Friday, May 09, 2008

God and Science

Yuval Levin's article in the New Atlantis "Science and the Left" and Michael Gerson's WaPo column on it, "A Phoney 'War on Science'", bring up some excellent points.

Scientism - the belief in science at the exclusion of religion - leads to the conclusion that all human beings are not created equal. As Levin says:

"Science, simply put, cannot account for human equality, and does not offer reasons to believe we are all equal. Science measures our material and animal qualities, and it finds them to be patently unequal."

If we are all random products of billions of years of evolutionary accidents, then we are not all special or equal. It then follows that the mentally and physically handicapped must be genetic "mistakes." If they are mistakes, then they must be remove and a more controlled, ordered society created. This thought gave rise to the early 1900's eugenicists and the Nazis.

Levin and Gerson quote Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger as saying in 1922:

"Drastic and Spartan methods may be forced upon society if it continues complacently to encourage the chance and chaotic breeding that has resulted from our stupidly cruel sentimentalism."

This view cheapens human life and makes it expendable. It is no coincidence that Sanger's group Planned Parenthood engages in what Gerson calls one of our modern-day version of eugenics - abortion. Genetic selection and manipulation through invitro fertilization, cloning, and embryonic stem cell research also qualify.

Alternatively, the idea of human equality is a uniquely Judeo-Christian idea stemming from the belief that we are all made in God's perfect image. If we are all "endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights," then we are all equal and valuable merely for being human. God doesn't make "mistakes;" we all have a purpose.

Science and religion should not be mutually exclusive. In fact, some of the greatest scientists (Copernicus, Galileo, Bacon, Kepler) allowed their religion to inform their scientific study and vice-versa to produce fantastic results.

Albert Einstein once said, “Science without religion is blind and religion without science is lame.”

Sir Isaac Newton: "Gravity explains the motions of the planets, but it cannot explain who set the planets in motion. God governs all things and knows all that is or can be done."

Levin and Gerson are right to expose the Left's campaign to dictate only one narrow view science and discredit the work of those who may harbor a belief in the Almighty.

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