Sunday, September 08, 2013

Religion versus Science

Give me that old time religion, it's good enough for me.

I don't have a lot of sympathy for the approach of the scientific types who aggressively take on religion (Carroll, Dawkins, and especially, PZ Myers, for example), but I think one has to admit that this was a battle the religious started. The fundamental problem is that scientific ideas consistently challenge aspects of various religious world views. Thus the murder of Bruno, the persecution of Galileo, and countless crimes committed against less famous truth seekers.

This persecution has hardly stopped. Especially in the Muslim world, persecution of ideas continues to be a murderous business. Those who expose profitable fakery remain big targets in many places, as witness the recent murder of the Indian physician who had spent his recent years exposing various religious frauds.

In the West, the battle against science has become much less bloody, but the war continues apace. Let science challenge any superstition or popular nostrum and the campaigns begin.

Science keeps presenting ideas and truths that make us uncomfortable. We aren't the center of the universe. Humans may be smart animals, but aside from that, we are a lot like the other animals, and biology has a great deal to say about our individuality. The more we understand about DNA, the fewer places there are for superstition to hide.