Category Archives: Science

Religion & Science

I just found this meme on Facebook:

Now, I like Dr. Tyson. He’s really cool. And I like the way he doesn’t put religious believers down just for being religious believers. All he’s asking is that you keep your religious beliefs out of the lab.

I wish more nonbelievers would take a leaf out of his book and treat believers with more respect and dignity, as he does.

But many nonbelievers seem to be completely unaware of how many religious people have long been part of the scientific world. I bet many nonbelievers would be completely shocked to know that the very father of astrophysics was a Jesuit priest, Angelo Secchi, S.J.

Or that the father of aeronautics was also a Jesuit priest, Fr. Francesco Lana-Terzi, S.J. I think many nonbelievers do not realize that for the last couple of centuries, Jesuits specifically have maintained a very prominent place in education and the sciences.

I think this may be because nonbelievers refuse to listen to anything OTHER than the popular mainstream media (which, in the US, has basically devolved to “infotainment”) which naturally is going to portray the most ridiculous of people (like the Westboro Baptist crazies, who seem to like protesting the funerals of our military dead as a way of telling the world that God is killing our soldiers because the US tolerates homosexuality) because that’s what gets headlines/lots of attention.

Geez.

None of the nonbelievers think to question the sources they get their information about believers from. Yet they think they are the ones who are so awesome when it comes to “critical thinking.”

Not only that, but the nonbelievers who blast the believers also have a very limited HISTORICAL view. They don’t look at some of the small, frequently overlooked details of the historical record – and if they had done so, they would realize (for example) that the mathematical formula that became the “big bang theory” was developed by a Belgian Roman Catholic priest/professor/physicist, Fr. Georges LeMaitre. I do not know if Fr. LeMaitre was a Jesuit, but he was a priest.

Such nonsense.

Anyway, here is an article by Fr. Tom Lucas, himself a Jesuit, entitled “The Illustrious, Embattled Tradition of Jesuit Scientists.” Puts it so much better than I could.

Dear Religion/Dear Science

Dear Science,

It is true that some people have used me as an excuse or justification for their own evil ends. But your hands aren’t exactly “clean” either.

First of all, it was you who was involved in the development and manufacture of the gun used to shoot Malala. In fact, you are behind the development of advanced, sophisticated weaponry in general, such as the space-based weapons that the US and USSR were once threatening each other with, and which led to treaties between the two nations that basically said “we won’t heft several BFRs* up to orbital height and drop them on our enemies.”

Second, in a conversation with History the other day, he reminded me that it was you who was behind this little thing called “the Manhattan Project.” I think you’ll remember one gentleman in particular, Robert Oppenheimer? Perhaps “atomic bomb” means something to you? How about Hiroshima and Nagasaki? History also has not forgotten that you cost Marie Curie her life.

History can recall an awful lot of harm that you yourself have caused, Science my friend, but right now I haven’t the time to go into it all. But it’s out there. History has not forgotten.

Third, in all your so-called “knowledge,” Science, you seem to have conveniently FORGOTTEN that it’s MY job to forgive you for the harm that you have brought to many people throughout time. You also seem to have not learned my lesson about arrogance and hypocrisy and throwing stones in glass houses.

Yours,
Religion

*BFRs = Big Fucking Rocks

Who is More Pro-Science?

OK, so I just viewed this video:

And I thought, “Well, apparently Dr. Tyson isn’t familiar with moments like this” and my mind went to this:

Or this:

Or this:


And yes, Sherri Shepherd is a Christian. Probably shades more evangelical than not.

Or various rabid Christians who say that homosexuality is a sin – that women’s bodies can shut pregnancy down in cases of rape – that birth control methods like the Pill or Depo-Provera cause abortions and therefore should be outlawed or in some way rendered unavailable for women – condoms don’t prevent AIDS – things like that. At least, this seems to be the way it goes here in the US, anyway. And most of the people who espouse these views are fundamentalist Christian Republicans. They even base policies on these views. And that’s what makes it so dangerous – they seem to want to take the country back to the 11th century or even earlier, and I can’t call that a “good idea” in the 21st century, in this connected/internet age.

Just had to put that out there…

Where Science & Religion Meet

Frankly, I don’t see much of a difference between what Dr. Tyson is saying here, and what Christianity really teaches.

From death, comes new life.

The difference is in HOW the story is told.

Is it told more poetically, in the form of saga or story/myth or poem? Then it’s religion.

Is it told in terms of empirical facts? Then it’s science.

And the line between the two can really blur.

So both religious people and scientific/nonbeliever types need to get over themselves and let the universe be what it is. Getting hung up in semantics can only get you so far.