Class Warfare Blog

January 26, 2018

Right … Are You Sure It Wasn’t Aliens?

Filed under: Religion — Steve Ruis @ 10:25 am
Tags: , ,

The Conversation (U.K.) website ran a piece yesterday with the interesting title “Religion isn’t the enemy of science: it’s been inspiring scientists for centuries” by Tom McLeish. (What has happened to the capitalization of titles?) Mr. McLeish is writing a book on the same topic. Many other British outlets including mainstream media organs produce puff pieces supporting religion and this is no different.

The author, of course, cherry picks the Jewish and Christian Bibles to make connections of those documents with the scientific method, and then, also of course, ignores all of the opposition to scientists and to scientific findings over the course of Church history.

Unsupported claims like “The content of this timeless text has clearly steered the story of science for centuries” are made. Steered the story of science … it sounds as if the Bible has been humanity’s research director all along and we just didn’t notice.

In reality, the Church has insisted that if one wanted to know anything, the answer was to be found in scripture. If it could not be found, then the question was too trivial for scripture to have addressed it, so the question was too trivial to pursue. If one insisted on pursuing answers to such questions, the scientist was being prideful and sinful and was subject to repercussions such as excommunication, house arrest, inability to publish, imprisonment, torture and death.

In the history of science there have been occasions in which scientists, being very sure that their thinking was right, bent their evidence to align it with their foregone conclusion. It happened then and it happens today, it is normal. It is also normal in science today that when a deception is discovered the scientist responsible is excoriated, typically loses his job, and is drummed out of the field. In the history of religion, theists who fabricate documents and religious relics are almost never chastised because having an excess of zeal is “erring on the high side” and is excused.

Many religious miracles have been investigated scientifically and none have been shown to have supernatural sources. More than a few have been shown to be the result of chicanery. Mechanisms to cause inanimate objects to more, statues to ooze “tears” or “blood,” etc. have been created to attract religious pilgrims, willing to pay a small fee to observe proof of their faith.

Proving faith is what this all comes down to. This is why apologists appeal to reason all of the time instead of faith. Faith is a dead end philosophically as there is no way to create more of it through faith, only through reason. (Ask C.S. Lewis.) Since the supernatural seemingly cannot be depended upon to provide what is needed, theists feel no compunction against, apparently, providing the proof that faith is reasonable by carefully fabricating “evidence” to support their positions. This “evidence” is designed to appeal to a certain audience of certain capabilities. What works for simple people does not necessarily work for intellectuals and vice-versa.

There are more than a few books telling us that science and religion are not only compatible but handmaidens in human progress. Since only a small fraction of our culture actually reads books, the messages in these books are directed at that audience. This one, I am sure, will be no different. The text will sound literate, offer citations (mostly scripture) and connections they see which in reality aren’t significant or, in many cases, appropriate. And, they will leave out the Church’s repression of scientific ideas that lasted for centuries.

If the Bible steered the story of science it is only because people were finally allowed to study its contents and then asked “How could that be?” (Remember the Church did not want people to be able to read the Bible, so it forbade its translation into vernacular languages. They wanted the Bible to be doled out by “experts” who knew what conclusions to draw. This cherry picking of scripture continues on today’s churches. When was the last time a minister preached on the meaning of the many massacres in the OT?) Those “How could that be?” thoughts led to investigations that almost always contradicted what scripture claimed. The list of bad science in scripture is very, very long and I will not bore you expounding it, but as just one example, if you get sick would you go to a doctor or to an exorcist? The Bible would have you go to the exorcist as demons create human maladies. And it isn’t that Church leaders have not known that what they are teaching in these areas is false, Renaissance Popes had Jewish doctors on retainer to treat their illness, even after Jewish doctors were banned from treating Christians. No exorcists for them, they wanted only the best medicine available, even if it came from detested Jews. (Much like Republicans claiming our health care system is the best in the world because their platinum health care plans are so much better than our tin ones.)

 

8 Comments »

  1. They wanted the Bible to be doled out by “experts” who knew what conclusions to draw. This cherry picking of scripture continues on today’s churches. Noooo! Are you serious? You mean all those pew-people have no idea what the Bible really says? Surely you jest!

    🤣!!

    Like

    Comment by Nan — January 26, 2018 @ 11:25 am | Reply

    • Okay, you got me … LOL!

      On Fri, Jan 26, 2018 at 11:25 AM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:

      >

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Steve Ruis — January 26, 2018 @ 1:50 pm | Reply

  2. Religion steered science? Really? I best not mention all the science folks who suffered various punishments from the church for doing experiments and/or offering up new theories of why and how things work in this universe. They are far too many for me to name here.
    One other thing about the bible, or as I prefer to call it the holly buy-bull. My Dad was raised Catholic and his parents still were when I came into this life. They had a bible in their home, but never read it. Nope, they had it so when/if the priest was to visit, he would read from it. Now this was in the mid to late 1950’s in southern Wisconsin. Things may be different now, but I have no concern about it, I do not need any doG nor any “holy” book to give me guidance. I prefer Douglas Adams.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Walter Kronkat — January 26, 2018 @ 1:53 pm | Reply

    • Telling scientists “do not study this, and if you do, do not publish anything that contradicts the Bible, or we’ll burn you at the stake” does indeed qualify as “steering science”.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by List of X — January 29, 2018 @ 2:46 pm | Reply

  3. Religion has fought and even imprisoned science all along the way. That sure is inspiring!

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by jim- — January 26, 2018 @ 1:54 pm | Reply

  4. You know, you should really frequent some apologists blogs and comment.

    Like

    Comment by john zande — January 26, 2018 @ 4:34 pm | Reply

    • OMG, I don’t have the time to beat some sense into think headed know nothings. Consider the latest proof of the existence of god being proffered.

      5. The Golden Ratio. In God’s creation, there exists a “Golden Ratio” (the mathematical constant of 1.618) that is exhibited in a multitude of shapes, numbers, and patterns whose relationship can only be the result of the omnipotent, good, and all-wise God of Scripture.

      Oh, and squares, they prove god exists … and circles … and Mobius strips, and…., and …

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Steve Ruis — January 26, 2018 @ 8:11 pm | Reply

  5. The claim is absurd on its face. Every scientific discovery was IN SPITE OF religion, not because of it. Religion says: “we have the answers we need”; science says: “we must discover more”. Complete opposite mindsets.

    Regarding the church fearing the common people reading the Bible; they needn’t have feared. Most Christians don’t read it anyway. I found a survey on a *religious* site that said only 30% of Christians have ever read the Bible. And I’m assuming some of those are inflated. You’ll also notice very few Christians read the Bible *before* being indoctrinated. They get told the “good stuff” first, and often as possible, so by the time they ever read the ridiculous Old Testament or notice the contradictions in the Gospels, they are mostly immune to critical thinking.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Anderson Connors — January 29, 2018 @ 12:58 pm | Reply


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