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1 researchok  Nov 9, 2010 4:21:38pm

Science, religion and philosophy. Not a bad day’s work, all in all.

While I’m usually reluctant to mix science and religion, I have always believed that for believers, science only opens the doors of the wonders and complexities of of Creation.

There need not be any antagonism between faith and real science.

I can understand some may be uncomfortable with this post, but they are missing the point. The science is undeniable and for them, that is enough. For others, faith puts science into another context and grappling with that is in many ways a much harder endeavor. Every now and then it’s nice to see that for some, faith only enhances the value and meaning of both the mystery and hard science of Creation.

The science of my world is in many ways more ethereal, more subject to change and that has taught me a great lesson. No matter what changes and upends those things we are so certain of today, that further insight would never have come without the science of yesterday.

2 Mad Prophet Ludwig  Nov 9, 2010 4:33:38pm

re: #1 researchok

Science, religion and philosophy. Not a bad day’s work, all in all.

While I’m usually reluctant to mix science and religion, I have always believed that for believers, science only opens the doors of the wonders and complexities of of Creation.

There need not be any antagonism between faith and real science.

I can understand some may be uncomfortable with this post, but they are missing the point. The science is undeniable and for them, that is enough. For others, faith puts science into another context and grappling with that is in many ways a much harder endeavor. Every now and then it’s nice to see that for some, faith only enhances the value and meaning of both the mystery and hard science of Creation.

The science of my world is in many ways more ethereal, more subject to change and that has taught me a great lesson. No matter what changes and upends those things we are so certain of today, that further insight would never have come without the science of yesterday.

That is a really beautiful post. You are ascribing motivation to it than what I was going for though. Of course, I do see science as a way to enhance my faith by enhancing my sense of awe and majesty of creation and the Creator.

But I also come from a long line of people who see the two overlapping in just that way.

From Solomon, we have the idea that it is the Glory of God to create mysteries and the glory of man to unravel them.

From Rambam we have the precept that if something is proven to be true contradicts our understanding of scripture, the only thing that can be wrong is our understanding of scripture.

But, I really was not trying to be quite so lofty with this post. My point is that these Bible bangers are not just totally wrong on their science, but that they are utter hypocrites who get the theology utterly wrong as well.

Would any thinking Christian tell you that we do not have free will or suffer the consequences of our choices?

Would any thinking Christian tell you that G-d will not allow men the option to do evil to each other?

I am adding that to the fact that thinking Christians get that ice melts when it gets warm.

3 Mad Prophet Ludwig  Nov 9, 2010 4:40:04pm

re: #1 researchok

I’ve changed some of the language. It is more of a guide to dismantling fundie hypocrites - as it was meant to be - now.

4 CuriousLurker  Nov 9, 2010 4:57:09pm

From a purely religious perspective:

My first thought when he started reading from the Bible was, “Um, Rep. Shimkus? God said that never again was He going to send a flood, not that he would prevent us from bringing it on ourselves.”

My second thought was that the Earth doesn’t have to be completely destroyed in order for for humanity to suffer horribly. This problem always occurs when people take all scripture literally.

5 Mad Prophet Ludwig  Nov 9, 2010 5:01:06pm

re: #4 CuriousLurker

From a purely religious perspective:

My first thought when he started reading from the Bible was, “Um, Rep. Shimkus? God said that never again was He going to send a flood, not that he would prevent us from bringing it on ourselves.”

My second thought was that the Earth doesn’t have to be completely destroyed in order for for humanity to suffer horribly. This problem always occurs when people take all scripture literally.

That is so well said and exactly the main thrust here. The Fundies are morons who are so incompetent, that when they bang Bibles they get it stupidly wrong. They are utter morons about faith on both a simple level and the deeper level.

It is very easy to trip fundies up with their own stuff. The way to do it is to simply be logical about scripture and doctrine. Since the typical fundie isn’t bright enough to follow either, this is the single most effective way to shut them down.

6 lostlakehiker  Nov 9, 2010 5:27:09pm

Your typical thinking, well educated right wing Christian is fully aware not just that ice melts, but that there’s this phase change triple point thing. Anyhow, he knows that IF it gets warm enough, the ice will melt.

He also knows that working through the science of the effect of carbon dioxide on the earth’s heat balance, and tracing through the secondary chains of effects on water vapor, cloud cover, and on and on, is bound to be difficult. It is logically possible, from where he sits, that the CO2 might not, when all is taken into account, cause any drastic amount of warming. A lifetime of work would not suffice to settle the issue, and he certainly hasn’t the time. He’s heard that others have done so, but here’s the catch: he doesn’t trust them.

He’s well aware of the tendency to exaggeration in Al Gore’s film and lectures. He’s aware that some people with advanced degrees dispute some of the conclusions of others with the same. He’s seen the government lie, time and again. He’s seen his colleagues lie, time and again. The air is suffused with lying. Whether it’s about the inflation rate, or educational achievement gaps, or how this or that government project will be completed on time and under budget, he knows better than to believe any of it. And he knows, too, that many of his fellows lie in public to shore up the public lie, all the while knowing better in private.

He figures that this is more of the same, and he isn’t going to bother listening any more. He has work to do.

Is there any way through to this fellow? Yes, but it’s not all that easy. A direct frontal assault on his intelligence will achieve nothing. He’s got his own advanced degree, perhaps. In his own field, he’s well regarded. A fervent vouching for the integrity of the scientists who have done all this work on AGW won’t suffice either. He’s heard all that before, and in circumstances where in fact it was all lies. This time is different, but he’s not going to listen.

