotels are offering commemorative 777 packages, a pizza chain is giving away 777 pizzas, a state lottery is offering.....
The fact is that according to current odds, 50% of the marriages made yesterday will end up in divorce. The odds of winning yesterday's lottery were the same as any other day. The chance that you will have a 'lucky day' was the same yesterday as any other day. Yet, somehow people feel that 7/7/07 is a special day and no doubt someone or another will claim that 'yes, 7/7/07 was their lucky day. Others were not so lucky yesterday. Consider:

An on-duty Plano police officer whom colleagues described as a good-natured, hard-working country boy died Saturday morning after being thrown from his motorcycle while pursuing a motorist.

Professor Donald Michie, 84, and Dame Anne McLaren, 80, were killed when their car left the M11 motorway as they travelled from Cambridge to London on Saturday.

John Mark Karr, who made what turned out to be bogus claims of killing JonBenet Ramsey, was jailed Saturday in a domestic argument at his father's house in suburban Atlanta.

One need only scan the news to see that there was nothing particularly special about 7/7/2007. Superstition is stupid. Wonder how many people will lock themselves inside because this friday is the 13th?


Joe Meert

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