Science and Atheism


#1

To my brothers and sisters in Christ -

A falsehood has been appearing on this web site. It states that science is neutral about God. But science does not exist without scientists who study, observe, experiment, research and draw conclusions. This method of work is called science. However, science has been adopted by atheists and poisoned with the ideology of atheism. Scientists are actively promoting atheism and using evolution as their primary starting point. The same thing is happening here. But a few people are adding the message, Oh sure, it’s fine if you believe in God, science has nothing to say about God one way or the other. That is no longer true. The entanglement of actual scientific study and atheism has gotten worse.

And that is what I am warning you about. There are atheists here who want you to believe that science is what you should believe, not the Church. And the Church has spoken about this problem with atheism infecting science.

This warning was given by Cardinal Schoenborn: “What frequently passes for modern science- with its heavy accretion of materialism and positivism- is simply wrong about nature in fundamental ways. Modern science is often, in the words of my essay, ‘ideology, not science.’”

firstthings.com/article.php3?id_article=71

Atheism and science are inseparable according to PZ Myers.

youtube.com/watch?v=EczOQ1mV5aU

And then there’s Sam Harris and his “alien hiss” of religion. Also note the fantasies he mentions at the end of the article.

secularhumanism.org/index.php?page=harris_27_2&section=library

Nature magazine tells us Leading Scientists Still Reject God.

stephenjaygould.org/ctrl/news/file002.html

And all one has to do to get a clear picture of where Richard Dawkins stands is to pick up a copy of The God Delusion.

Do not be led away from the truth of God into a belief in atheistic evolution, which is defined here, in the second paragraph.

catholic.com/library/adam_eve_and_evolution.asp

Yes, science has limits but these limits are no longer being respected by many scientists who have added their scientific work and credentials to the cause of atheism.

God bless,
Ed


#2

Ed, what you have shown is that some scientists equate evolution (or science in general) with atheism, and give it as one of their reasons for being atheists. That is up to them, and an entirely personal matter. However, Richard Dawkins and P.Z. Myers are in a minority when it comes to “science and religion.” The official position of the National Academy of Sciences is that they are compatible (whether you take Stephen Jay Gould’s NOMA position, or a more over-lapping position).

“Mindful of school board battles and recent court decisions, Science, Evolution, and Creationism shows that science and religion should be viewed as different ways of understanding the world rather than as frameworks that are in conflict with each other and that the evidence for evolution can be fully compatible with religious faith. For educators, students, teachers, community leaders, legislators, policy makers, and parents who seek to understand the basis of evolutionary science, this publication will be an essential resource.” (booklet “Science, Evolution, and Creationism” by National Academy of Sciences, from the description)

Science and religion are different ways of understanding. Needlessly placing them in opposition reduces the potential of both to contribute to a better future.” (ibid, page 47)

Aren’t evolution and religion opposing ideas? Newspaper and television stories sometimes make it seem as though evolution and religion are incompatible, but that is not true. Many scientists and theologians have written about how one can accept both faith and the validity of biological evolution. Many past and current scientists who have made major contributions to our understanding of the world have been devoutly religious. At the same time, many religious people accept the reality of evolution, and many religious denominations have issued emphatic statements reflecting this acceptance.” (ibid, from FAQ page 49)

This 88-page booklet can be read online here

The Catechism says basically the same thing in paragraphs 159, 283-284

  1. Faith and science: “…methodical research in all branches of knowledge, provided it is carried out in a truly scientific manner and does not override moral laws, can never conflict with the faith, because the things of the world and the things of faith derive from the same God. The humble and persevering investigator of the secrets of nature is being led, as it were, by the hand of God in spite of himself, for it is God, the conserver of all things, who made them what they are.” [Vatican II GS 36:1]

The old “warfare model” (or “conflict thesis”) was dead on arrival and refuted in such works as Darwin’s Forgotten Defenders by Livingstone and more comprehensively in The Post-Darwinian Controversies by James R. Moore. I recently acquired both these great books, and it was more an evangelical Protestant battle in the late 19th century, not a Catholic one.

There are numerous scientists who are religious, even traditional Catholics. The chapter The Church and Science (mp3) in How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization will set anyone straight.

