Science and Religion: A Truce

I, Science, have heard your plea for a truce, oh religion, My nemesis of ages past.

You are wounded, oh religion.
The still-warm blood runs down your side as you say it did your savior on the cross.
My Soldiers in white coats have maimed you.
They have crippled you, leaving you to limp away a casualty from the battlefield.

And now, on the loser’s end, with My chipped and crimson sword laid at your throat, you plead for mercy.
You beg Me to spare your life.
You ask for compassion and for understanding from Me, Science.
You want to be held up and accepted.

Know that I, Science, have no obligation to hear you.
Better it is that you should die, as all things old and decrepit.
But out of compassion and mercy, I grant you what you seek.

I let you alone.
I let you go your way.
I spare you.
But like a fool, you press your luck and demand more.

Instead of running away with your tale between your legs, with a morsel of thankfulness, and what little dignity you have left intact, you debase yourself.
You whine and complain.
You want your doctrines to be accepted in the universities and Institutions of Science and higher learning as viable theories, if not Scientific Truths.

You ask, “Why does science have to be so hostile to religion?”
“Why does the Scientific Community mock us so?”
“Why can't we as religious believers get the respect that we seek?”
“Why can't science and religion join hands?”

And I, Science, reply to you that We are hostile to you because you claim to be of Our Number, but are not.
Your representatives – the creationists and apologists of the ID movement – claim allegiance to Science when your claim is invalid and a manipulation for your own advantage.

You are imposters, all of you, liars and imposters with an agenda.
You serve yourselves and your own interests, and not those of Science.
You seek to exalt your savior and your faith.
You don't seek Truth.

So this I say to you – the religious intelligencia who actively seek an alliance with, Me, Science – take the liberties I give you. Bask in the sun of the life conveniences and the comforts I have granted to you, to worship, to sing, to pray, and to affirm or to deny any belief you want; teach and expound; reprove, rebuke, and exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine; imagine and create, appoint and oversee; stand outside and admire the stars and the host of heaven as you believe your god provided them for you to admire.

Let the raindrops bounce off of your tongue; admire to no end; teach on love, seek peace, and promote change as you see fit. Do all these things and My covenant of peace shall abide with you, and a very small number of My White-coated Representatives of Science shall at times join you as you worship.

But should you cross into My Territory, into the Territory that belongs to Science, should you bring your antiquated holy books into My Realms of microscopes and peer-reviewed journals, should you take select quotes from real Scientists to bolster your own beliefs and the claims of your false scientists, I will attack you and will kill you in open debate.
You can never stand up to Me, oh religion.
I am your Successor.
I am your Better.

Should the outstretched arms and bleeding hands of your savior embolden you to embrace Our Naturalistic Approach and begin to choke our Scientific Method, should the representatives of your splintered, pious movements begin to interfere and impersonate Our Scientists, to subvert our Work and to make it your own work, a great trespass is committed, and I will remember no more the covenant I made with you.

Nay, I, Science, shall strike you down, and your academics shall be cast out of the universities.
All My Scholars shall hiss at you, and you will be a mockery and an abhorrence to all of the Enlightened everywhere.
You shall grope in the darkness.
Only the simpleton and the ignoramus and the child shall hear you.
The dumb and the fool and the unlearned shall be they who give ear to your words.

And I, Science, shall surely slay you in the courts of the lands.
Cursed shall you be in the schools and cursed shall you be in the colleges.
Cursed shall you be in the laboratories and cursed shall you be in all of the institutions of higher learning.

I, Science, have spoken.

(JH)

25 comments:

Spirula said...

As an ex-Christian and a zoologist I'm somewhat biased, but I really liked this.

Although it was not science that changed my mind about Christianity, the creationist explanations (evangelical, Calvinistic background) set the stage for my departure.

I'm looking forward to the responses.

gustavolk-swagen said...

Could I like this prose/poetry more? I don't think so.

Larian LeQuella said...

I like this! I may have to feature this somewhere for others to read, as well as putting it someplace I can conveniently find.

Lee Randolph said...

Truce?
A truce between established human knowledge and the people involved in the process is what got them killed on Everest in '96.

In short they ignored "turn around times" established by experience and died for it.

Don't give in to faulty reasoning, it is unnecessarily risky and deadly.

Lee Randolph said...

Joe,
I really think you are a good writer.
Just wanted to add that since I think my last comment was so negative.

Joe E. Holman said...

Blogger Lee Randolph said...

"Joe,
I really think you are a good writer. Just wanted to add that since I think my last comment was so negative."

My reply...

I appreciate that.

The idea of a "truce" with religion is not a compromise of reason; it's just a "don't bother us and presume to infringe on our naturalism and we'll get along just fine" response.

It is the theologians who want to be accepted, and thus, a truce can only be had when they accept that their beliefs are matters of belief in revelation, and not in science. I know that if all the world's believers didn't convert, but stopped to realize this, I'd be quite happy.

The strength of the truth of a position has, in principle, already given the fatal blow. Some can see it while others can't. To those that can't we say "Want some of this??? NO, you don't! Better back off!" That's the thrust here.

