Sunday, March 23, 2008

Science and Faith

Science and faith both make truth claims with far-reaching consequences for human life and how we understand it. They address many questions in common.

One of these is a way to get to reliable, repeatable, accessible truths, and the other is not.

One uses a proven and nonsubjective method to find and validate its truth claims, and the other does not.

Because science and faith are not equal in the method by which they produce the results they produce, they are not morally equivalent. Nor are they deserving of equal esteem.

They are not, under some surface or other, the same thing -- they are not two paths to the same ultimate destination. To assert this would be to write a teleology for which there is no evidence.

We can wish the conflict away, and celebrate points of common cause and comity. We can push the conflicts to the margins and declare a pox on them. This will not erase the fact that science and religion offer distinct ways of getting to the truth, and that these differences matter.

Sometimes people will notice this conflict and choose not to wish it away. They will embrace the conflict for the sake of truth, heedless of the 'politics' of doing so, because truth is, unavoidably at times, despite our fondest wishes, more important than getting along.

This is my tendentious, longwinded and fever-fogged prologue to the unfolding conflict between a pack of liars pushing a fraudulent abuse of science, a group of evolutionary biologists who won't shrink from calling the liars on their lies, and an officious communications expert. Here's a good enough starting point for catching up on it -- it's quite a drama over a deplorable film.


Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis said...

Thank you for not only knowing of the word teleology, but knowing how to use it.

You rock major ways.

Zennalathas said...

Major Ways!

Dale said...

SJKP, Zen, you could say my entire life to this point has been aiming toward this moment when I could finally use 'teleology' in a blog post. You could say that. Everyone would think less of you for saying it even as they forced an uncomfortable giggle, but still, you could say it.