Monday, July 25, 2005

Intelligent Believers

I am more than annoyed at the Religious Reich these days for any number of reasons, not the least of which is their current anti-scientificism. Why those folks believe that evolution is ungodly is beyond me. As most folks know, I am a Christian (albeit a rather heretical one), and I fail to see how evolution is inconsistent with a mature spiritual belief system.

Andrew Greeley agrees with me. In his column in the Sun-Times, he puts it quite eloquently.

My leap from beauty to Beauty is not scientific. It is philosophical, metaphysical, religious. Science, however impressive, however sophisticated as a way of knowing, cannot leap beyond itself and should not try. Evolution is godless only because it lacks the tools to make an act of faith or of non-faith. The biologist must make either a leap of faith or non-faith (or hide behind the shield of agnosticism). But his biology no more constrains him to one answer than to the other. My faith does not constrain me to question or to support his evolutionary models. As a scientist (of a sort) myself, I have to say that his model seems to be only one that fits the data. My faith in Beauty (design, if you wish) is not an alternative to his, but exists in a different order of knowledge, an order which one must protect from invasion by science, just as one must protect science from invasion by religion. [Emphasis added]

Whether one believes (as I do) that there is something that stands behind the universe and holds it lovingly, or one believes that there is no such force, the facts as we know them (and operate under) tell us important and useful things. I, for one, am grateful that there were emergency room doctors, nurses, and technicians who have trained in science available a short time ago when I needed them. I think my faith was enhanced with that experience.

You go, Fr. Greeley!

[Note: Thanks to DWD at Eschaton for the tip. By the way, DWD has written a great book on a holocaust survivor. Go here for more info]


Blogger Eli said...

I'm not religious, but I always figured it made more sense for God to work *within* the system, abiding by the rules He/She created. Intelligent Design is unnecessary and implausible.

If it's meant to imply (as I believe it is) that Man is the pinnacle of Godly design, then why do we have appendices? Or tonsils? Or wisdom teeth? Or (IIUC) a whole mess of DNA that's just filler or leftovers and doesn't really do much?

We don't really seem like the pinnacle of design so much as, well, something that just evolved haphazardly from other organisms, and hasn't gotten around to eliminating extraneous parts yet. Again, if we were *designed*, why would there be extraneous parts at all?

6:25 PM  

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