15th February 2010

“Once a mistake has been elevated to the status of 'word of God' there is no room to admit the error, remedy it, and move on.”

Dr Stephen Moreton

17 Responses to “15th February 2010”

  1. Greg Says:

    This speaks to the core of what most differentiates science from religion, in my opinion.

    Even in the face of glaring inconsistencies religion is rarely willing to admit error or change doctrine. Science does this all the time.

  2. John Says:

    Look at the shroud of Turin. Even after Science proved it was no ore that 13th or 14th century and even after the church said it was most likely from that period; it is still the shroud of christ as its followers faith leads all to believe.

  3. Oxymoronic Christhinker Says:

    Religions change or re-interpret doctrines and eventually admit “mistakes” all the time. I concede that it can take religious hierarchies long after the fact to do so. Even today, just what “word of God” might mean is hotly debated within and among the churches (with “soft” and “hard” sciences playing a starring role). Doesn’t mean you have to throw the whole thing out. Science does the same, but it’s WAY better at it. We don’t throw out Newton just because Einstein’s theories are more accurate, do we? We don’t throw out the Constitution just because we amend it, do we? Hell, it could even be argued that dinosaurs are still in some sense with us in the form of birds.

    Those who refuse to accept the facts about the Shroud of Turin have tiny, fearful minds. Probably NOTHING will convince them.

  4. Greg Says:

    Oxy, I can’t argue with you because you make some very valid points re: religion re-interpreting itself. I prefer to think of it as re-inventing, but that would be splitting hairs.

    However, despite the non-existence of any evidence to support the existence of god, religion still promotes this as fact. Why not be honest and promote pure faith instead? Admit the truth and let people choose.

    If the church was to be honest then it would stop the promotion of the nonsense called Intelligent Design as a “scientific” alternative to evolution.

  5. Oxymoronic Christhinker Says:

    Agree with your point about intelligent design, Greg. I, and others, are working on it.

    Depending on the survey, about half of Christians in America believe in some version of creationism/intelligent design; more among right-wing/conservative/evangelical/fundamentalist/literalist churches, far less among mainstream/left-leaning churches. Unfortunately, the fundy types have managed to scream a bit louder and get themselves placed on important committees, councils, etc… (as in freakin’ Texas; no offense Texans!). That is changing, in part, because people like me will get and are getting a little louder, especially locally; and because even (some) of the various types of creationists implicitly accept science as valid – otherwise why try to push intelligent design as scientific? This fact will eventually turn around and bite them right in the theology.

    But I get your point, and sometimes, like Ron White says, “You can’t fix stupid.”

  6. Atheist MC Says:

    I think intelligent design is being pushed as scientific because it is the only tactic that can get creationism into American public schools. America, for all its technology is not a particularly scientifically literate nation. The general public wouldn’t recognise an unfalsifiable hypothesis if it bit them in the ass so creationists can use science as an easy trojan horse. They don’t believe it’s science, but they don’t care, because it is in effect a divine lie.

  7. solomon Says:

    Intelligent design & creationism cannot be refuted, its god idelogy & its full proof.
    Evolution will soon find its way out, a thing of the past, like at one time when men believe the earth is flat. Even today it cannot answer some of the layman’s question.

  8. tech Says:

    “a divine lie” interesting.

  9. Oxymoronic Christhinker Says:

    Atheist MC writes: “America, for all its technology is not a particularly scientifically literate nation. The general public wouldn’t recognise an unfalsifiable hypothesis if it bit them in the ass . . . ”

    Agreed. Whenever I teach the Bible, especially the first 11 chapters of Genesis, I find it necessary also to teach science (and this at church, not in the public schools!), not as an alternative to biblical thought, but simply to point out that the Bible’s take on reality is entirely unfalsifiable – that is, the Bible is not science! This or that particular event may or may not have happened, but the Bible’s assertion – God did (or didn’t) do it – IS NOT a scientifically valid theory. This does not necessarily mean it’s wrong, but it ain’t science. Most people I teach, even college educated people, have a hard time “getting it.” Frustrating! I know high school graduates who did not know until I told them that stars are suns really far away! Un-freakin’-believable! And I am a high school drop-out! By and large, these are the same people who know next to nothing about the very book in which they claim “belief,” to say nothing of secular literature. Very, very frustrating for believer’s such as myself.

    I will continue to do my part to try to remedy this situation in my Pacific Northwest corner of the USA. But don’t expect miracles, people!

  10. tech Says:

    How do you mean”don’t expect miracles people” If you believe in God you can expect miricales.However if you’re not a believer then in you’re mind there is no such thing as a miricale.

  11. tech Says:

    Pretty quite here today.

  12. Greg Says:

    tech, if a “miracle” has a rational explanation then it’s not really a miracle, regardless of what you want to believe.

    And just because something can’t be easily explained does not mean God had anything to do with it. That is the least likely option to believe in. Read up on Occam’s Razor for what I am talking about: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occam%27s_razor

  13. tech Says:

    Greg my friend with god all things are posible.Man puts his limit on God. God is Almighty a miracle is nothing for Him.After all if he can keep a fish fresh in salt water. Some may call that pretty amazing.Greg He may not be real to you,but to me He is very real.My walk with him for the past 35 yrs has been wonderful to say the least. Oh the joy of sins forgiven.

  14. Greg Says:

    Hi tech

    I don’t know what you mean by “man puts his limit on God.”

    Man expects a rational explanation for God, but this is not possible – nothing about God is rational. There is no proof or evidence, only faith.

    It might amaze you that a fish can stay “fresh” (do you mean alive?) in salt water, but this is hardly a miracle of god. It’s called adaptation. All animals have evolved and adapted to survive in a variety of environments – from the most “normal” to the most extreme (see http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/02/070228092550.htm for one amazing example).

    A miracle of God would be bringing my dead father back to life or growing my friend’s amputated limbs back. If he could do either one of those simple tasks then we’d have something to talk about.

  15. MagicAintReal Says:

    Tech, again you’re running the omnipotence paradox into the ground. All-possible all-powerful is contradictory. You said “Greg my friend with god all things are posible”
    Is it possible that humans can rid the world of god? According to you all things are possible. Ridding the world of god is a thing that can be done and you have stated that ALL things are possible.
    Is it possible then that god is too weak to move a mountain that he created?
    Yes, Tech because with god all things are possible.
    Tech please do not tout this type of god, for if he existed, he could possibly be able to be defeated. All is possible right?

  16. John Says:

    I have come to believe that when the religious lie to themselves about all the things that their magic man can do… anything’s possible.

  17. solomon Says:

    Dear MagicAintReal ,

    Why are you silly enough or pretending to be one not to understand tech’s statement.Yes its true when tech said “Greg my friend with god all things are possible”
    What tech meant is God can make anything possible.You are making silly remarks by asking god to rid of himself on the context of everything is possible.
    And you are talking about that silly lightweight(to the eyes of god) mountain.Don’t you remember that god have moved much heavier object than your silly mountain.Have you forgotten that god is moving this heavy earth around its orbit right now???!!!