Just Darts Since 2009
A (partial) retraction
July 12, 2008Posted by on
Reader Brittany Marie makes a good point about my last post.
…[W]hile I understand that you are not happy, it does not seem very good of you to post half the story and then blame it on his scientific occupation. The interaction of science and religion is not that clear cut for you to make such an assumption.
She was the only commenter who mentioned this, and it’s the one part of my post I think I’d do differently. I should have left out this part:
And scientists are always butting heads with the Church because the Church says things like, “Well yes, you can do things like cloning embryos but you shouldn’t, and here’s why…” To which the enlightened scientists respond by screaming, falling down and kicking their heels against the floor. Because they’re so smart and important and how dare you judge them?
Not good writing, and not clear thinking.
My problem is that I don’t have much patience for people who believe that science can prove anything about God. (I’m thinking of Richard Dawkins, here.) Or, for that matter, that the Bible (Koran, Torah, etc.) can prove anything about the physical world. (Feel free to discuss Gallileo below.)
However, while the Church has rightly backed off from overruling scientists’ findings, there are a number of scientists who show no such humility. They seem to believe that science is capable of having anything to say on the subject of God, when science is only useful in understanding the material world.
In a way, it’s like the conflict between relativity theory and quantum theory. They each work perfectly in the spheres for which they were designed, but if you try to use them both you get gibberish. (That’s only an analogy. The intersection of scientific research with correct moral teaching has resulted in the capability of producing stem cells without cloning humans.)
All that said, I shouldn’t have characterized scientists en masse as a bunch of babies who can’t bear to be told “no.” That was not helpful to the discussion.