Tuesday, August 14, 2007

An Approach to the World...

I think the issue many fundies have with science (read specifically evolutionary sciences...) is that they try to approach it in the same style as they approach their bibble (aka, infallible word of sky daddy...). They hear something.... oh, let's say, "Homosexuality is an abomination." They say, "Okay, it's an abomination. I'm not gay, so I have no issue with that. I never thought about it before as it has no bearing on my immediate life. It stands." And hence, homosexuality becomes "wrong" in their eyes.

And then they flip on the news and hear about how some scientists think that man's family tree needs revised, something about linear descent, tree branches, a little revision to the thinking prior to some discovery, and instead of thinking, "Okay, so they need to rearrange how they think it happened in light of the new evidence," they instead think, "Oh, so I suppose evolution is wrong. It doesn't agree with how I was taught to read Genesis anyway, I can't see any immediate impact on my life, so therefore, evolution is bunk. It stands."

Of course, this line of thinking tends to be faulty:

Person A: You know, PennDOT put up a stop sign when they should have put up a yield sign.
Person B: But they still put up a sign, and it gets people to pay attention to other traffic approaching the intersection.
A: But it said in the news that they would put up a stop sign.
B: Maybe in light of traffic reports and census data of the area, they thought a yield sign would make more sense? Who knows.
A: But it's wrong! The news said they would put up a stop sign! I swear, all of PennDOT needs gotten rid of. They can't even decide whether there should be a stop sign or a yield sign!
B: But they did decide. Only after the news that a sign was going up did they decide a yield sign makes more sense, and so after looking at the new data that they found out about and read over, they put up a yield sign instead.
A: Are you paying attention? That's a yield sign!!
B: Yeah... and?
A: You can't trust anyone in the government these days. It's all lies.
B: It's a sign. A stupid yield sign. It means the media didn't think the change was newsworthy; it doesn't mean the government is untrustworthy...
A: The hell it doesn't! Who knows what else they've changed?! Should that have been a blinking yellow instead of a fully functioning light at Main and Chew?
B: Uh...
A: See? Who knows what to think anymore!!
Okay, perhaps that's a bit extreme, but you get the gist--a little data comes to light, people start discussing how it changes previously held notions, and the right-wing wants to go back and re-institute the bibble as the end-all, be-all, since nothing ever changes about the creation story (supposedly). "Who needs DNA? Who needs to know about the family tree? Who cares? God said this, that settles it."

And while simple little (useless) proverbs are all well and good in certain places and times, how our ancestors evolved, what DNA and RNA we share, and how we came to be are all very important issues in regards to diseases, genetic mutations, life-threatening virus's, bacteria, and how all of it reacts in certain creatures closer to our family tree, farther in our family tree--you know, medicine, bio-genetics, environmental concerns--the list is endless!

In fact, Kevin over at Memoirs of an Ex-Christian just blogged a great post on how ID fails to get us any closer to knowledge about how to make life better. And he makes a very valid point that creationists don't like to confront:

At face value this does seem like a noble idea: teach both creationism and evolution in schools, and let the kids decide. However, in my view, the problem lies in the fact that the primary aim of school is not to necessarily teach children what to believe, but to teach them what they need to know.
And therein lies the crux of the matter: religion is about feelings, faith, fasting, and "belief." Science is about facts: what we know, what we can verify, what we can touch.

All this is not to say that gut feelings and a little faith aren't good for man--something tells me a gut-feeling or two helped get us where we are today! But when guts and feelings start to equate themselves the same footing as verifiable data, tested theories, and natural law, something dangerous begins to happen: People no longer need a real reason for saying or doing anything (hence the very real fact that religion has caused more wars and deaths than non-religious reasoning...) Does science find out it was wrong? Yes--and rectifies what we know based on what we've found out. Religion, in most fundamental cases, does not. It digs in it's heels, quotes something from the holy book of choice, and states that because they believe, and feel that they are right, it therefore is a fact...

When, of course, it isn't. It may have all started back when people started saying things like, "It's how I feel, it's not right or wrong," which, when speaking of emotion, that's very true--emotions aren't right or wrong, it's how you react in light of what you are feeling, and how the emotion motivates you to act that could make a situation "right" or "wrong."