Science is indeed neutral about God. The Catechism says so above. Science is not inherently atheistic nor is evolution. Oxford philosopher/theologian Keith Ward replied to Richard Dawkins a decade ago in his book God, Chance, and Necessity (1996) and I suggest a reading of his chapter 4: “Darwin and Natural Selection.” Alister McGrath has also replied to Dawkins in some depth in his Dawkins’ God: Genes, Memes, and the Meaning of Life and briefly in The Dawkins Delusion. I am writing a demolition of Dawkins here and have been going through his book, the Harris and Hitchens books with a fine-tooth comb (I have their audiobooks as well). They have no good arguments against traditional Catholicism or theism, it is all caricature. It will be something like my anti-Da Vinci Code article when done. Do not worry. There are about 25 book replies to Dawkins and the “new atheists” already published – the best is probably still God is No Delusion: A Refutation of Richard Dawkins by Fr. Thomas Crean and Ignatius Press, but I am looking forward to Keith Ward’s brand new Why There Almost Certainly Is A God: Doubting Dawkins.

Phil P


#3

You left out “some”, as in “Some scientists are actively …” Not all scientists are atheists and not all scientists actively promote atheism.

Atheism and science are inseparable according to PZ Myers.

And we all know that everything P Z Myers says is true, don’t we. :rolleyes:

Nature magazine tells us Leading Scientists Still Reject God.

No Ed, Nature magazine tells us that most Leading Scientists Still Reject God. Those figures do not show 100% rejection.

I will also quote from the ASA:The American Scientific Affiliation (ASA) is a fellowship of men and women in science and disciplines that relate to science who share a common fidelity to the Word of God and a commitment to integrity in the practice of science. In matters of science and Christian faith, we offer Christian scholarship, education, fellowship and service to ASA members, churches, educational institutions, the scientific community, and society.

Source: ASA Website
There are scientists who are atheists, there are scientists who are agnostic, there are scientists who are religious and there are scientists who are Christian. You are wrong to characterise science and scientists as atheist Ed.

I agree that many atheists do use science in their arguments, but atheists use many things in their arguments: history, science, the Bible, the behaviour of some religious people etc. You should not reject science merely because it is used by atheists. Atheists sometimes use the Bible in their arguments. Are you going to reject the Bible because parts of it can be used by atheists to argue against God?

rossum


#4

I can list more scientists if you like. This is their personal opinion? Why does it matter to The Barbarian or anyone else that Darwin believed in God? Wasn’t that a personal opinion? Yet it is being used here to sell a product. The product is atheistic evolution.

No comments about Cardinal Schoenborn? Why not? I am more interested in divine revelation.

No, God, not scientists, matters. Men have within them a negative attraction. A desire to do the wrong thing. Too many people imitate others. So when I see Leading Scientists, I not only see people who are experts/leaders in their field but examples for others. Ideology in the form of atheism has infected science, taking science outside of the scientific method and into politics. Sad.

Peace,
Ed


#5

Your Schoenborn quotes are not addressed, as your original premise that science = scientist is completely erroneous and his comments do not apply.


#6

As can I: Francis Collins, Ken Miller, Theodosius Dobzhansky, Roger Weins, Fr. Georges Lemaître … We all agree that there are theist, agnostic and atheist scientists. We disagree with the deductions you make from this fact.

No comments about Cardinal Schoenborn? Why not? I am more interested in divine revelation.

I generally do not comment much on the Catholic aspects of this question, only on the scientific aspects. The Cardinal was talking about the Catholic aspects.

No, God, not scientists, matters.

Truth also matters. Science is one way to approach truth, by eliminating untruth. There are indeed other ways to approach truth, but you cannot deny that science is one possible method and one which has been very successful in its chosen arena - the material world.

rossum


#7

Science is indeed antithetical to creationism, especially young Earth creationism. Thus, it is important to distinguish belief in creationism from belief in God. Failure to do so is very likely a key factor in driving so many scientists away from God.


#8

For Catholics, there are no Catholic aspects. I do not live in a secular/scientific and Catholic world. My world is unified.

All Catholics should understand that from the Christian perspective, knowledge comes from two sources: human scientific inquiry and divine revelation From God. As a Catholic, I am called to emphasize divine revelation and God’s work. People need the word of God as truth in their lives more than they need science.

Peace,
Ed


#9

ONLY, ‘Truth,’ matters!

Science can only eliminate the untruths OF science, because ‘science’ is the study of a FACT; gravity, space, time, dirt, rock, fossil, etc.

The “material world” is the ONLY scope of science. It does not ‘choose’ it. This is why it can never answer the simple query, “What, Was, before, IS?”

Science is indeed one way to discover ‘truth’ because it is the study of a truth.

