Something In the Air: Science’s Supposed Superiority to Religion

by Tom Gilson

To borrow a line from Vox Day, this pair of sentences is so superlatively wrong that it will require the development of esoteric mathematics operating simultaneously in multiple dimensions fully to comprehend the orders of magnitude of its wrongness.

That was Timothy McGrew’s opinion of the email a reader named Loren sent me earlier this week, which I wrote about a few days ago. Loren said simply this:

Science is knowledge of proven facts, religion is a belief system based on unproven theory. The matter is closed, science is alive and growing where as religion is based on ancient history.

McGrew’s conclusion was the same as mine, only expressed so much better! And yet for many the whole thing seems sensible, believable, even right. We did a small-sample straw poll on this at our church this week, asking members of our youth group and our college/career group to rate Loren’s message on a five-point scale from “Completely Wrong” to “Completely Right.” Out of 54 students, 5 (9%) rated it mostly right, and 16 (30%) rated it about half-right, half-wrong. Our college and career students agreed with Loren considerably more than our youth group members were No one at our church rated it completely true, thankfully.

I suppose I could have rated it mostly (not completely) wrong myself. There are a couple nuggets of truth in Loren’s message. “Science is alive and growing,” yes. Religion has a significant basis in ancient history, yes to that, too, though Christianity has current grounding as well. (Christianity is the one religion I have in mind throughout this blog post.)

When I was in high school I would have said that what Loren wrote was mostly true, if not entirely so. It just seemed to me that science was displacing religion. It was “alive and growing,” and the more it grew, the more it showed that religion religion was dead. I don’t remember who taught it to me. I doubt anyone did, really; I think instead I absorbed it from the atmosphere around me. It just seemed sensible to think that the progress of scientific knowledge meant that religious belief was on its way out. I remember wondering if it would happen in my lifetime…

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Something In the Air: Science’s Supposed Superiority to Religion – 2 – Thinking Christian

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