Friday, May 7, 2010

Creationism <> Evolution

I chose to reply to this letter here, as I'm tired of having to register at every website just to comment.

The full text of the letter is here. The passage in question is:
Why can't science be a way of figuring out "how God does it" instead of man thinking he is so smart? God once answered a man who questioned Him, saying (Job 38-41), "Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge? Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me..."
First of all, we must address the profound ignorance embodied in this letter, the simple (and perhaps willful) failure to understand the difference between Science and Religion. Here are the definitions from the Merriam-Webster website:

  • 3 a : knowledge or a system of knowledge covering general truths or the operation of general laws especially as obtained and tested through scientific method b : such knowledge or such a system of knowledge concerned with the physical world and its phenomena.

  • 1 b (1) : the service and worship of God or the supernatural (2) : commitment or devotion to religious faith or observance.

Science expands our knowledge through the study of natural forces.

Religion provides comfort and personal insight through the worship of a diety considered the source of all things supernatural.

  • 1 : of or relating to an order of existence beyond the visible observable universe; especially : of or relating to God or a god, demigod, spirit, or devil
  • 2 a : departing from what is usual or normal especially so as to appear to transcend the laws of nature b : attributed to an invisible agent (as a ghost or spirit).

The essence of the supernatural is it can't be explained by anything we know or experience. If it were natural, we could explain it readily through observation and experimentation.

In the supernatural there is nothing we can observe, measure or replicate. The supernatural has not and will not ever contribute to human knowledge.

Science was never intended to explain the creation mythology of any religion. Science is neither superior nor inferior to any system of religious belief; the two are not related in any way.

There are many who prefer to apply a religious gloss to the results of science and comfort themselves with this. But such a varnish never really explains anything significant.

  • 1 a : destitute of knowledge or education ; also : lacking knowledge or comprehension of the thing specified b : resulting from or showing lack of knowledge or intelligence.

Ignorance means we don't know. "Dividing the light from the darkness" explains without really explaining anything. Since the forces and processes involved are divine, they are supernatural, so there is nothing to observe, measure, record or replicate. The biblical account of creation remains simply words on pages with no examples anywhere we can point to and say, "This is how it was done." The evidence for creationism does not exist: there is nothing to explain. Even after centuries of theological study, the answer is still, we don't know.

And we need explanations badly. Our studies of purely natural processes are revealing powers and forces that make any god look like a wet firecracker. Any creation mythos pales to insignificance to such processes as compressed forces suddenly expanding to the size of the universe in about a tenth of a second (the "Big Bang").

The study of Creationism squanders time, energy and resources better applied elsewhere to solve the many problems we face as living organisms, a species and as individuals.

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