Thursday, November 19, 2009

Blog Prompt, Part Two!

In a commentary in the Times Online Michael Reiss argued that Darwinian thinking clarifies and deepens religious faith by decentering humanity so that we might better appreciate the Universe and our place it. Do you agree with his thoughts or not? Why? Also: What are your thoughts on the relationship of Science & Religion?
This prompt also comes to us via pagan_prompts on Livejournal.

I know a lot of people of many different faiths take creation stories at face value. Now, I do like creation stories, even ones that aren’t of my religion. They are, indeed, nice stories.

I believe in evolution, and all sorts of the “scientific” or “atheist” answers to how things came into being. Now, saying that, I do believe in religion as well. I do firmly believe in both.

I do think that, as a pagan, a Darwinian approach to things, believing that humans are just other animals and that we share common ancestors with all sorts of animals, I do think that it does make people appreciate the universe as an entity onto itself, instead of a plaything for humans. A lot of religions preach that humans are the most important thing EVER. Now, while to some extent this can be seen as true, but in the grand scheme of things, everything is important from the smallest single-celled organism to the largest animals.

So, to put it simply, yes, I agree that Darwinian thinking de-centers humanity and gives us a more global perspective.

On the relationship of science and religion? I see it as a symbiotic relationship. I think that it is possible to balance them and believe both. The problem is so many fundamentalists, who are so vocal, say that science is wrong, and cannot be right because their religion is the only thing that is right. To quote Bill Maher, “Anyone who tells you that they know, they just know what happens when you die, I promise you, you don't. How can I be so sure? Because I don't know and you do not possess mental powers that I do not.” I firmly believe this. Yes, I can have faith in what I believe, but damned if I know for sure.

The problem lies in blurring the line between faith and fact. It is a pretty much fact that there were early hominids. It is my faith that the Egyptian gods are watching over us. Blurring these lines and spilling my faith into what I know as fact is when things get ugly.

Just a note: Tomorrow’s post might be a bit late, as I will be at the ROM (Royal Ontario Museum). We’re going to see the Dead Sea Scrolls, and all their new stuff. The ROM recently got a new wing, so it should be fun.
Places we are hitting for sure: the Dead Sea Scrolls, Dinosaurs (my dad wants to see them), Egypt (for me!), Vanity Fair Portraits, “Shreyas and Mina Ajmera Gallery of Africa, the Americas and Asia-Pacific” (I think this is new...I don’t remember it. Hopefully it has some stuff from Meso-America.) I’ll probably schedule a post for the afternoon, and depending on how tired I am, I’ll post about my ROM adventures and pictures!


Kristine said...

Ah, I remember the Dead Sea Scrolls. They're gorgeous. I saw them when I was 8, in Israel.

---Lea Elisabeth said...'s probably different to see them in Israel than in the ROM, but I do want to see the ROMs new wing, so...

I just wish I wasn't going with my parents...but everyone else is busy, so no one could tag along with me.

Kristine said...

Yeah, school does that.

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