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View Diary: Book Review: Unscientific America (351 comments)

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  •  We disagree with PZ on approach (7+ / 0-)

    Chris and I don't think publicly desecrating a communion wafer is helpful toward bridging the science-society gap.

    •  Feynman's elegant explanation of Challenger (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dpryan, GeeBee

      accident showing how an O-Ring in ice water became brittle and cracked, was the cause of the Challenger fuel leak was a great moment in Science for the masses.

      But I'm a Feynman fan.  Loved his two books, "Surely You Must Be Kidding Mr. Feynman" and "What Do You Care What Other People Think".  So I expected clarity when Feynman spoke.

      "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." -Aristotle

      by Aidos on Sun Jul 12, 2009 at 06:36:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  bridging the gap (9+ / 0-)

      You called it bridging the "science-society" gap.  To be more precise, I think you actually mean the science-religion gap.  It really is religion that is the main obstacle to many people accepting the findings of science.

      What is the bridge between the Catholic Church's belief in miracles caused by saints and the findings of science which see no evidence of supernatural causes.  That is, Einstein's general theory of relativity says gravity works a certain way according to well-tested equations.  The Catholic Church says that sometimes these equations can be modified through the intercession of a saint.  That is a claim about the natural world that is testable by science and has been found wanting.  

      Would it help politically to go around talking about these inconsistencies between science and faith?  Nope.  But does that mean we should just bury them?  That's certainly the pragmatic approach that you seem to advocate but it's anathema to the process of science.

      •  I was wondering when someone would mention (0+ / 0-)

        the RC Church. Amazing the whole Galileo affair has not been brought up. Interestingly, the Galileo dust up is the only conflict between science and religion in the 2,000-year history of the Catholic Church, which pretty much proves that there is no conflict between science and religion. Remember, the scientific method of verifiable experimentation was born in the Catholic universities of medieval Europe.

        Doctrinally, several Popes have said that Darwinian evolution is not in conflict with Catholic dogma as long as you posit that the soul was immediately created by God and did not evolve. That God may have chosen evolution to create man is completely consonant with Catholic doctrine. John Paul II had said so, as did Pius XII.

        Speaking of Apollo 11, most, if not all, of the astronauts and the support staff were practising Christians who saw no dichotomy between science and religion. Most of the astronauts felt their exploration was a religious experience.  

        •  I don't agree (0+ / 0-)

          The Catholic Church claims that supernatural events, i.e. miracles, have occurred due to the intercession of saints.  Contrast that with science which has never found any evidence for any supernatural intervention in the natural world.  That is, the equation that describes gravity works the same over and over and over again.  Our observations of the world do not reveal any evidence for supernatural intervention.  We see regular patterns and describe them with scientific theories.  

          You say that most of the Apollo 11 astronauts were Christians and didn't see a divide between science and religion.  With that you haven't proven that science and religion don't contradict each other.  Instead you've demonstrated that people are capable of holding two contradictory views at once.  No one said people are rational and completely self-consistent.

    •  No reason to call him out in a book (9+ / 0-)

      We are all entitled to our own opinions. And many have the opinion that your polite ways of trying to deal with the idiots doesn't work.

      Sacred crackers are all well and good, but not very scientific, really. PZ points out the nonsense, he doesn't have to sweet talk anyone.

    •  Why not? the point is, that in every possible (4+ / 0-)

      measurable, quantifiable way, that communion wafer is in fact a cracker.  

      As an atheist, I respect the rights of people to follow religious superstition, however, I do not believe that I should be held to respect those same superstitions out of some sort of deference.  

      A cracker is a cracker, regardless of who "blesses" it.

      When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race. ~H.G. Wells

      by Adzam13 on Sun Jul 12, 2009 at 12:15:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  desecrating a communion wafer (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mike Doughney, MKSinSA

      is an excellent way of pulling some of the heat off of a goofy college kid who is being mobbed by rabid Cathoholics, and has the added advantage to demonstrating that another piece of the absurd catholic fairytale is... Absurd.

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