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Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Living in a Black and White World

This week sees the meeting of the Society of Ordained Scientists, whose membership, at least, sounds like it ought to be pretty well defined.

It is a common whinge from certain of the Internet's below-the-liners that being a believer who is also scientifically minded is somehow cheating. As if we've got to come off the fence and either believe in God, or a rational Universe. And we have to believe every word in the Bible is literally,  historical and scientifically true if we call ourselves Christian. They're like a vegetarian demanding that a meat eater only eat steak. Well, some of us are quite partial to a nice bunch of English asparagus. Which sounds like a euphemism, but I can't work out why.

We can engage critically with our religious texts and traditions, without taking every word as being somehow scientifically true. Not least as scientifically true always carries with it the modifier "until someone does a better experiment". The LHC, Hubble telescope, advances in biochemistry do not disprove God. They allow us better to appreciate the wonders God has done. We believe the rationality of the universe reflects the image of the reason behind it.

To fundamentalists, both religious and supposedly scientific (actually atheist/secular/humanist) everything is black and white. And we can understand why you can see it's black and white. And everything is sharp and clear and kind of 60s retro-chic in black and white. It's just we've got a colour telly.

3 comments :

  1. Here we go again. Don't mention Mendel, Lemaitre, Avogadro, Pasteur, Lavoisier, Fermi, Ampere, ... and of course the Nobel Prize Winner John Eccles.

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  2. Not least as scientifically true always carries with it the modifier "until someone does a better experiment".

    Not true: substitute scientifically true should always carry with it the modifier "until someone does a better experiment".

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  3. It's only because we're post enlightenment that we're groping around in the dark.

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