But then, is "faith" really an emotion or feeling? I think at it's most basic, yes. People don't believe things willy-nilly--they base it on how they feel about what they've heard, how it jives with what they've felt and thought about the world before, and Walla!, you have embraced faith in something--sometimes baseless, other times not-so-much--but always with a certain type of thought-process. Either a thought process that states, "This is what I'll go with until something presents itself to make this issue clearer," or a thought process that states, "Well, okay, there's my answer. It's decided and finished."

I'm wondering what makes people settle for one answer instead of looking and being open to new ones, or changing ones?

Of course, this is where a fundie will jump in and say, "You haven't given our ideas, our faith a fair shake--why aren't you open to those?" In which case I would reply, not only is it water-under-the-bridge for me, and I have been there and have done that, there is nothing new being presented by the ID crowd, nor the fundie crowd--just a blastedly determined group of people who wish everyone would stop thinking things and asking questions so much, as it makes it very difficult to continue to have faith in something that badly needs revising... A rehashing of been-there-done-that would be a regression in thinking, both process-wise and intellectually.

In which case, can I seriously hold it against people that haven't yet progressed past turn-of-the-millennial thinking and pseudo-science, especially in light of the concerted effort by more of those same people wishing to suppress basic facts to keep alive a practically-useless mode of thinking?

I just don't know at this point...

6 comments:

DaBich said...

It seems to me the key word in this entire post is...

THINK

which most of us as humans need to do more of.

Jason Hughes said...

And on that, we have common ground... :D

mom said...

hello jason! catching up on some of your blog things. still interesting. :) BUT if you remember fri. science couldn't get the weather forcast right and the last weather report i heard was around 8:30 am and by noon or a little after all kinds of weather came to attack my wash that i had so neatly put on the wash line! you called to find out if the tornado warning became real and blew away your house and i did not feel any calm cool front that was supposed to come until late fri. night. our local weatherman had to wear his bag over his head (he really did) this morning on his report on his mistake! :) that was science for you! i think science has some faith stuff also in it all. :) just thought i throw that in since i thought about this while reading this. love and prayers

Jason Hughes said...

I was wondering why he had that thing over his head...

The science of weather forecasting is a "predicting the future" based on past and present data and probabilities and liklihoods... It's a very different kind of science...

:D

mom said...

:) :) hello jason! :) i knew you would say that! but if you really are not around for the very beginning of time isn't it kind of like the same thing? looking at the past and present coming up with some # that seems about right? just my thought. wasn't it funny what joe did? i like joe. your dad and i are starting to build an ark now since it is raining. :) on my ark no spiders, snakes or kids come one. maybe some neighbors. :) snort i might have a soft heart and let you all on when the water comes up to the knees. :) just not for those snakes and spiders. your cousin dee actually held a snake while we were visiting our hairdressers place. her daughter had a "pet snake" and she brought it down to show us. (amy, do you remember her from me babysitting her when she was a little girl?) well, i did tell amy that i didn't raise her to have a pet snake so i blamed her mother. :) and what can i say about your cousin? something went wrong with her. might think twice about hanging with her. :) i touched it real quick like but the day i have a snake for a pet is the day i lost my mind. still say the only good snake is a dead one on a boot and that snake would of made a great boot. :) love and prayers

mom said...

:) :) hello jason! :) i knew you would say that! but if you really are not around for the very beginning of time isn't it kind of like the same thing? looking at the past and present coming up with some # that seems about right? just my thought. wasn't it funny what joe did? i like joe. your dad and i are starting to build an ark now since it is raining. :) on my ark no spiders, snakes or kids come one. maybe some neighbors. :) snort i might have a soft heart and let you all on when the water comes up to the knees. :) just not for those snakes and spiders. your cousin dee actually held a snake while we were visiting our hairdressers place. her daughter had a "pet snake" and she brought it down to show us. (amy, do you remember her from me babysitting her when she was a little girl?) well, i did tell amy that i didn't raise her to have a pet snake so i blamed her mother. :) and what can i say about your cousin? something went wrong with her. might think twice about hanging with her. :) i touched it real quick like but the day i have a snake for a pet is the day i lost my mind. still say the only good snake is a dead one on a boot and that snake would of made a great boot. :) love and prayers