Friday, August 24, 2007

Religion, evolution and science...can they coexist?

For many people religion has all the answers, for others it's all about science. For people like me there are doubts (sometimes a lot of them) but discussion is always welcome and interesting. We might agree on many things, and disagree on others but mutual respect is the way to go. I created this BLOG for you, students of BIO124. You will be blogging as well because you will have marks for this...but mostly because, like me, you just might like to blog and share your ideas and opinions.

Looking forwards to meet you soon!


Mithrandir said...

I think this is a good idea.
This forces me to regenerate my old blog (Asperger mentality) from death 3 years ago.

Lars Reese-Hansen said...

Ah, this is so philosophical… :)

First of all I would suggest that the answer to this question really depends on one's point of reference (and there are more than those that lie between two extremes). Adherence to any doctrine, whether an orthodox or evangelical (in the broad sense) view of science or religion, leaves one unable to look and appreciate the larger context of the world. This is because these views do not allow one to look beyond the confines (rules) of ones faith based on the belief in a particular way of comprehending the world. Interestingly, in many respects, both perspectives are attempts to make sense of, or validate our existence, perceived reality, and mortality.

However, the world and universe are so vast and complex that we have little hope of ever knowing -- or even touching the surface of -- our existence or relevance here. While I acknowledge and support the scientific process as one which enriches our understanding of life, it is the mystery and (infinite) inability for us as a species to comprehend the full extent of our existence here-and-now that provides the basis for a spirituality.

For example, I am awed and fascinated by the process by which something microscopic can become a whale, a redwood tree, or the mycelia of various forest dependant fungi that have persisted for thousands of years and span dozens of square kilometres (the oldest and largest known creatures on earth). Yet, I have no concept of these species (or our own) relevance in the large scheme of things. It just simply amazes me that they/we do and can exist at all. Perhaps, in this way, I would say my religion is a deep acceptance and respect for the miracle of our existence and everything around us -- without judging it.

Dominic B. said...

Lars...can not agree more! Such beauty, such order. But this order and beauty, to my humble opinion, are a manifestation of mathematical, physical and chemical a way we can explain them. What amazes me is that all that science seems to be coherent... Thanks for this philosophical comment...we all need a bit more philosophy in our lives (I think)

Chicken said...

Yes they can:
The first thing students are usually introduced to in philosophy is how to ask questions. Later they are taught how to analyze them. For instance: Is their a Supernatural being? And if I had more time I would make this into a chart that everyone has already seen:

1) To believe in a supernatural being:
A) The rewards are great
B) Nothing

2) To NOT believe in a supernatural being:
A) Eternal Damnation
B) Nothing

This is just for all those people who don't beleive in anything. I respect all religions and realize that some don't support the theory of evolution, and I'm fine with that. However, since we live in a diverse world with all kinds of people, I thought I'd share. From the information above it doesn't hurt to beleive in something, eternal damnation only gets you if you don't (Only in case 2B though). So pick something to beleive in while studying Biology.

It's probably apparent by now that I do support evolution. Some of the kinks need to be fixed, but because Biology is so vast it seems as soon as something becomes super hard to a researcher they move on to something more fun and less stressful, like digging up fossils, or categorizing this chipmunk to that one. I think it's due time to start crunching some numbers and comparing them. Or to do those experiments the government won't allow.

Basically, I've heard enough of what lineages are incomplete. There are ones which have decent data: compare them.

Or determine what in an organism can change chromosomes thus creating natural selection. I find it no coincidence that a finch who needs a bigger beak to hull seeds "magically" gets one. Maybe an increase or decrease in stimuli to a part of the body determines this type of mutation.

False proof: Only SOME people get all four of their wisdon teeth....maybe some people's whatever it is tells chromosomes to turn them off because we don't use them anymore. Maybe in 500 years we'll cease to have them.

Anyhow, I'm Pro- Evolution, and for the most part Pro- Religion. Treat Biology as work; preach (not that their's anything wrong with this) outside the lab.

Chicken said...

Dominic B. said...

Chicken...thanks for that comment! If God exist...if He loves us like people says He (or She) does...why eternal damnation? If He is the creator then He must have known that some humans would eventually doubt...eternal damnation seems very harsh when all you do that's "bad" is to be skeptical....