Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Religion vs. science? Roots of the conflict - audio lecture by John Hedley Brooke (This free lecture can be found at the Faraday Institute)

Quotes and comments;

1. I can't say I'm a big fan of Brooke, but the lecture is interesting in that you get a good feel, I think, for how the English academic sees the creation/evolution debate. (It was recorded in 2007.)

2. Brooke mentions some 'well known writer' on these issues who said; ''there Must be a conflict... because 'science' respects evidence and there is No evidence for 'religious' ideas." (Was this Dawkins? sounds like him.)
- we see here again how materialists always seem to end up personifying science and nature. Science isn't a person and can't therefore respect (or disrespect) anything.
- to say there is no evidence for 'religion' is a vulgar, unscientific statement. The author (who apparently sees himself as a mindless bit of matter) cannot possibly know this. He'd have to be god to know this. And we might ask what right one particular blob of matter has to deny the opinions and experiences of other people.
- as I see it, the heart of this so called conflict (between 'science' and 'religion) is the finite and fallible mind of man opposed to the infinite and perfect mind of God. The conflict stems from man denying what god has said.

3. Adam Sedgwick (relying naively on the fossil record) says ''we can see in the 'distinctive' layers that creatures appear that were not there before..... thus they were not created by god."
- This would be comical if it had not been so serious. As a logical arguement this is fallacious. It depends on the rocks being a perfect snapshot of the past; which Sedgwick could in no way prove. (It also ignores variation within 'kinds' which no biblical creationist of our day would deny.) This argument depends upon a theory of the rock layers, not upon reality. We might call it the photograph fallacy.

4. Brooke wants to sit on the fence in the C/E debate. He just takes as a matter of course that evolution theory is true. He wants to claim evolution has nothing to do with religion. ( i.e. no more than the chemical composition of water.) He claims that E. is merely a technical scientific theory. I find this disingenuous. As a historian of science (for 40 years) he's surely aware that E. was a favorite idea of the ancient Greeks. It's clear to me that evolution is basically a religious doctrine; an essential part of the Materialist world view. (As an aside I think it's important to note that evolution is rarely taught in its historical context.)

5. The q+a might be the best part of the lecture.

6. Brooke refers to the "propaganda machines of the young earth creationists... and even the Intelligent design folk."
- I really have to wonder if he's kept up with his biology. I see little evidence for this. (Over and over I see Christian academics who have little knowledge of modern biology attack creationists for critiquing evolution. In fact the less they know the more fierce their attacks seem to be.

7. I was startled to hear a member of the audience refer to the current head of the church of England as his idea of a true Christian. (Isn't this the guy who denies the existence of God; denies the deity of Christ; denies miracles; denies creation; favors homosexuality and witchcraft; etc.? (Anyone who bases their faith on the Bible is apparently a fanatic.)

8. It's amazing to me but Brooke wants to compare Dawkins and his idea that 'religion' is the root of all evil, with the young earth creationists who claim Darwinism is satanic. Both are extremists he tells us. (The answer to the science vs. religion debate apparently is; join the church of England and believe in evolution.)
- the kind of Christianity Brooke espouses seems like Deism to me.


Post a Comment

<< Home