February 2, 2012

Are Faith and Science At Odds?

This nonsense came at me out of the blue, but helps illustrate the topic.

Buon giorno. When discussing science, evolution and faith, people have some very strange ideas about definitions. I have encountered some interesting re-defintions (including the astonishing claim that if someone is not an evolutionary biologist, he or she is not a scientist!), misunderstandings of definitions (deliberate, I suspect, for purposes of personal attacks), equivocation (evolution is science, from people who promote the thing but do not really understand it themselves) and so on. For that matter, the word "evolution" itself has several meanings. Many misunderstandings can be avoided by a couple of things: First, know the correct definition of the word, and second, clarify terms in the first place, such as "What do you mean by...?"

Then there are the types who say that if you disagree with the tentative, tampered, tendentious "evidence" for evolution, you are a "liar". That smacks of the desperation of a fundamentalist evolutionist who cannot abide by the true spirit of scientific inquiry. Similar to one of the most glaring fits of idiocy, "Liar for Jesus". I'll let you, my clever readers, figure out how ridiculous that one is all by yourselves.

When both parties understand the terminology, they can communicate better, capice?

Greg Koukl of "Stand to Reason" had a good discussion about clarifying terms on his January 29, 2012 broadcast. The question was raised whether or not faith and science are at odds with each other. Below is his monologue, followed by my brief call about Question Evolution Day. The full, almost three-hour podcast is here. I suggest that you get that, because the third hour is his interview with Professor Michael Flannery about the video, "Darwin's Heretic" (James Russell Wallace).


Unknown said...

Hmm, I see the comment you shared at the very top. It makes the assumption you hate Atheists and science because you are a Christian who believes in creationism.


If you are the type that works at trying to follow the precepts of the bible, this will be untrue. Jesus loved all, even those that rejected him. We are told to mimic Jesus. If we attempt to, we will attempt not to hate others simply because they don't believe.

I can not claim to know every thing in the bible, much less understand it all, but the fallacy about hating one group simply because you identify with another has nothing to do with anything but trying to discredit someone's stance without using any facts.

Not sure how that logic came about. That's rather like saying one hates all blacks because they had a problem with with one or more. While it is entirely possible you could hate all atheists and science (And there are people who seem to have an all out hate for one thing or more), I simply have not seen evidence for this.

Now, here is my view. I believe in an intelligent designer..a creator. God..Jehova, and what not. For me, the scientific method can be a beautiful tool to help us better understand this wonderful design. To deem that believing in creation means you do not believe in science or the scientific method is illogical.

An intelligent design means we need an intelligent way of understanding it better, yes? Science can be useful for this. However, it would be best if people leave out all emcompossing statements when determining the truth. Unless it's not the truth they are after?

Sure, you can come across as rather caustic at times. If Jesus can get fed up, and rightly so (For those not sure what I am referring to, you may check out the bible that goes through his life etc), I do not fault you doing so at times. Anger is natural. We all get angry. It's what we do with it, what it is aimed at that is important. The emotion is there for a reason.

To be clear, anger is not hate. Hate is not anger. I've known some quite icily calm people whose hate burns (Ever been burned by something very cold?) and I've known those whose anger ran so hot..but because they cared so MUCH. Still, caution is in order. I hope all involved in the reading and discussion of your articles and comments etc (Including yourself..and even I) rememeber these things.

Stormbringer said...

Thanks for leaving an intelligent and thoughtful comment. Some of my more caustic comments have a history behind them, people who have trolled and attacked here and elsewhere (obscene stuff gets deleted, as will tedious repetition).

You've been reading the logic series, so you may recognize Poisoning the Well, Fallacy of Assertion (arbitrary assertions) and especially the Genetic Fallacy.

It's interesting that (and please don't read into what I'm saying, this does not apply to your remarks) some people think that a Christian is to be a wimp, and to be walked on, only to get up, wipe the blood of the face and invite the bully over for tea and crumpets. Some Christians have this view of a namby-pamby Jesus, and are ignorant of the fact that he spoke harshly at times, as did Peter, Paul, Elijah, John the Baptist and others.

That said, I am still learning; I left the faith for about fifteen years for various reasons, not the least was that I wanted to follow my own selfish desires. I rededicated my life to Christ about two years ago, and am learning about balancing of standing up for the truth as well as showing a Christlike spirit. But I don't tolerate blasphemers and bullies very well.

Unknown said...

Blah..why am I coming up as 'unknown'...call me Kri... I will figure out why it's doing that. It all comes to the proper email...

...And no worries, I did not take any remarks as personal against me. There is a reason I mention Jesus' anger etc. Nothing ungodly in and of itself when it comes to anger. It was just something I could 'feel' in your writings.

I've seen the responses...so I can understand the no-nonsense replies..and the 'Get over it' attitude that I sense from your replies to others. In fact, I don't have a problem with it for the most part. Just glad I am not on the other side of it :P

It was just a reminder that we should always use caution. We represent someone incrediably important, yes?

Stormbringer said...

Right! And a sincere reminder is appreciated.

I can deal with sincere disagreements when they are not venom laced (I know a couple of trolls who are going to run with that remark lol), and have given people who disagree some substantial comment time.

To head off a possible question from you, I generally disallow comments on things that I have not written, that are primarily links. Or when I'm busy and don't want to deal with them.

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