Science and Atheism


#21

I am well aware of all of the scientists you mention, and I completely disagree with their conclusions and/or sacrilegious actions, in the case of Myers…as do my Catholic evolutionary biologist relative and friends.

Scientists who believe that their discoveries “negate a role for God” are wrong.

The fact that these scientists deny God in no way means that their scientific discoveries are in error, if they can be verified by the scientific method and stand the test of time. I’ve read many of your posts and the gist of them seems to be - whether you intend it or not - that because of the atheistic views held by many scientists, the science itself isn’t valid. You also seem to obstinately cling to the belief that posters who accept evolution are closet atheists themselves, which I find highly offensive.

Yes, evolution is “God’s modus operandi”, and holding that belief is completely compatible with Catholicism.


#22

Ed << Evolution is God’s modus operandi? Have you read The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins? Or the latest book by Sam Harris? >>

Evolution is God’s modus operandi for those of us who believe in God, and accept the fact of evolution. Period, end of story. :thumbsup:

I say one thing to you about the “new atheists”:

F***** Dawkins, Harris, Hitchens, and especially Myers.

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F***** = Forget :smiley:

For goodness sake, write your rebuttal to Dawkins and the “new atheists” and put their arguments to bed :smiley: like I am trying to do.

25 Book replies to Dawkins is not enough. We could use a couple dozen more. :stuck_out_tongue:

Phil P


#23

To dixieagle -

Here are my main points:

Textbook: random mutation + natural selection = answer

Catholic Church: random mutation + natural selection + God’s divine providence = answer

Obviously, for Catholics, the textbook is inadequate in a critical way. And if this information about divine providence cannot appear in the textbook, the Church needs to teach it and it does.

For the average person, the answer to the question of who we are must go beyong the realm of science. As Catholics, our identity is based on faith and actual history. Jesus Christ died and rose again for all men in real time. This is just as much a fact as any scientific fact. This unification of the scientific and divine revelation fully informs the human being as to his actual identity.

It was not me, but the Catholic Church who first noticed this problem of how ideology, things that go beyond the proper bounds of science, is being promoted.

Here is what Pope Benedict has to say about atheism:

reuters.com/article/worldNews/idUSL3016839520071130

From this article, it is clear that any group who wants to use science for its own ideological ends can cause trouble.

It is one thing to say, I am a scientist, and when I leave the lab, I’m an atheist. But it is another thing to link the two ideas and say, My scientific work confirms and supports my atheism.

If you go to any atheist forum, the general view is that atheists are better educated, are more rational than theists, and prefer the truth to what they call superstition or religion.

Theists are criticized as being ignorant, unwilling to learn, which sometimes just refers to not willing to accept what atheists accept, and are less rational by definition because they accept a belief in some invisible man in the sky.

I’m not trying to deny anyone their choice in believing or not believing, I’m simply pointing out that scientists are speaking up against a belief in God, mostly based on what they claim to know, even though, paradoxically, they cannot scientifically test for or locate God. So where again does their conclusion come from? The link exists.

God bless,
Ed


#24

Then, I don’t understand why you fight tooth and nail with others on these boards who accept evolution as a “virtually certain” theory, but who also believe in the role of Divine Providence in setting it all in motion, ensoulment, etc. I don’t think any of the Catholic posters disagree with this, or at least it hasn’t seemed so to me (I may not be a scientist, but I am well (Catholic) educated.

Given: Dawkins, Myers, et al, are atheists. Their opinions have no effect on me, and they will, in the end, get theirs.


#25

Divine providence is integral. It is not just ensoulment, it is not just getting the ball rolling. This kind of activity reduces God to God the kick-starter. This is the deist view that God started it and is no longer involved. He just drops in a soul and boom, done.

If you read part 69 of Human Persons Created in the Image of God, you see that without God, random mutation and natural selection cannot - cannot - do the job. No divine providednce = no evolution. They don’t get that. All they do is hold up the biology textbook. Here it is! The answer! Oh, and yeah, God was involoved in this vague, really not worth noticing way.

