* Posts by Nathan

2 posts • joined 27 Sep 2008

'I can see dinosaurs from my back porch'


Re:Re: Maybe this will help clear the air

@ Sarah Bee: I was simply trying to refute claims that Christians hate/are intolerant of science.

And the blog that I was referring to (it's in my opening paragraph) is the Dick Destiny blog authored by George Smith. http://www.dickdestiny.com/blog/dickdestiny.html


Maybe this will help clear the air

I feel that perhaps you came by your opinion from one side of a tree, and I want to show you something. I hope this helps. I am referring to both this article and the one currently at the top of your blog, Dick Destiny.

If the "this" in your second paragraph on Dick Destiny article "HONK IF YOU HATE JESUS: More on creationism, Palin and the opinion of one trained in science" is referring to the notion that the GOP seem to be able to talk more freely on matters of religion (or that the GOP are the sole drivers of the “faith” discussion), then the subtext suggests that the matters of religion (all-encompassing) were at one point not owned by anyone or owned by everyone, until the GOP stole them.

That subtext is one-sided, completely disallowing that (a) Democrats seem increasingly squirmy when discussing matters of faith, and (b) that the GOP are merely using matters of faith for political gain but don’t really believe what they say (side note: some do, I’m sure of it…on both sides).

I feel that you have attacked a group of people to which I belong (sort of, but more on that a bit later), but don't get me wrong: While I believe in God and what is written in the Bible, I don't exclude a candidate because of his/her party affiliation and that party’s stance on matters of faith. I vote on his/her ideas and policies. I can, just as many others do, vote dispassionately.

For any election, I believe that you and I have the same goal. We want citizens to vote with their heads, to have come to a decision based on facts and the truth. But here’s the rub: There are those within government who are hostile to the idea of Creationism and those who are not.

But this whole debate is clouded by angry people with class hand-out, one-sided arguments. Here are mine, and I hope that you can think on these before you write future articles on this topic.

While you believe that the world came about (tell me if I have gotten the wrong impression) with the Big Bang and inter-special evolution over billions of years, I don’t. But when anyone in government introduces a law or policy that encroaches on either belief or favors one over the other, it puts one of us on the defensive.

What makes it worse is that when the government takes a stance in either case, it has the authority and power to enforce it, and beliefs be hanged. The separation of church and state debate is so powerful for this reason only. But I would like to move on to a discussion about the relation ship between science and religion.

If I believe that God created everything (and you can assume that those who argue in favor of Creationism do also), then I must also believe that He created all the laws that govern the relationships and interactions of everything within the universe. That includes gravity, Newton’s Laws of Thermodynamics, and the fact that light seems to have every characteristic that matter can have but, hey, there it is and the universe hasn’t imploded.

I don’t have a problem with intra-special evolution, which I think also comes under the mild mantle of “adaptation.” I just don’t think that dinosaurs became birds, that’s all. And if a political candidate wants to think otherwise, I couldn’t care less.

I will make the allowance that some people will vote exactly that way, and I put them on the same shelf with those who think that Nazism can make a comeback.

In short, I don’t hate science. Neither should anyone else. But the word “science” is now bandied about loosely and is sometimes a copout word (such as, “Science discovered that ABC is true, so you can’t deny it”). It is often used to belittle those who maintain that ABC might not be true, even if a recent study concludes without a doubt that, too bad, ABC is true.

Forgive those who are skeptical simply because they are aware of the human condition, which is that people lie, use deceit and manipulate others for gain. And I put everyone in that bucket.

If believe what is written in the Bible, you ask, then how can I reconcile the history in the Bible with everything that has happened in the world and all that scientists have posited? I can’t say that I fully can, nor can I say that I really need to. My belief is based on faith, and there is no room for proof in the definition of faith.

That is not to say that we can’t find evidence that God exists. If He does, then He did create everything. But the creation is based on the belief, and therefore is not “proof” to unbelievers. Kind of circular, isn’t it?

You quoted Alan Boraas in your recent article about Sarah Palin in The Register. He is right. The debate is about core values. I feel that the proof is in the language. On both sides, the rhetoric is the vehement kind found only when people feel that their beliefs are under attack, and I’m not talking about tooth fairies.

It is because these beliefs direct our way of life that the debate is as nasty as it has become. If we could reflect on our lives after death (for hypothetical reasons here), then Christians would agonize that they had spent countless hours at church wasting their time and Big Bang believers would realize that there was/is a God and that they’re not going to heaven.

I can, however, argue immutability. Today when a scientist discovers something, the end product is accepted as immutable, because scientific methods, instrumentation and, indeed, scientists themselves are immutable. This very notion of immutability cannot be true, or we wouldn’t be having a debate on things like man-made global warming.

To use the quotation on your blog from Kevin Philip’s book, American Theocracy, nobody that I have met “dismisses knowledge and science” out of hand, not even most of the time! You may have disdain for Christians because you were raised Catholic (this opens another discussion entirely, but that’s neither here nor there), but that’s no reason to disassociate them from public discourse on any matter that is relevant to our nation.

And it is not “stupid” (again from your blog) to be skeptical of scientists (not science). If you (George) want to believe that religion or a belief based on the Bible can’t be right because there is no way it is true, then we have a theological discussion. But if I (Nathan) want to believe that the Big Bang did not occur, then we have a scientific discussion based on current findings.

Science is still a unifier. Most people love that we are working on a myriad of cures for diseases that plague us, and that we might one day inhabit the moon. There are only two areas in which there is debate, and they are the man-made global warming theory and the old earth, Big Bang evolution theory. Everything else, I think, is quite accepted by the majority of the populous.

I apologize if this whole response is long, windy, mean or disorganized. I have given it my best effort in the hope that you can see how there is a great misunderstanding in this debate. If you have any questions, I will try to answer them. Thanks.

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