Intelligent Design

SPECIAL!! Five-star religion-and-science bore banished to horrid 1960s rec room!

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In an article in Skeptical Inquirer Paul Kurtz announced that religion and science are compatible:

… there is an appropriate domain for religion, and in this sense science and religion are not necessarily incompatible. That domain is evocative, expressive, emotive. Religion presents moral poetry, aesthetic inspiration, and dramatic expressions of existential hope and yearnings.

In other words, religion represents what yer know ain’t so.

I don’t imagine he’ll sell too many of those to people who take their faith seriously.

More to the point, the relevant question is not whether “religion” and “science” are compatible. When categories are as broad as that, anything can be compatible with anything else, or not. The relevant question for Western culture is whether Judaeo-Christianity and Darwinism are compatible. The Pope, to give an example, seems to think not. Some intelligent and progressive Muslims are getting restless too. Stay tuned.

What about “Five-star religion-and-science bore banished to horrid 1960s rec room!”? Aw, that was just an example of my “dramatic expressions of existential hope and yearnings.” I guess you guys all prefer facts. Yeah, I kind of thought so. You guys are a tough crowd.

8 Replies to “SPECIAL!! Five-star religion-and-science bore banished to horrid 1960s rec room!

  1. 1
    BarryA says:

    Isn’t this just a rehash of Gould’s tired old “nonoverlapping magesteria” drivel. Yeah, I like this deal. Let’s divide everything up they say. “We’ll take all of reality and you religious nut jobs can have everything else.”

  2. 2
    bFast says:

    The relevant question for Western culture is whether Judaeo-Christianity and Darwinism are compatible.

    This might be the relevant question “for Wester culture”, but it is certainly not the right question for “science.” If the watters get muddied by what is right “for Western culture,” then ID is not sufficiently objective for me.

    The relevant question for “science” is only, “does NDE adequately explain the evidence?” and “is the evidence better explained by ‘design’?” I personally think that NDE does not adequately explain the evidence. I also think that design does a much better job of explaining the evidence.

    In this light, in the light of letting science follow the evicence where it may unfettered by religous or cultural concerns, a new cultural question comes to the surface. That question is, “is NDE sufficiently established as ‘truth’ that our culture should be incorporating it as such?” My answer to this question is, well, no! The next logical question, “is our culture incorporating NDE as if it were established as truth?” My answer, to some extent it is. However, not fully — yet. When our culture becomes content to weed out the weak, then we will have truly incorporated NDE into our culture.

  3. 3
    jmcd says:

    Barry

    I think you have a grave misunderstanding of NOMA. You seem to think of it as reality on one hand and our own preferential imaginings on the other. In its most succinct for NOMA argues that science should be left to describe how nature appears to work and the larger questions of truth be left to religion. Its not really faith anymore when you need evidence. Faith is about believing what you know in your heart to be true.

    Obviously anyone who insists on a literal interpretation of the Bible is not going to be a fan of NOMA, but for a lot of people it is an effective way of illustrating the false dichotomy between science and religion that has been built up over the years.

    Ultimately questions of design are metaphysical and probably always will be. The fact that scientists hold metphysical beliefs just like everyone else is not surprising. What I find surprising is when people read these metaphysical beliefs and then conclude that because a scietist espoused certain views those views are part of science or an inevitable result of studying science.

  4. 4
    Tom English says:

    Denyse: “In other words, religion represents what yer know ain’t so.”
    Barry [satirically]: “We’ll take all of reality and you religious nut jobs can have everything else.”

    Scientists qua scientists do not make statements about reality. In a survey of science professors last year, about six of ten biology professors said they believed in God. Dawkins and Dennett are about as typical of neo-Darwinists as Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden are of Muslims. (On multiple occasions, I have heard a Darwinist professor who once debated Behe counsel a creationist professor on how to get through tenure review.)

    To turn scientific statements into statements about reality, one has to posit the truth of at least two of the assumptions of science. As many here understand, one has to turn the methodological materialism of science into philosophical materialism. Few here understand that one also has to vest faith in the notion that perceptions are grounded in reality.

    There is no science without assumptions. IDists would build a bridge between science and theology by deprecating materialism and vaunting the virtues of empiricism. In other words, IDists place such great faith in their senses that they claim unequivocally that an empirical science of nature can discover what is real. While this faith is consonant with the Abrahamic religions, it is not with some other religions (e.g., Hinduism) practiced in the United States, and is challenged in philosophy (e.g., by Kant).

  5. 5
    scordova says:

    Tom,

    You wrote: “In a survey of science professors last year, about six of ten biology professors said they believed in God.”

    I was unaware of that study. Is it a study I we can link to on the internet? Do you have an references we could track down. I’d like to look into this!

    regards,
    Salvador

  6. 6
    Tom English says:

    Salvador,

    I cannot find my original source. News articles are not great sources, but this is the best I can do at the moment:

    “Physicists and biologists were the least spiritual — 41 percent in both groups said they did not believe in God.”
    http://www.washtimes.com/natio.....-9143r.htm

  7. 7
    tribune7 says:

    What’s so bad about a ’60s rec room? Big TV with rabbit ears, faux wood paneling, coffee tables with mallard duck lamps. I think it would be pretty cool. Except for the rabbit ears.

  8. 8
    idadvisors says:

    The supersensible realm of intelligent causation is theistic, but not religious.

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