And keep going on and on about how it’s all natural. Before you know it, it all comes back to the textbook having all the needed info. The Church is saying, you’re missing something vitally important.

In the case of evolution and human origins, the science is insufficient. The answer is insufficient. But it’s just fine for the atheists who’ve I’ve debated elsewhere. And strangely, atheist scientists are taking their totally unscientific beliefs and saying - Look! The science supports this!! Supports what? Your total rejection of God - scientifically? That’s what I’m talking about.

Opinions? No, no, no. These people are going on TV as scientists and with the word Professor in front of their names. Like expert witnesses in courtrooms, they will give their expert views supported by the science. Would it suprise you that people would believe them?

God bless,
Ed


#26

My version would be:

Science Textbook: random mutation + natural selection = scientific answer.

Catholic Church: random mutation + natural selection + God’s divine providence = answer

and:

Catholic Church: random mutation + natural selection + God’s divine providence = theological answer

Obviously, for Catholics, the textbook is inadequate in a critical way. And if this information about divine providence cannot appear in the textbook, the Church needs to teach it and it does.

I was a Buddhist before I became a teacher. I taught Physics and Maths rather than biology, but there is no way I could or would have taught the Catholic version in school. My classes contained Catholics, Protestants, JWs, Jews, Muslims and Sikhs. There were probably a few Hindus in there as well but I was not absolutely sure. You canot force a specific version of a particular religion into a general science textbook, hence the science textbooks leave out all mention of religion.

For the average person, the answer to the question of who we are must go beyong the realm of science. As Catholics, our identity is based on faith and actual history. Jesus Christ died and rose again for all men in real time. This is just as much a fact as any scientific fact. This unification of the scientific and divine revelation fully informs the human being as to his actual identity.

It is fine to teach this in religion class, but please keep it out of the science class.

So where again does their conclusion come from? The link exists.

The link exists in Richard Dawkins’ mind, and you seem to agree with what he says.

rossum


#27

Tim -

Science is limited. Therefore, the Church provides the complete answer, not the textbook. However, on a Catholic forum, I will continue to bring up how some scientists want to turn people away from God by using what they call science.

You are just trying to dilute my answer.

If I had a certain belief and I met an average person who disagreed with me, that’s one thing. But if I met Professor So and So from Very Important University and he said, No, you’ve got it all wrong. I might be more inclined to listen.

Peace,
Ed


#28

I can see your point of view Ed and I completely AGREE and APPLAUD you on your stance. There are intellects here who are faithful Catholics or theists who may not see things as you do because it is a ‘given’ to them that God is the Causation of everything.

Your posts are NOT anti-science, but relate to the views of sceintists and the broad brush of generalization sometimes gives that impression.

That said, it is quite accurate that there is a sinister aspect amongst the claims of scientific discoveries or assertions derived from various fields of study. There most definitely is a view or attempt to remove God from the realm of “reality” and confine Him to the “supernatural” only!

If you say the statement, “Christians used to burn people at the stake!” as an example, you will see Christians rallying to defend, deny, explain, distance, themselves from the claims; some hiding in their denominations to free themselves of fault, or decry the actions of their forefathers.

When you see a scientist claim, “God is unnecessary in reality” you DO NOT see the ‘scientific body’ rally in the same manner. What you have are the sporadic views of those BRAVE enough to wave the flag, not just for God, if they’re theists, but for science in general. You do not see a unified cry of “You can’t say that, because ‘we’ (science) cannot prove that!”

If I have to fault you, it is only on your ‘equation’ somewhere above.

The evolutionist - Catholic’s view is:
God + species + mutation + adaptation = answer + God

Remember, we hold that He is as He said!
Alpha and Omega; Beginning and End.

Then again, I am NOT an evolutionist, so what the heck do I know?

:cool:


#29

“God + species + mutation + adaptation + ANSWER = God

To be more precise!

:cool:


#30

This is a somewhat common reply to the issue I was looking at.

