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  • Religion and Science

    Interesting study:

    http://news.rice.edu/2014/02/16/misc...-in-new-study/


    “We found that nearly 50 percent of evangelicals believe that science and religion can work together and support one another,” Ecklund said. “That’s in contrast to the fact that only 38 percent of Americans feel that science and religion can work in collaboration.”

    The study also found that 18 percent of scientists attended weekly religious services, compared with 20 percent of the general U.S. population; 15 percent consider themselves very religious (versus 19 percent of the general U.S. population); 13.5 percent read religious texts weekly (compared with 17 percent of the U.S. population); and 19 percent pray several times a day (versus 26 percent of the U.S. population).
    Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbnueb2OI4o&t=3s

  • #2
    I kept wondering if there was perhaps a bit of a semantic problem with this study. "Science" was apparently regarded as monolithic, and "religion" was nearly so, distinguishing only evangelicals from non-evangelicals. But faced with the question "can science and religion work together", I think any informed person would be brought up short. WHICH science? Physics? Sure. Evolution? No. Which in turn depends on which religion. Unitarian? No problem. Creationism? Fuggidiboutit!

    If half of all Americans (or something like that) thinks humans were poofed into existence within the last 10,000 years, how exactly are those Americans going to decide that religion and science support one another? Well, the study says that where they see a conflict, more than half side with religion. In this particular case, perhaps the marjority thinks (as Jorge does) that their religion is compatible with "real" science, but incompatible with "religious" science, which is all scientific findings that conflict!

    I worked with several EE types over the years who had a thorough knowledge of electromagnetism. They considered themselves highly science-aware. But wander into biology, and their eyes simply glazed over. They said "I don't believe in that stuff" and that was the end of it. So would they say science and religion were compatible? Yes, absolutely. Biology can't be science, because science tends to be right and biology is wrong. So it's not science. See how easy that is?

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by seer View Post
      One quote bugs me: Nearly 60 percent of evangelical Protestants and 38 percent of all surveyed believe “scientists should be open to considering miracles in their theories or explanations.”

      How? Science very literally does not have the tools necessary to do so.

      Say a miracle happens. A scientist _as a person_ can acknowledge the miracle, but _as a scientist_ can only say "Science cannot tell me how this occurred. I have to look elsewhere for the answer."

      Science, by definition, is a method for analyzing natural phenomena. If a supernatural phenomena occurs, science can tell what occurred, but does not have the tools to analyze _why_ it occurred.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Outis View Post
        One quote bugs me: Nearly 60 percent of evangelical Protestants and 38 percent of all surveyed believe “scientists should be open to considering miracles in their theories or explanations.”

        How?
        Exactly.

        Years ago, I used to read articles from AiG which would go something along the following lines:-

        1) Theory X is wrong because of a, b and c.

        2) Creationism best explains it because x, y and z.

        However, at point 2) there were always the closed doors in their explanation, the points at which they could offer no further explanation (or made up story), at which one would read:-

        a) "And then God performed a miracle" or

        b) "God could have ...."


        So since we know that creationism best explains it by x, y and z and a miracle here and a miracle there, then there is no need to go any further.

        Of course, this undercuts any need to work out how nature does anything. If we don't know, then God does it by miracle, and that's all there is to it.

        That begs the question, why on earth did modern science get underway in the first place if our inability to explain is covered by "God did a miracle"?
        Last edited by rwatts; 02-17-2014, 03:25 PM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by seer View Post
          On another forum I post at, we have an evangelical who works on college campuses. He sure knows his evolutionary theory and is repeatedly annoyed at how creationists do more to cause young folk to leave the church than do the arguments of atheists. His problem is that creationists continually distort what we think and say about evolutionary theory. This works quite well for primary school children. It begins to falter when the children get to high school and begin to confront evolutionary theory. But folk counselling worried students can easily dismiss the teachers as hopeless dupes of the devil, informing the student simply to give the teacher what is required.

          The problem comes when those kids go to college and university and have to confront evolutionary biology for real. Then they see that the idea is not so stupid after all and what's worse, they come to see how those who they trusted, actually deceived them.

          It brings on a real crisis of faith, from which many kids never seem to recover.

          It annoys him terribly. He's quite comfortable with evolutionary theory and cops a lot from those who claim to be wiser because they are the true Christians who believe the Bible.

          Good on him and those other Christians who are like him. They show the way forward.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by rwatts View Post

            It brings on a real crisis of faith, from which many kids never seem to recover.

            I suspect that wanton sex, booze, drugs and an immoral campus culture do just as much harm or more.
            Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbnueb2OI4o&t=3s

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by seer View Post
              I suspect that wanton sex, booze, drugs and an immoral campus culture do just as much harm or more.
              That might be so. However, I'd say it is somewhat irrelevant in the context of kids having a crisis of faith thanks to those whom they trusted and who were supposedly doing God's work, showing themselves to have been ignorant at best or lying and deceitful at worst, about what others think regarding theories such as evolution, the age of the earth, the origin of the universe etc.

              There is no point in:-

              1) Worshipping God as the author of infallible pure truth and justice and

              2) Claiming that one has an intimate relationship with him and is guided by his Holy Spirit,

              - on the one hand, but:-

              3) Lying or being deceitful to children about what others think and why they think it,

              - on the other hand. Having the trust of a child but later demonstrating that your trust was worthless, can be most damaging. Even more so if it was all done in the name of God?


