This explains an awful lot about certain members of deeply conservative religious right who tout such winning ideas as:
- Creation science
- Women not being able to get pregnant by legitimate rape (Rep. Todd Akin)
- Windmills using up non-renewable wind resources (Rep. Joe Barton)
- Carbon dioxide not being a harmful substance (Rep. Michelle Bachmann)
- Geocentric universe
Seriously, geocentricism. Galileo Was Wrong is an entire website devoted to it, written by a man who “obtained a Ph.D. in religious studies from the Calamus International University, a private, unaccredited distance-learning institution located in Republic of Vanuatu.” (Wikipedia)
“I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.”“It is surely harmful to souls to make it a heresy to believe what is proved.”“By denying scientific principles, one may maintain any paradox.”
I always liked how Thomas Aquinas believed that Faith (Religion) and Reason (Science) could work together. I have had numerous debates with ‘scientists’ on the matter. I agree that there are ‘religious’ people that are so closed minded that their eyes, sadly it is their mouths that stay open. However, I have dealt with some ‘open minded’ scientific people who were just as closed minded. I feel that what it really comes down to is the ability to learn. I have found that there are people who believe they have mastered everything that there is to know about a certain topic and that they ‘know everything’, to them I say that they are truly stupid. Simply because those arrogant people are usually the ones who are in our institutions of higher learning, certainly not ALL but there are some. My belief is that if you cannot LEARN, then you have lost the ability to teach and are not useful in the classroom. How could someone who feels they do not need to learn be qualified to teach?
Unfortunately, I only know Aquinas from summary and quotes (I’ve tried reading him but find his language boggling), but I also like his message. Not only can faith and reason work together, but true faith and true rationality will *always* work together, according to Aquinas. If you find them at odds, then you’re not correctly understanding one or both.
For me personally, I generally see science and religion addressing different things: physical world versus spiritual world. You don’t use one to explain the other. But they also should not be disagreeing. A faith that expects me to understand the world in a way contrary to how it clearly works is not a faith for me. I’ve never been one to wield the phrase “you’ve just got to have faith.” No, I choose to have faith, and that faith is based on reason, understanding and personal experience.
Aquinas is tough but that is how they wrote in his time. Imagine him trying to read ‘texting’ today! It is a good point too how Religion and Science address different things but like all pursuits, they do intermingle at points and I like how you phrased, ‘If you find them at odds, then you’re not correctly understanding one or both.’ I think everybody struggles with faith at some point because we, human beings, are curious creatures and we want to KNOW what is going on, just let a patrol car with sirens pass you and everyone will be looking the way it went even though they know they cannot see it. We are curious it is in our nature, among other things that are not so good.
I can read Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa and Marcilio Ficino without trouble, although they’re a couple centuries later. But I get your point.
In my experience, only the best scholars come from unaccredited long-distance schools on Vanuatu.
I don’t know if you remember a video on evangelicalism called Jesus Camp (years old now), but my favourite/most chilling moment was always the one where a home-schooled kid turns to the camera and says something on the order of:
“I’m so glad Galileo repented before he died.”