I pointed out that 70% of scientsts identify themselves as atheist. This is vastly disproportionate to the numbers found in the general population (in the U.S.).

The response that is often given to that is “there are many scientists who profess to be religious”.

Ok, about 30% profess to be religous (or at least have some belief in God – the number who are actually “religious” is less than 30%).

To say that “many scientists” profess religion appears as an attempt to cover-up the fact that they are a small minority in the scientific culture. At the very least, it doesn’t address the issue I raised.


#31

Very good points.


#32

I think your views have more to do with the structure of society and the nature of civil laws concerning religion than with science itself in this case.

For example, Catholic schools could freely teach science with many references to God’s creation and to traditional Catholic philosophy which teaches that God is the creator of the natural laws and that His power can be seen in nature (through design, order, beauty and rationality).

In the same way, a society that was 90% Catholic, for example, could have “public schools” that taught the same thing.

I believe you’re from the U.K. and I don’t really know what the laws about the separation of religion and education are there, so it’s a different question depending on the country.


#33

This is not the science textbook publishers forum or the school board forum. This is the Catholic Answers forum. I think I have rightly pointed out the attempt recently, through popular books and supposedly scientific television programs, to explain away or regard as ‘natural,’ certain miraculous events in the Bible.

I am not attempting to dictate the content of secular textbooks. However, I want to shine a spotlight on those people who are taking their atheist act on the road and bringing their view of science with them. A science, they claim, and PBS and other programs claim, can disprove, well, just about everything that Catholics believe.


#34

Where I work everyone except for the receptionist is a scientist. Almost everyone is a PhD. Roughly 1/3 are atheists. This isn’t too surprising since most are PhD scientists who emigrated from China where atheism is the state religion.

None of them are militant atheists like Dawkins.


#35

I do think, however, that all textbooks should offer every possible theory, not just the one most atheistic scientists prefer. Intelligent design should be offered even if not explaining Who the Intelligent One is behind the design. It is a valid theory. I don’t see why not. If their theory is so true they should not fear competing theories.

Pax Christi tecum.


#36

Do you hate trees? How thick would a textbook have to be to include evolution, intelligent design, YE creationism, OE creationism, Islamic creationism, Hindu creationism (13.5 billion years is far too short a time), Zeus did it, Wiccan origins theory, Native American origins theory, Native Australian origins theory etc. “every possible theory” covers an immense range of possible theories.

Far simpler just to include science in a science textbook. ID can be included when it has shown itself to be science; until now it has not done so.

rossum


#37

I like the new policy in Louisiana that permits some information about Intelligent Design (and some criticism of evolution) to be taught in public-school science class.


BATON ROUGE, Louisiana, June 27, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Louisiana public school teachers can now educate their students about the theory of intelligent design and scientific criticisms of Darwinian evolutionary theory thanks to a new law signed this week by Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal.

Lawmakers were enthusiastically in favor of the Act signed by Jindal. The state Senate had passed the bill (SB733) with a unanimous vote, and the state House had approved it by a vote of 93-4.

Supporters of the law have hailed it as a great step forward for academic freedom in the face of dogmatic proponents of evolution and man-made global warming, who have mischaracterized scientific/philosophical alternatives as “religion.”

Jindal, a Catholic with a biology degree, indicated his own affirmation of the bill in a statement saying: “I will continue to consistently support the ability of school boards and BESE to make the best decisions to ensure a quality education for our children.”

lifesitenews.com/ldn/2008/jun/08062706.html


#38

Good for them! They need to at least have the criticisms of evolution…

My whole issue is to present the whole story, not just the rosy “here is what we want to be true and pretend like no one contests it.”

Pax Christi tecum.


#39

No, tress are very good. I like 'em. :thumbsup:

All I am saying is that they should: (1) present legitimate criticisms and flaws of evolutionary theory and (2) present some alternative in general even if they can’t cover them all in detail.

Pax Christi tecum.


#40

There is only one scientific theory, Evolution. ID doesn’t even cut it as a hypothesis.


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