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Religion, Science, and Conflation January 10, 2010

Posted by jetson in Personal.
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As a new blogger, and as one who takes great interest in science and its contributions to human knowledge, I felt it was time to address the topic of what I perceive to be a serious problem. Namely, the conflation of topics, theories, and fields of study related to what we have learned, using the scientific method, about our universe, and our planet and its life. What exactly is going on? Well, for one thing, when one attacks a scientific theory because it conflicts with their religious beliefs, it seems they will stop at nothing to confuse and conflate the theory with a series of arguments that really have nothing to do with the theory they are attacking.

For example, the theory of evolution. This theory is an attempt to discover and understand how life forms have, and continue to, evolve over time. From the earliest evidence of life, up to the current range of life including plants and animals. The theory of evolution does not give an account of how life on planet earth got started. Since there is evidence that the planet was once devoid of life forms, the assumption is that life “somehow” got started. Given that evolution does not attempt to answer the specific question regarding how life got started, then using that fact against the theory is, to put it plainly, pointless. To be sure, there are scientists spending plenty of their valuable time and effort on abiogenesis, the study of how life on our planet first got started.

Regardless of how life got started, it is evolving. There is little doubt or disagreement about this. There is certainly plenty of disagreement about the ToE among outspoken believers that life was placed here by a god. But it is quite clear that it stands today as the only scientific explanation over the evolution of life on earth. To claim that it is not is nothing more than admitting ignorance of the theory, misunderstanding what the theory is telling us, or outright refusal to accept it, usually on religious grounds. If there exists any scientist out there with a genuine study that refutes the ToE to the extent that it no longer stands, they have yet to come forward and prove it.

Another example of conflation between science and religion is the idea that science is atheistic. Hogwash. There are many scientists who have done great work, who are Christians. There is no conspiracy between science and religion. There is no group of atheist scientists trying to shut down religion. There are no atheistic scientific theories. To put it clearly, science is how we discover how the world works. Religion, on the other hand, is how we used to explain how the world works. Before science came along, people relied on religious leaders to explain things. Science has been attacked ever since.

To conflate issues between science and religion, is to deliberately mislead and confuse people with incorrect information. While it is always ones right to reject science, it is hardly appropriate to claim a better answer than we have through science in favor of a religious answer, especially when you don’t have evidence to support it. If you think you have a better answer to a scientific theory, you have every right to present your evidence, using the proper scientific method. You are also quite obligated to understand the theory, why it is important, and what the theory actually means. Anything less will get you the ridicule and derision you deserve. There are far too many honest, hard working scientists around the world to have to stoop to a level of ignorance that keeps them from doing good work that actually helps humanity!

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