Tuesday, March 14, 2006

The State News - Scientists don't need to dismiss religion to be credible, accurate

Scientists don't need to dismiss religion to be credible, accurate:
-- Rudy Bernard

"In a recent column, "Evolutionary theory, science needed to vaccinate irrational beliefs" (SN 2/16), John Bice promoted science as a way of protecting us from irrational beliefs, such as belief in God.

For him, religion is a disease from which only scientific rationality can save us. He seems to be unaware that faith has a rational dimension expressed in theology, which was famously defined in the 12th century by St. Anselm as "faith seeking understanding."

One might disagree with any or all theological positions, but simply dismissing religion as irrational just doesn't rise to the level of serious intellectual discourse...."
Rudy Bernard doesn't mince words here. He sees a cultural war being waged by fundamentalists on both ends of the religious/secularist spectrum, and that for each side there is no middle ground.

Bernard is a professor emeritus of physiology and neuroscience at Michigan State University, so he isn't speaking of scientific issues as an outsider.

The logical error that secular fundamentalists make is to assume that all of reality is open to scientific study. Therefore if it cannot be studied, it is not real, and thus belief in the supernatural is irrational. The methods of science do not allow for testing negatives; the scientific method can only deal with what can be measured. To make statements that there is no God is not science, anymore than is postulating Intelligent Design.

The middle is caught in the crossfire between the fundamentalists of the fringes.

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