:cool:


#10

Science is a collection of observations made by humans. Unfortunately, based on the fact that leading scientists reject God, it is also being used to fuel an ideology called atheism.

Peace,
Ed


#11

You are over generalising again Ed, that should have been “based on the fact that many leading scientists reject God”.

rossum


#12

I found that to be a very good analysis.

The key point (among many good ones) is that science does not exist except as a human activity. Everything that is communicated about science comes to us through human filters which are affected by bias and belief.
This human community that is involved with science creates a “scientific culture” which is founded on attitudes, beliefs and philosophical concepts.

The simple “vocabulary of science”, which is the way words are used and defined are part of it.

To say that “Science cannot speak about God” or that “the supernatural has no place in science” is a reflection of the culture.


#13

Just a suggestion:

Why don’t those who oppose Ed’s thesis give evidence of orthodox Catholics who are scientists or of scientists who agree with Church teaching?

Just a thought.

Pax Christi tecum.


#14

It’s an important distinction to say that **most **scientists reject God. This is a phenomenon that is not really studied or analyzed much that I’ve seen.

I asked a “Catholic” scientist here on CAF about that and he really had no idea why 70% of scientists identify themselves as atheist.

If someone said that was a coincidence, or just a random occurence I would find that absurd. What probability would there be for a group that is represented by 4% of the population to randomly appear as 70% in a particular group?

To hear a scientist, who is supposed to analyse statistical data and look for trends and meaning, sound like there was nothing unusual about a majority of the science community being atheist is more than surprising.

Is this the way scientific data is handled?


#15

Excellent point.

Pax Christi tecum.


#16

First, there are many scientists who profess to be religious. Jesuit scholars come to mind, who are brilliant scientists. However, when it comes to their particular branch of science, they consider it without religious bias.

A religious astophysicist will never subscribe to YEC, though he may doubt evolution. Conversely, a religious biologist will not doubt evolution (Behe is not a scientist), but may have doubts about age of the universe. So, yes, the religious scientist is not an oxymoron.

An interesting article about the subject:

kspark.kaist.ac.kr/jesus/intelligence%20&%20religion.htm


#17

I’ve got one (several, actually.) My son-in-law, an evolutionary biologist (“computational phylogeneticist”, to be precise) is currently contemplating post-doc possibilities at Brown, Cornell, Berkeley, among others, and who is the most wonderful example of a Catholic young man I know (pro-life, RCIA leader, Gabriel project volunteer, patient teacher.) He is brilliant and has been a wonderful witness for Catholicism in his department (where there was also a young, Catholic married couple, recent Ph.D.s who are now teaching elsewhere.)

I generally just lurk when there is an evolution discussion, as I am by no means a scientist, but I can only sit still so long when I see my SIL and others painted with a broad brush. I’ll grant that there are plenty of them who are atheist or, in SIL’s lab, agnosotic, but there are certainly others who are not. I know that he has caused colleagues to take notice, as he is regarded as a future “rock star” biologist, to use the parlance heard in the lab, who has already presented ground-breaking research. If someone as smart and accomplished as he can believe, then, hmmmm…there may be something to it.

Evolution is “God’s modus operandi”.


#18

Catholic Scientists:[list]
*]Fr. Georges_Lemaître
*]George Coyne S.J.
*]Guy Consolmagno S. J.
*]Ken Miller[/list]

Other religious scientists:[list]
*]Theodosius Dobzhansky (Russian Orthodox)
*]Abdus Salam (Muslim)
*]Satyendra Nath Bose (Hindu)
[/list]
It is relatively easy to assemble a much bigger list for yourself; google is your friend.

rossum


#19

Evolution is God’s modus operandi? Have you read The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins? Or the latest book by Sam Harris? Are you aware that scientist PZ Myers recently took a eucharistic host, put a nail throught it and tossed it in the trash?

I am sorry about not qualifying my statement about leading scientists. It should have included the word most. Most means most. And the new atheism is more militant. The connection between doing scientific work and atheism has been established as factual. Does every scientist who does science become an atheist? No. However, scientific findings have been adopted by atheist scientists and are being promoted as one more reason not to believe. I hope everyone here understands that.

The problem is not the research, the discoveries or the scientific method itself, but the fact that human beings do this work and it would be false to think that they do not bring their own personal beliefs and worldview into their work.

As Cardinal Schoenborn has noticed, scientists are going beyond what can be demonstrated scientifically and saying that evolution negates a role for God.

God bless,
Ed


#20

Here is why Ed is anti-science youtube.com/watch?v=2TkY7HrJOhc


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