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Unpopular Ideas

Ramblings and Digressions from out of left field, and beyond....

Location: Piedmont of Virginia, United States

All human history, and just about everything else as well, consists of a never-ending struggle against ignorance.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Science vs. Religion: Truth vs. Ideology

Regularly something called the "National Liberty Journal" shows up, unbidden, in my mailbox. A product of Jerry Falwell's nearby Lynchburg church and college empire, it bills itself as the "Conservative Christian's Newspaper." As there is no way that I'm in tune with the tenets of this little rag, I can only guess at how I came to be on the free subscription list. My chief and only suspect is a guy I know who is a faithful member of Falwell's Thomas Rodes Baptist Church, and, knowing how opposite my views are to his, he put in my name as a practical joke.-- an act of malice that is fully characteristic of those on his end of the political spectrum.
My wife wants me to take steps to stop getting this thing, but I've resisted. The organ is printed on cheap newsprint, and that makes it valuable for starting fires in my several stoves. There's a definite delight to setting a match to its pages. Also, I don't do stuff like surfing the websites of the Pre-Fascist Right, and this journal is an easy way for me to keep up with their nonsense.
Not that I really need to. Nothing the Hard Right says or does ever surprises me, and I could write all their stuff for them. One has only to detect the hateful and illogical side of any issue, and there the Right is sure to be.
So for instance this latest March issue contains several attacks on the reality of global warming.. The main one is titled "The Great Myth of Global Warming," from one of Falwell's recent sermons.
It should be a little surprising that they would come out so strongly against what is widely accepted nowadays as a cold fact, as palpable as electricity or concrete. They should know that scientists can measure all the carbon dioxide that is collecting in the atmosphere and that is so largely a part of human industrial activities, and that this CO2 creates a greenhouse effect, keeping heat from escaping into space.
The only answer must be that because Al Gore and others of his persuasion are working against the perpetrating of excessive global warming, the Rightists believe that arguing in the opposite direction is the way to go, even if their argument chiefly consists of saying that the warnings must be bogus because look at those who are making them, those miserable liberals.
The religionists like to say that they deal in truth, when in reality nothing could be farther from the truth. Science, however, does deal in facts, and therefore in truth. As proof of this, you have only to look the products of religon as compared to those of science. If a Roman or a Chinese or a Ugandan of the 3rd century B.C. could check out today's humans, as affected by all the intervening years of prayer and worship, they would just yawn, seeing no significant improvement over the mindsets of the tribesmen of their times. Even slavery, which on the surface has apparently gone out of style, still exists, only in less easily attacked forms.. But if they could check out the thousands and thousands of products of science obtained as a result of the work and the progression in thought in those same centuries, culminating in such wonders as computers, tv's, and surgical instruments and procedures, they would be struck dumb with awe.


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