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Science and Religion News Updates

Please Read On for Intelligent Design News
  • Some Scientists Won't Acknowledge Religion: In a recent book review in Nature"A healthy draught of scepticism," criticized those who believe in supernatural events. The review author, Walter Gratzer, said that those who believe in various supernatural beings or reject that humans are descended from apes, "by the hand of God" have a "dense fog between the ears." How Gratzer knows that humans are descended from apes or that there is no supernatural is not discussed. What is discussed, however,. Gratzer quotes Oscar Wilde who said, "Man can always believe the impossible, but man can never believe the improbable." Perhaps here Gratzer is right, but that he misses is that people have different ideas about what is impossible and what is impossible. Those who believe they have had unequivocally clear experiences with the supernatural clearly would not see the existence of such as impossible. Perhaps Gratzer believes he has had no such experience, but then perhaps for him, the supernatural merely appears improbable. The question must also be asked, is it irrational to hold doubt of evolution? Intelligent design theory has better qualified and quantified the chances that various biological structures could evolve. William Dembski has found that the evolution of the flagellum must fall below the universal probability bound--below the standardly accept probability for things that scientists believe could possibly happen (under the most liberal standards) within the lifetime of the universe. Thus, perhaps Dembski, and many others, do doubt evolution not merely because they believe it is improbable--under their standards, it is impossible. Thus, perhaps Gratzer himself has no trouble believing the impossible (that evolution could occur) but cannot believe the improbable (that there is a supernatural). Regardless, Gratzer's tone is telling: as ID proponents, the IDEA Center does not believe that those who accept evolution are stupid. But can the same be said for scientists like Gratzer in how they perceive those who are skeptical of evolution? Gratzer says we have a "dense fog between the ears" and that the average scientist would experience "red-eyed apoplexy" at the mere mention of intelligent design. Apoplexy is defined as "A fit of extreme anger; rage" by Perhaps this extreme emotional response would seem to suggest that some scientists, such as Gratzer, find objective analysis difficult when it comes to accepting ideas that challenge evolution. (12/18/03)
  • Don't Question Scientism or You'll Have to Deal with Vinny: In a Sunday Times (London) article, writer Bryan Appleyard describes his experience when he questioned science's claims to omniscience in his article, "Mugged by the science mafia." Appleyad states that there is a "conspiracy ... of a group of scientists" that is "fired by the ideology of scientism -the belief in the omnicompetence of science." Appleyard dared to raise the possibility that scientists may sometimes use their work inappropriately for political purposes. Though resistance was to be expected, he was surprised by the type of resistance he encountered from scientists. In a parody of "Al-Queda," Appleyard calls the response "Al-Scientism"--he found it manifested in such experiences as, "extraordinary personal assault[s]," being "misquoted and misrepresented," being called a " failed intellectual," and one Oxford Chemist who said during his introduction to Appleyard nothing more than, "I despise you." Appleyard contends that there are two facts that are true whether scientists like it or not: 1) "science's belief in the ultimate explicability of reality is a faith," and 2) "most science, most of the time, is provisional. It offers possible versions of possible truths; 'scientific' means not 'definitely' but 'maybe'." (11/30/03)
  • Chemistry analogous to religion: An article from Chemical Engineering News, (Science, Religion, and the Art of Cold Fusion; click here for table of contents), repeats the oft-made claim that, "the claims of science rely on experimental verification while the claims of religion rely more simply on faith" but goes on in rare acknowledgement that, "science also can, at times, require a measure of faith in the workings of the scientific method." "Cold fusion" provides "a case in point" where the author notes that mass-followers of chemists gathered, in a religious-like ceremony, to learn about cold-fusion. The purpose of this, the author says, was ultimately to affirm their "faith" in the scientific method. (8/25/03)

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