Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Our Only Hope?

One of my Science magazines has an ad on the back cover asking if Religion, Ethics, and Science will collide? I look at it differently...They MUST collide.

It is not that there is never any let up in the religion versus science battle, but that the loser never acknowledges defeat. Not defeat in the entire war, mind you, but in the small ethical battles in which truth is determined. Our inability to face the truth is the stuff of legends, both biblical and otherwise, as the concepts of a round earth, that it orbits the sun not the other way around, that individuals of a species with the greatest abilities survive to reproduce, and that President Bush is NOT a "uniter", prove beyond any shadow of doubt.

The religions that battle science, and any number of them do not, do so because of false tenets to which they cannot release themselves. I do not know or even claim to know if there is any supernatural basis for any of the tens of thousands of religions that have sprung over the few millennia of mankind's supposed civilized emergence, but I can say with confidence that there have been at times tenets of almost all of them that are demonstrably false. The most logical of religions roll with the punch of new knowledge, add to their body of works and charge ahead.

We have today religions that are static and inflexible, basing themselves on some compendium written at some point in time in which the worldwide body of facts is less than it is today. If a new fact reveals itself to us...and it contradicts a tenet of our religion...Is the fact to be discarded, or is our religion to be adjusted?

I believe a very few things with certainty, but one of them is that critical thinking, which is the scientific method of determining fact from fiction from that which we cannot determine at this point in time, is our best hope of making rational decisions as a species.

Critical Thinking is the enemy of political parties, some religions, fascism and tyranny.

It is the higher calling of our minds and requires thought and training. An even greater calling is for us to have the courage to face up to the contradictions in our personal religions and Science. Science can be mistaken but it can not lie. The same is not true of religion.



Update: Science, Ethics, and the Progressive Movement

Something Science shows us:

E. O. Wilson

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