              Whether or not this guy handles the other issues, I cannot say. He certainly makes his feelings known about other social issues. But the damage creationism appears to do to youngsters who attend colleges and universities is one of his big beefs.
              Last edited by rwatts; 02-17-2014, 03:56 PM.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by rwatts View Post
                That might be so. However, I'd say it is somewhat irrelevant in the context of kids having a crisis of faith thanks to those whom they trusted and who were supposedly doing God's work, showing themselves to have been ignorant at best or lying and deceitful at worst, about what others think regarding theories such as evolution, the age of the earth, the origin of the universe etc.
                Sorry, this is no reason to leave your faith. For the most part it was just ignorance on the part of pastors or parents. It is up to the individual to check these things out and weigh the evidence.
                Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbnueb2OI4o&t=3s

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by seer View Post
                  Sorry, this is no reason to leave your faith. For the most part it was just ignorance on the part of pastors or parents. It is up to the individual to check these things out and weigh the evidence.
                  Why isn't it the pastors or parents responsibility to provide accurate scientific information to their trusting children in the first place?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by seer View Post
                    Sorry, this is no reason to leave your faith. For the most part it was just ignorance on the part of pastors or parents. It is up to the individual to check these things out and weigh the evidence.
                    Why not?

                    Whence God, the source of pure truth and justice, if those who teach this, show themselves to be ignorant at best and liars at worst, all the while claiming to be under the guidance of that same God?

                    This behaviour also undermines any claim people make for the Bible being the inerrant word of God.

                    If those making these kinds of claims cannot do any better given such impeccable guidance, then why expect that the ancient authors would necessarily do any better, given the same impeccable guidance?


                    In the mind of the youngsters I suspect it becomes a "Do as I say, not as I do" kind of thing. Kids don't like that. It becomes a kind of betrayal.


                    And if it really is so that:-

                    Originally posted by seer
                    It is up to the individual to check these things out and weigh the evidence.
                    - then maybe many pastors and school counsellors should take your advice, given that they do this out of, as you say:-

                    Originally posted by seer
                    just ignorance
                    If those pastors and counsellors checked it out, then maybe they could stop some of the problems which annoy this evangelical so much.
                    Last edited by rwatts; 02-17-2014, 04:51 PM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by HMS_Beagle View Post
                      Why isn't it the pastors or parents responsibility to provide accurate scientific information to their trusting children in the first place?
                      Well first of all most pastors or parents are just not literate enough on this question. And to be honest most people aren't (see the new thread "How bad is science knowledge in the US"). So they may take the Bible more at face value - especially given the down side of the philosophical implications of materialism.
                      Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

                      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbnueb2OI4o&t=3s

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by seer View Post
                        Sorry, this is no reason to leave your faith. For the most part it was just ignorance on the part of pastors or parents. It is up to the individual to check these things out and weigh the evidence.
                        But it is very difficult for college kids to figure out what they believe and why. They have grown up believing what their parents, pastors, and teachers have told them. Learning how to think critically about the evidence can be difficult and traumatic. I remember going through a mini-crisis-of-faith in college (a good Evangelical Christian college), realizing that most of what I believed was because I trusted these authority figures, not because I was truly convinced myself.

                        If you teach your kids that YEC beliefs are just as firmly and clearly taught in Scripture as is the resurrection of Christ, you set them up for a HUGE crisis of faith. When they start to question the first, they will also question the latter.
                        "Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind." – Albert Einstein

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by rwatts View Post
                          Why not?

                          Whence God, the source of pure truth and justice, if those who teach this, show themselves to be ignorant at best and liars at worst, all the while claiming to be under the guidance of that same God?

                          This behaviour also undermines any claim people make for the Bible being the inerrant word of God.
                          This is just stupid. No one I know of claims that believers can not get things wrong. Or be mistaken. Or sin. Any college kid, with any sense, will take our frailty, the frailty of their parents and pastors into consideration.
                          Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

                          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbnueb2OI4o&t=3s

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by seer View Post
                            This is just stupid. No one I know of claims that believers can not get things wrong. Or be mistaken. Or sin. Any college kid, with any sense, will take our frailty, the frailty of their parents and pastors into consideration.
                            The thing is that people do not think or act rationally and we should act with that in mind. Psychologically speaking, the experience Kbertsche mentioned is far more common than we would like, and we need to go out of our way not to facilitate these crises of faith.
                            "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by seer View Post
                              This is just stupid. No one I know of claims that believers can not get things wrong. Or be mistaken. Or sin. Any college kid, with any sense, will take our frailty, the frailty of their parents and pastors into consideration.
                              Given that those pastors and counsellors do it out of "ignorance" as you claim, then there is no reason why they should not take your own advice and check it out.

                              You can hardly tell me that the pastors and counsellors don't need to do this, but that the children do need to do it. At the end of the day, who is arguing from igornace, being deceitful or perhaps even lying.

                              And I am not suggesting that believers should be infallible. However there is a huge gap between making arguments that are simply stupid at the best of time, and tying these arguments into God with the suggestion that God agrees with them, and making arguments that are wrong out of innocent ignorance.

                              We all do the latter. Some do the former, right seer?
                              Last edited by rwatts; 02-17-2014, 04:56 PM.

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