(JH)

DJ Wilkins said...

Great job. Captures the spirit of prophets but stands to reason. Similar in a sense as the Genesis Revisited post from a few days ago. Indeed, the two post seem ideal to belong in a book together.

This would be a great way to end a book revisiting Genesis from a scientific perspective - as Trent expressed he's working on and the Genesis Revisited video was just a part of.

skyridden said...

Sounds like an ex-fundamentalist. Come on, people! Is there not ONE among you who, AT LEAST, can say they were never ever a Christian?! As long as the discussion involves even so much as ONE fundamentalist, we'll never get to truth! The fundamentalist has no place in this kind of discussion.

Fundamentalists, ex-Fundamentalists, sit down. Let the non- and never-were Fundamentalists rise. You can be a Christian and not be a fundamentalist, just in case you others are confuzzed. ;)

Joe E. Holman said...

Blogger skyridden said...

"Sounds like an ex-fundamentalist. Come on, people! Is there not ONE among you who, AT LEAST, can say they were never ever a Christian?! As long as the discussion involves even so much as ONE fundamentalist, we'll never get to truth! The fundamentalist has no place in this kind of discussion."

My reply...

Idiot.

“Nothing is more logical than persecution. Religious tolerance is
a kind of infidelity.”
- Ambrose Bierce

(JH)

malusman said...

"As long as the discussion involves even so much as ONE fundamentalist, we'll never get to truth! The fundamentalist has no place in this kind of discussion."

(Paraphrasing Richard Dawkins...)
A Fundamentalist is dangerous, to be sure, but at least you know what to expect; he follows all the rules. A Moderate picks and chooses the rules to follow, making him much more dangerous.

Zimminger said...

Science--I admire it greatly and grieve that the general public is so ill-informed; not only about general science but about what science itself is. As soon as one takes up a dogma and abandons the search for knowledge, science means nothing no matter how often the word is said.

It's funny how I just read that the use of swear words allows an increased tolerance to pain. http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=why-do-we-swear ...now, that's science!

In a similar manner, religion can be understood except that you seem to have thrown up your hands in despair and declared, "This is beyond understanding; we simply have to reject it (as a point of our dogma)!" Why? Is it really beyond understanding or does the knowledge threaten you that much? Do you do the same thing looking up at the starry sky and, overwhelmed by the points of light declare, "We will never understand this!"? Of course not. Why then do it with religion?

I'm far ahead of you on this. At least I've come up with a basic definition of cult that allows me to delineate between various types of belief systems. A cult is one that has a scripture generated suddenly by one person. Think about it. Scientology--L. Ron Hubbard. Mormonism--Joseph Smith. Islam--Muhammed. It is possible to apply scientific principles and study these things; or would be if you weren't so dogmatic and fearful.

And then there are those who are cultish in a similar manner, clinging to a charismatic leader. This doesn't impugn social standards passed down over thousands of years in established scriptures which is the reason religion has persisted; it is rather a random corruption of it. In a sense, another cult-type activity.

But you refuse to apply scientific principles to this; you just don't want to know. It's much easier to stereotype ALL religious persons despite how open minded they are, than to examine what it is that you object to. That is fear, not science. It is dogma, not science. Your views would not be allowed here if you said ALL gays are a problem, nor if you said ALL Hispanics are a problem. Why do you then allow the viewpoint--without any scientific analysis or examination--that ALL people of faith are a problem?

Without a doubt, there are Hispanics and homosexuals that cause social problems, just as there are people "of faith" that do. But not all of them. It's your dogma that drags you down into the pit of stereotyping without knowing (scientific knowledge) of what you claim. The pity is that you don't wish to examine your own dogma. It exists; you are a slave to it.

That isn't science (knowledge).

It's a cult.

Mohammad Asaf said...

Once you have seen the whole universe and verified there is no other intelligent life out there then you can boast there is no Creator.
Till then you sound silly boasting.

Lee Randolph said...

Mohammed,
you are right, until its been verified it is uncertain, which means that it is neither true or false, which means that if you ascribe to a belief in God, then you are as silly as we are.

it is an argument from ignorance.

But, we have the advantage because there is no apparent way to differentiate between which god is real so, not only do believers have to demonstrate that god exists, they have to demonstrate which one it is, and as described in scripture, God doesn't fit in very well with established knowledge.

good luck with that.

Mohammad Asaf said...

Let's leave God out of this arguement. Can you atleast give me a good answer to where the dense matter that exploded with the big bang and became the starting point of the currently known universe came from?

Mohammad Asaf said...

Lee Randolph said...regarding existence of
"you are right, until its been verified it is uncertain.." If you admit it is uncertain then why do some scientists who are only supposed to preach facts bear witness there is no God? Sounds hypocritical to me.

Lee Randolph said...

Mohammed,
Can you atleast give me a good answer to where the dense matter that exploded with the big bang and became the starting point of the currently known universe came from?
If I were you, I'd look that answer up at the local university library.

