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Science and Religion Aren’t Friends?
by Hank Hanegraaff
One of my habits every morning is to read through USA Today among some of the other newspapers that I peruse, and this morning I read the Forum in USA Today, and quite frankly did so before I had breakfast. I think that if I was eating breakfast at the time I would have had indigestion. I read the forum portion which was authored this time by Jerry Coyne, a professor of evolution at the University of Chicago, and I might be dealing with this article all week, there’s a lot to chew on here. The title is “Science and Religion Aren’t Friends.”[i] He says one relies on truth whereas the other relies on hope and obfuscation. Trying to equate the two or giving religion undue authority, does the world no good. I think the article would be better rendered “Naturalism and Religion Aren’t Friends.”
I want to read just the opening of this article, and make a couple of comments. Coyne says,
Religion in America is on the defensive.
Atheist books such as The God Delusion and The End of Faith have, by exposing the dangers of faith and the lack of evidence for the God of Abraham, become best-sellers. Science nibbles at religion from the other end, relentlessly consuming divine explanations and replacing them with material ones. Evolution took a huge bite a while back, and recent work on the brain has shown no evidence for souls, spirits, or any part of our personality or behavior distinct from the lump of jelly in our head. We now know that the universe did not require a creator. Science is even studying the origin of morality. So religious claims retreat into the ever-shrinking gaps not yet filled by science. And, although to be an atheist in America is still to be an outcast, America’s fastest-growing brand of belief is non-belief.
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But faith will not go gentle. For each book by a “New Atheist,” there are many others attacking the “movement” and demonizing atheists as arrogant, theologically ignorant, and strident. The biggest area of religious push-back involves science. Rather than being enemies, or even competitors, the argument goes, science and religion are completely compatible friends, each devoted to finding its own species of truth while yearning for a mutually improving dialogue.
Now the article goes on, but I can’t get into the rest of it right now, I’ll leave that for tomorrow, and perhaps the next day, I want to point out that here again you have a supposed scientist making a dogmatic assertion rather than a defensible argument over and over and over again throughout the article, failing to recognize that science was invented in Christian universities, and it came out of the notion that reason devoid of revelation always ends up in the blind ditch of ignorance…
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