Re: On credulity and religion
12 Jul 1996 20:11:39 -0600
In article <email@example.com>,
Rosemary G. Scott <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
>explain. Personally, I find the concept of God to be completely
>rational on its own, yet when one contrasts it with the theory of
>evolution, it becomes infinitely more rational. I don't know why
>people have a problem in accepting a God that always was and always
>will be, when the same folks can take a mass of chemicals floating
>around in the universe for granted--accepting on faith that this mass
>collided, exploded, cooled, and grew amebas who in turn acquired more
>cells which brought forth all of life as we know it. Thank you Mr.
>Darwin, our very own jolly Santa Claus!
This is not, of course, a fair description of the large body of evidence
supporting evolutionary theory. Accepting something "on faith" suggests that
no evidence for or against a belief exists, which is simply not true in the
case of scientific theories. See the sci.origins FAQs for the details
In my view, the power of ideas which supposedly explain the world is best
tested by their ability to predict things. Evolutionary theory has proven
powerfully predictive about the design of organisms and their behavior.
Warnings by evolutionists about antibiotic resistance is an obvious,
recent example of predictions which could not have been derived from a
literal or metaphoric reading of Genesis, for instance. Predictions about
the genetic nature of senescence and death are another. Inclusive fitness
theory is another. And so on.
Biblical scholarship, while potentially valuable with regards to moral
issues, has been a dismal failure at correctly predicting things about
the physical world. Flat earth. Geocentric universe.
Creationism. Unchanging allele frequencies. Etc.
If predictive value is the true measure of the merit of ideas, there's simply
no contest. I'll take reductionist biomedical researchers over faith healers