Mar. 14th, 2011

mirrorshard: (Terrella)
Someone else on Twitter, asserting that science & religion are opposites as though it were too obvious to deserve explanation.

Really, why do people keep doing this?

Given the sheer number of religious scientists... "most of them" wouldn't be an exaggeration, in fact... saying that science and religion are inherently opposed basically means saying that Galileo, Gilberd, Newton, Hooke, Boyle, Darwin, Eddington, Einstein, and Burnell were stupid or deluded, rather than holding particular views about the nature of the universe that they had considered thoroughly and were eminently qualified to hold. (And that's just the Christians I could list off the top of my head. Islamic science was staggeringly accomplished.)

There's a quotation from Burnell in particular that I want to share:
"I find that Quakerism and research science fit together very, very well. In Quakerism you're expected to develop your own understanding of God from your experience in the world. There isn't a creed, there isn't a dogma. There's an understanding but nothing as formal as a dogma or creed and this idea that you develop your own understanding also means that you keep redeveloping your understanding as you get more experience, and it seems to me that's very like what goes on in "the scientific method." You have a model, of a star, its an understanding, and you develop that model in the light of experiments and observations, and so in both you're expected to evolve your thinking. Nothing is static, nothing is final, everything is held provisionally."

I really ought to remember not to argue with atheists unless they actually demonstrate that they have some knowledge of religions—and by "religions" I don't mean white Protestant Christianity. Any attempt to assert facts about "religion" as a whole generally brands them as a clueless Dawkins cultist, unlike any of the sensible atheists I know & like.

Do any of you lovely people know of a short, easy-to-understand resource online for educating people about different denominations' & religions' attitudes to truths & the natural world?

(Comments are open & encouraged. I reserve the right to moderate or friends-lock if things get heated. I do not mind being disagreed with, but be civil, and especially to other commenters.)

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