April 06, 2006

Risky Art of Squaring Science with Religion

The LiveScience Blog has a post today titled “The Risky Art of Squaring Science with Religion.”

I think a better way to phrase that would be “The Risky Art of Squaring Naturalism with Religion” that is much more accurate. God transcends Nature; miracles violate Nature that’s what makes them miraculous. Squaring Religion with science will bring mixed results some great --- some just weird theories --- but Naturalism and Religion don’t play well together.

The author goes over three bits of “science” this week, first the “Penguin Jesus Theory” as I’m going to call it --- that I’ve already covered --- for which the study authors have been “getting tons of hate email, as in three per minute.”

I don’t really understand the need for hate mail, the possibility of everything in the study coming together seems so remote, and only explains a portion of the story --- it is hardly anything to get peeved over.

Second he goes over a comment by Bill Nye the Science Guy --- which would frankly only lead me to believe he might have picked up a Bible after Rick Warren convinced him to marry his long time girlfriend in an impromptu service at conference. But that’s a whole other story!

Anyhow apparently Bill had some trouble understanding:

And God made [fashioned] the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars.

Genesis 1:16

Nye pointed out—and I think he’s got this right—that the Sun is in fact just a star and that the Moon isn’t really a light but rather an object that reflects light. Some folks walked out angry, with one woman exclaiming, “We believe in a God!”

Okay well that’s just silly walking out and all --- this is a simple conceptual problem.

Much like the sun “rising” --- when sun of course doesn’t actually rise --- but everyone knows you’re talking about, since conceptually it seems to be rising, even if in scientific terms that isn’t happening. Of course the same is so for this verse in Genesis but its even more straightforward!

The sun and the moon are the greatest lights in the sky, the sun might be smaller then other stars in the universe --- but it is the greatest light to people on earth! And who cares if the moon is really only reflecting light, so do lighthouses, but we don’t say they really aren’t as they look, come on now.

Not only that but Genesis wasn’t written to precisely fit into modern scientific terms, it was written for ancient Israelites.

The last bit was about some study correlating church attendance with longer life spans, which I actually think might be more to do with churches taking care of their members (supporting them in sickness, bad times, etc.) then anything else.


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