‘Science Flies Us To The Moon, Religion Flies Us Into Buildings’

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About Jim Rigby

Rigby is a Presbyterian Minister in Austin Texas. In 2007, Jim was named “Texas Public Citizen of the Year” by National Association of Social Workers for his work on gender, economic, and racial issues. Jim has written for Huffington Post, Common Dreams, and other sites, but now his focus is on this blog, JimRigby.org as a place for a deeper discussion of the relationship between religion and politics.

Comments

  1. wellokaythen says:

    A well-written, impassioned article here, but a bit of a strawscientist argument to present science in this way. Much of this seems to be blaming something loosely called “science” for a point of view that is historically much more a product of religion.

    Yes, there are some people claiming to have science on their side who behave exactly the way you describe, but they do not necessarily represent the “scientific” way of thinking. Certainly there are arrogant, holier-than-thou know-it-alls who claim to speak for science, just as there are for religion, but they are simply giving science a bad name. There are plenty of actual scientists who approach the study of the universe with a clear sense of humility and who don’t think they have all the answers and who don’t see themselves as gods.

    Anyone who approaches “science” with arrogant certainty is NOT thinking scientifically but is thinking more like a religious zealot in the first place. A true scientific approach creates tentative truth claims, not statements of divine certainty. What’s described in this article is the continuing effects of a religious mindset on popular notions of “science” and NOT a rejection of religion. You see something similar when many Americans today think they’re defending the theory of evolution but still think there’s some sort of “design” going on except by Nature instead of God. That’s just a new form of religion. I’m referring to people who don’t really understand the science behind the theory of natural selection – it’s the pop culture misunderstanding of evolution that’s the problem , not the science itself.

    In fact, what the article suggests, to have some humility and not assume the universe is made for you or made for you to understand, is perfectly compatible with real, professional science. It’s more the realm of religion that has been obsessed with making gods and the universe in man’s own image, not science.

  2. Science also makes nukes, biowarfare, extremely terrible scientific experiments on humans and animals, etc. Science isn’t good or bad, it just IS and it’s how we use it that matters…..just like religion.

  3. Hi Jim – I think you are confusing/conflating the methods for understanding (the scientific and religious methods) with human limitations of understanding and adoption.

    The latter will influence all aspects of existence and can be mitigated with expanded knowledge and some form of checks and balances. The former is where attention and a shift away from religion towards science is required.

  4. Cajunmick says:

    Dear Jim:
    Enjoyed this article. I agree that science/reason and faith/intuition are not necessarily oxymoronic. I believe both can compliment one another, if both are understood, expressed, and utilized wisely.

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