ambiguity

February 5, 2011

Ignorance

Filed under: Uncategorized — theinkhorn @ 2:02 pm

“I don’t believe in evolution.”

I manage, at the last second, to keep my jaw from falling to the floor. I haven’t heard that line in quite a while.

“Evolution is not a belief. It’s science. You know how you’re able to make calls on your cellphone? That’s science too. The scientific community has worked very hard to arrive at that conclusion.”

Caught off guard, I struggle to think of a suitable an analogy.

“Yeah, but I just don’t believe that we came from apes. That’s all. Besides, that’s just the scientists’ opinion.”

At that moment, I am suddenly very aware of where I am, and the people around me. My brain does the math and tells me that it’s best I leave it alone. And I do, with my jaw clenched and my palms sweating. But not before this works its way out my vocal cords:

“Yeah, what do scientists know. They’re just extremely intelligent people who know more than any of us ever will.”

The complete lack of understanding aside (humans didn’t come from apes. We ARE apes.), the certainty with which she announced her thoughts irritates me. Sure, a lot of us can’t tell the difference between apes and monkeys. Even more of us don’t know that they share a common ancestor. But it isn’t the not knowing that’s bad. It’s the not wanting to find out. Religion, of course, plays the major part in this foolishness. For too long, too many people have been contented to sit back and rely on their religious readings, the texts they believe to be the moral and scientific authority, the currency with which we measure kindness and intellect.

If only they take the time to read it cover to cover.

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2 Comments »

  1. Saying “We ARE apes” is a fallacy in itself, there are loopholes in the theory of evolution, which is why its called a theory not a fact. I don’t believe in evolution either, for the simple fact that it has not been proven. Science is not equal to evolution, it is a theory they’re testing out, and really? Calling credibility for the mere fact that it was thought of by scientists? Then perhaps you should consider the validity of Christianity seeing as you put much stock in a scientist’s ability to judge, afterall, many great scientists were Christians as well (Gallileo, Mendel, Newton.

    Perhaps less biased reading will show you that Evolution remains a theory because there are still so many missing links scientists have yet to be able to prove.
    http://www.newsweek.com/2009/01/16/the-sins-of-the-fathers-take-2.html
    Besides, don’t dismiss Christianity so easily, some scientific facts are supported by the bible and vice versa after all.
    http://emporium.turnpike.net/C/cs/evid1.htm

    One of the greatest scientists once said, “Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.”
    I am a skeptical Christian at best and write this not as an argument but as an invitation to seek the view from both sides of the fence, and to perhaps show my stance, that science and religion can co-exist, that there is no actual need to take such a harsh view on things

    Comment by Alex — February 8, 2011 @ 5:05 pm

  2. Alex,

    Right from the start, you commit the fatal mistake of labeling evolution JUST a theory. A theory is not defined as something that isn’t proven. I’m going to give you the definition of a theory from the Oxford English dictionary.

    Theory: A scheme of system of ideas or statements held as an explanation or account of a group of facts or phenomena; a hypothesis that has been confirmed o established by observation or experiment, and is propounded or accepted as accounting for the known facts; a statement of what are held to be general laws, principles or causes of something known or observed.

    What you are referring to is a hypothesis. Evolution is indeed a theory, but it isn’t JUST one. To quote Dawkins:

    “Why,then, do we speak of ‘Darwin’s theory of evolution’, thereby, it seems, giving spurious comfort to those of a creationist persuasion – the history-deniers, the 40-percenters – who think the word ‘theory’ is a concession, handing them some kind of gift or victory?”

    I can assure you that scientists no longer seek to confirm evolution, simply because it has already been confirmed. BUT, I would like you to reread my post and note a few points.

    1: I did not in any way “call credibility for the mere fact that it was thought of by scientists”. I pointed out that they put in a lot of effort, and that they are intelligent, and that is how they managed to accumulate so much data. I called for logic, if anything.

    2. Perhaps I’m mistaken, but you seem to believe only in science if said “scientific fact is supported by the bible”.

    3. Scientists are, by definition, not allowed to judge. Science is impartial and neutral, and only seeks to discover, not pass judgement. We do not say water is liquid because scientists say so. We say it’s liquid because it’s molecules are further apart, and it has no fixed shape but has a fixed volume.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’ll assume that these missing links you speak of refer to the gaps in the fossil records, since it seems to be a favourite argument amongst apologist, creationists and… whatever you call yourselves nowadays. The truth is we don’t need fossils to prove evolution. In fact, we are extremely fortunate to even have found any to begin with. I can tell you, however, that it is EXTREMELY easy to disprove evolution. All you need is a single fossil in the wrong geological stratum, or as John Burdon Sanderson Haldane put it, “Fossil rabbits in the Precambrian”. Yet, somehow, we have had no such luck.

    Remember, Einstein also said this:

    “The word god is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this.”

    I have no doubt that you’re a skeptical christian, but perhaps you should be more skeptical of your religion. Religion by definition represents solidarity, not pluralism. Saying religion and science can co-exist is like saying ice can co-exist with tap water without melting. Forgive me if i come across as combative, but remember that my mind is still very open. If an argument is convincing, and there is proof (real proof, not reading from the bible proof), I will accept it as evidence that god indeed exists. Again, I’ve had no such luck.

    I suggest you pick up a copy of Dawkins’ “The Greatest Show On Earth”. It will provide you with a more detailed, and certainly more eloquent argument than I could provide. Perhaps you will see the light of logic then.

    Comment by theinkhorn — February 8, 2011 @ 7:33 pm


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