What will penetrate is evidence that is outside the orbit of all this vouching. If and when, and by now, it’s a question of when, the Northwest Passage becomes open to navigation, this will impress him.

Direct footage of the river that courses across the top of the Greenland ice cap, to plunge 10 thousand feet down a moulin, will impress him.

Heat waves of unheard of intensity and duration impress him, and as millions are driven from their homes and left destitute, never mind that they’re brown and sixteen continents away, that too impresses him. He really is a Christian, and their suffering does matter to him. But one such incident can be, warily, written off to the vicissitudes of the weather.

He is mistaken. He is dug in and defending his mistake and he will not be dislodged from it easily. But his ignorance is not invincible and his belief is not a faith. The right kind of evidence, presented carefully, patiently, and persistently, can move him.

And when he does move, he will carry the bulk of the “fundies” with him.

7 freetoken  Nov 9, 2010 6:57:07pm

When imbued with this kind of “thinking”, I doubt that the fundies of whom you write really will ever care.

8 Mad Prophet Ludwig  Nov 9, 2010 7:07:33pm

re: #7 freetoken

When imbued with this kind of “thinking”, I doubt that the fundies of whom you write really will ever care.

You make another excellent point. I don’t doubt that there is some massive cognitive dissonance between their “science” and their faith.

That is why you need to point out that they are terrible at being Christian.

I have found that when I get down to talking Torah with those Observant Jews who are Republican and talk about what Torah would actually say about GOP planks, I don’t always get converts, but I do get an opening to get people thinking. More than once I have swayed people.

9 Slumbering Behemoth Stinks  Nov 9, 2010 10:00:21pm

Another excellent post on the subject, LVQ.

I am however writing about an argument against AGW that takes certain false scriptural interpretations on faith.

As Lewis Black would say of such things…

Rep. John Shimkus: God decides when the “earth will end”

I suspect Shimkus is very much like Robertson. They know a good pool of exploitable “marks” when they see them, and possess very little real belief of their own. Making a big show of selling snake oil for fun and profit.

There is just something in a call to have a “theological debate” about science and politics that gets my Common Sense tingling.

Rep. John Shimkus: Capping C02 emissions will steal “plant food”

Perhaps Shimkus is unaware that CO2 can, and does in fact, kill plant life in certain quantities. Though I suspect he is more likely just lying . I like to direct people who make claims like his to this clip, which I’ll wager you’ve seen before.

PS, that second clip is no longer available due to the user’s account being terminated.

10 lostlakehiker  Nov 9, 2010 10:10:35pm

re: #7 freetoken

When imbued with this kind of “thinking”, I doubt that the fundies of whom you write really will ever care.

I’m talking about a composite of real people I know in real life. I’m working on them. They are nothing, nothing, NOTHING like the person featured in your link.

Those guys, of course, are beyond persuasion. They don’t believe anything. They just play the game of career and money, and like lawyers, they’ll argue any case from any side.

11 lostlakehiker  Nov 9, 2010 10:12:47pm

re: #8 LudwigVanQuixote

You make another excellent point. I don’t doubt that there is some massive cognitive dissonance between their “science” and their faith.

That is why you need to point out that they are terrible at being Christian.

I have found that when I get down to talking Torah with those Observant Jews who are Republican and talk about what Torah would actually say about GOP planks, I don’t always get converts, but I do get an opening to get people thinking. More than once I have swayed people.

Religious aspects aside, Jewish traditions of thinking about moral issues are impressive. There is a lot to learn about how to sort through moral puzzles and dilemmas, and Jews have learned a lot about it. You-all are indeed a light to the world in this regard.

12 theheat  Nov 9, 2010 11:35:15pm

My brother’s gone full-on teaparty in the past couple months, and now waving the flag for the fundie causes to counter what he sincerely believes is Obama’s pending socialism. He’s tired of class action lawsuits jacking up his insurance, foreigners, environmentalism, feeding homeless people, and all that undetermined undocumented shit the Muslims are surely getting away with. FWIW - he spends lots of time driving, listening to right wing talk radio. Daily.

My parents think Obama or another even dirtier Dem will steal (rig) the election and stop the Republicans from restoring the country to righteousness. My dad believes in death panels, thinks Palin is the cat’s pajamas, and climate change is a liberal commie plot. He’s read all the right wing anti-AGW talking points, and can recite them almost verbatim. When he doesn’t have the inclination to recite them, he FW FW emails from other Fox viewers, usually in multicolored Comic Sans.

Me? I’m jabbing forks in my eyes.

13 simoom  Nov 10, 2010 1:33:18am

I have no idea why YouTube took down those videos, but here’s a working copy of one (though with some mocking text narration added on):
Youtube Video

14 Mad Prophet Ludwig  Nov 10, 2010 9:55:31am

re: #13 simoom

I have no idea why YouTube took down those videos, but here’s a working copy of one (though with some mocking text narration added on):

[Video]

This is outrageous.

Those videos were obviously working when I put them up. That happened some time hours after this post was made. Some political group is trying very hard to keep the crazy views of their boys out of more broad public scrutiny. It is very easy for them to make some frivolous complaint to Youtube, who then pulls stuff unjustly.

Those videos are part of the public record of a congressional hearing!

The only commercial thing in it is the bought and sold nature of the political theater!

15 Mad Prophet Ludwig  Nov 10, 2010 10:02:43am

Found other links for the exchanges and updated.


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