Field of Science

Evolution Weekend

It's time for even the most conservative Christian congregations to come to terms with the specter of evolution. A thousand congregations were to participate in Evolution Weekend in the last couple of days, with the aim of reconciling our modern world with that of the Bible.
"Faith is related to one's belief system ... science, on the other hand, is in a different domain," said the Rev. Gerald Kersey, who planned a Sunday school lesson and discussion of Darwin's theories at Avondale Estates First Baptist Church in suburban Atlanta.

He blamed religious intolerance for causing many faithful to feel they must choose between science and the Bible.

"I'm presenting the idea that science or evolution is compatible with faith," he said.
If indeed science and religion are in different domains (areas over which they rule), then why is it even a question whether they are mutually compatible? If being of different domains means they don't address the same questions, then there should be no reason to have to reconcile the two. Penguins rule the South Pole, polar bears the North Pole. They don't affect each other at all. (Okay, so perhaps one could come up with a story about how they really do, indirectly through their ecosystems.)

On the other hand, if their domains do overlap, such as when they both talk about the origins of humans and all thats, then how is it that the Reverend Kersey plans to present them as compatible? Seems more like combatable to me.

Blaming the woes of the faithful on religious intolerance is a real stretch. Religion came first, with myths to explain what was otherwise unexplainable at the time. Then came science with justified explanations that naturally were at odds with the myths. I say naturally, because how could people have gotten it all right with no knowledge of atoms, cells, and stars? At this point all that needs to be done is to update scripture, but of course that won't do for those who are married to the idea that their fairy tales are the word of God. Don't blame intolerance of religion, but the intolerance of the religious.

I don't think there's any need for the faithful to choose between science and the Bible. They just have to stop taking yet another part of the Bible literally. Once that process has started, I don't see any good argument why it shouldn't be extended to cover the whole book. Why not? Cafeterias are great. For food. Not for religion.

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