I have always imagined that Paradise would be a kind of library.
Jorge Luis Borges

So have I become your enemy by telling you the truth?
Saint John, Letter to Galatians 4:16

Freedom of Religion - Freedom from Religion - Freedom of Public Display of Religion and Traditions

We establish no religion in this country, nor will we ever. We command no worship. We mandate no belief. But we poison our society when we remove its theological underpinnings. We court corruption when we leave it bereft of belief. All are free to believe or not believe; all are free to practice a faith or not. But those who believe must be free to speak of and act on their belief.
Ronald Reagan (Temple Hillel Speech, 1984)

Friday, August 6, 2010

Science and Creationism: A Never-Ending Discussion

In the world of science – Jim Dent:  Science, Evolution, and Creationism
Today, the National Academy of Science released a book called Science, evolution, and Creationism. The book argues that creationism has no room in the scientific classroom. From the book:
“The arguments of creationists reverse the scientific process. They begin with an explanation that they are unwilling to alter – that supernatural forces have shaped biological or Earth systems – rejecting the basic requirements of science that hypotheses must be restricted to testable natural explanations. Their beliefs cannot be tested, modified, or rejected by scientific means and thus cannot be a part of the process of science

The book clearly reveals a valid point; however, it seems that all parties are missing important factors they may all be correct.
In mythological religions before the major advent of Christianity developed, there were elements of truth to those myths – you might say an elaboration of reality. For example, dragons - in ancient history dinosaur bones must have been found. To the uneducated at the time this would mean that there are “monster” creatures that either exist somewhere in the unknown parts of the world or once did. And because archaeology/paleontology as sciences was not established, it could easily be identified as the mythological creatures of days of old. In the creation story, using paleontology facts, the concept of a world created in harmony in a place called Eden – the dinosaurs do not fit in the picture. However, who is to say that the creator had to make prototypes, just as engineers do today, in creating living creatures? And, wasn’t the creatures of the Earth created before Adam and Eve? This would fall in to the fact that dinosaurs were not around when humans began to inhabit the Earth.
An all-knowing and super being would not only understand physics and other sciences – but be able to create things using those and other scientific principles. The Creation story [Book of Genesis, Holy Bible and Torah] does not provide detail. Another fact is the Creation story was verbally passed from generation to generation until the development of writing/language. Was the written story different from the verbal one?
It is true, as the book reveals that there are not concrete scientific data concerning Creation that Christians, Jews and other religions can use for their side of the story. But who is to say that the evolution process was not divine? From Reader's Digest, The Bible Through the Ages:

 A poem called Enuma Elish is thought of as a Babylonian Genesis.

I think it is good to have discussions on this and other subjects; however, some things are hard to prove, at least until the proof is found.
In the 1900s, the biblical stories of various places, cities and peoples were taken out of context from the Holy Bible. With the help of archaeological discoveries, these places, cities and even people have been identified and proven to have existed.
Science and religious beliefs can work together. It is just that each side must be aware of the facts from each position. Maybe it is a revenge in the case of science versus religion because of the overbearing influence the Church had in the time period of human history known as the “Dark Ages”. But it should not deter intellectual discussion from either side of this argument that once would have been imprisonment or death to the one who questioned the Church.
I think both groups should be more rationale concerning this subject, and teaching Creationism in a public school is not the answer. Leave that option for privately funded schools. 
However, extra-curricular activities like Christian clubs (or other religious-based activities) or even a group based upon the concept of Creationism should be allowed. It is after-school activities formed by students who gather and have the same interests – like chess clubs, et cetera. Creationism is not an exact science, just as science is not a religion, however there can be a bond between the two on certain issues. Civilization requires science, just as it does codes of ethics and social conduct. This, after all, is what makes us “civilized”. Science is concerned with the material events in our lives, and the religions concern the spiritual aspect of our lives. Since it is obvious that these two planes of existence are two separate entities - does it mean that each are not related in some way? Thus, science and religion can work together on certain issues. 
Neither side should fear questions or discussions if their hypothesis has a solid foundation based upon truth, fact that can be known to us.

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