And if there is no answer what then? Scrap the whole theory that has provided the vehicle for predictions that lead to other discoveries?

Lee Randolph said...

Mohammed,
If you admit it is uncertain then why do some scientists who are only supposed to preach facts bear witness there is no God? Sounds hypocritical to me.
I don't know, ask them.
My guess is that, like me, they have a working hypothesis that is supported by real world events which makes No-God more likely than God.

Lee Randolph said...

Mohammad,
sorry I misspelled your name, won't happen again.

Mohammad Asaf said...

So I did go to the University and looked up in the Bio-chem textbook about the latest theory of origin of life on earth to see anything new has been added since I was in college and previous theories have been debunked. The answer paraphrased "Organic compounds must have formed in space and came to earth on a meteor". I think that's just shifting the blame to outerspace and is not very convincing. Atleast the answer should be, "We really don't know but here is our take on it.." What bugs me that the previous theories like the premoridal soup & lightening were taught as Facts atleast by my professor.

Mohammad Asaf said...

I also read a wiki answer to my big bang question: "as for the ultimate cause of all causes, we must assume that something was permitted to begin existing without cause, otherwise nothing could begin existing in the first place and at the first time." Don't see how this makes more sense than religious people saying God was always there.

It also taked "false vacuum" hypothesis."By means of a random quantum fluctuation the universe 'tunnelled" from pure vacuum to what is called a false vacuum, a region of space that contains no matter or radiation but is not quite nothing. The space inside a bubble of false vacuum is curved, or warped, and a small amount of energy is stored in that curvature. This ostensible violation of energy conservation is allowed by the Heisenberg uncertainty principle for sufficiently small time intervals. "

This also raises the obvious questions..

okay...

Only the very traditionally ideas of religion are shown to be unlikely other than that let's stick with what we know for sure.

Richard said...

Wow! Go Obama! Did anyone watch the Presidents NAACP speech? He sounded like a black pentecostal holiness preacher? Maybe he got some pointers from the pentecostal preacher Joshua Dubois, the FAITH-BASED Czar that he appointed! More anti-science nonsense in American politics!

Harold said...

Dear Science,

“With My chipped and crimson sword laid at your throat.” Ah yes the delusion of science. One day science will wake up from its fantasy and realize that it has never ever had religion by the throat. Oh the bark of science is loud but the bite, the bite is weak. How many times science has declared religion as being dead or dying, yet some how religion manages to live; manages because science is too delusional to realize that it has never or can never kill religion. Just because science wins a few battles does not mean it has won the war. Just look at evolution. You have creationist all around and they have no fear of science and science is powerless to stop them. For if you did have your “crimson sword laid at your (religion) throat” you have the power to stop the creationist easily. Science would have the power to stop creationism from being taught in schools, power to stop creationist museums from being built. Yet the reality is different then the reality your delusional ranting expresses. Science is powerless because there are things bigger then science out there. Things like human nature. It is the 21st century and astrology is still going strong. Yet science is delusional enough to think that it spares religion. As if science has any real control over religion. Of course science will never awake form its delusion. There will always be new generations who embrace this delusion about religion. Maybe one reason for this continued delusion of science is an inferiority complex. Maybe that is it.

Sincerely yours,
Religion

Chuck O'Connor said...

Harold,

Since Religion no longer has a standardized test for witch-craft, does not believe melamine in skin is proof of ancestry to Ham and justification for slavery, and does not consider the earth the center of the universe, I'd say its survival is dependent upon adaption through natural selection and therefore is a proof of the superiority of evolutionary theory.

Keep evolving religion and one day you may become enlightened.

Harold said...

Chuck,
Stephen Gould said it best. “Science tries to document the factual character of the natural world, and to develop theories that coordinate and explain those facts. Religion, on the other hand, operates in the equally important, but utterly different, realm of human purposes, meanings, and values—subjects that the factual domain of science might illuminate, but can never resolve. Similarly, while scientists must operate with ethical principles, some specific to their practice, the validity of these principles can never be inferred from the factual discoveries of science.” Science will never kill religion and religion will never die because both are important to human life. They can actually complement each other. Just look at scientist like Francis Collins who is a Christian and a scientist.

Harold
http://www.users.bigpond.com/russellblackford/gould.htm (Quote Link)

Dan said...

"It's much easier to stereotype ALL religious persons despite how open minded they are, than to examine what it is that you object to. That is fear, not science. It is dogma, not science." Well said! Isn't this the temptation we all fall into though? It's so much easier to lump whole groups of people together than to deal with all that messy diversity of belief and opinion. I'm glad we can have a mostly civil discussion on the relationship between science and religion.

I understand your anger/incredulity over the ID Camp forcing their way into public schools. That's kinda messed up. But. That doesn't mean that science and religion are forever at odds with one another. Just as an experiment, let's list positive things that science and religion offer the world. I'll start.

Science has come up with cures for tons of killer diseases. Nice! Religious groups have been a huge part in administering those cures to the poorest people on the planet! "Now that's f*ckin' teamwork!"