PLEASE NOTE:

MyNews24 is a user-generated section of News24.com. The stories here come from users.

 
GMitch
 
Comments: 125
Article views: 986
 
 
Latest Badges:


 
View all GMitch's badges.
 

How to make Religion and Science Agree - Debunked. Part 1

27 February 2014, 10:10

How to make Religion and Science Agree - Debunked. Part 1

Introduction

Recently a trilogy of articles were published here on NEWS24 by the author XFactor. They can be found here:

Article 1 How-to-make-Religion-and-Science-agree

Article 2 Science-and-Religion-Part-II

Article 3 Science-and-Religion-version-3

The articles certainly generated much debate; however they were bursting at the seams with logical fallacy, scientific untruths, misconceptions, wishful thinking and poor arguments.

The title of the first article “How to make Religion and Science agree” is particularly telling and speaks to the authors own cognitive dissonance. Indeed how it is that one has to “make” the two subjects agree? It’s almost as if the author is tacitly acknowledging that it’s not an easy task, which one really has to work at trying to reconcile.

In a series of articles I will be tackling the several deficiencies of these articles and I hope to demonstrate to the reader that not only are the author’s reasoning fallacious but that science and religion cannot be “made” to agree because they are so very different indeed.

Article 1 - How to make Religion and Science agree

The author kicks off his article with the following Yes, I am a Christian and scientist at the same time!”. It is a claim that underpins his argument since he is trying to convince the reader that it’s possible to be both at the same time. Right at the outset when readers attempted to confirm whether the author was indeed a scientist, it became clear that whether or not the author had formal training in natural sciences, he was not going to reveal the fact to the readers.

To be clear in computer science the word science is used in a broad sense to denote reliable and teachable knowledge about a topic, as reflected in modern terms like library science, social science or political science. The author appears to be using the mileage on the term scientist, knowing full well the implications of the term in the context in which he uses it.

That being said of course the veracity or content of an argument has no bearing on the author’s qualifications, although the premise of his argument appears at the outset to be somewhat compromised.

The author then launches into his reasoning with a classic logical fallacy. He says “the scientific process cannot, with scientific certainty, prove that God does not exist! Nor can it disprove that the very scientific processes we celebrate today like evolution and natural selection have been in fact defined or put in place by a superior being!”, falling bum first into the burden of proof trap.

Scientists of course never made the claim of supernatural beings and as such have absolutely no burden of proof whatsoever. Theists make the claims that an intervening deity exists and has guided evolution and as such take on the heavy burden of demonstrating the claim. It’s really that simple. Don’t accuse science of not looking for your imaginary friend if you lost him in the first place.

This fallacy is repeated again later in the article “And to Science I say because you haven't seen God, it doesn't mean He doesn't exist!”. I’ll leave the why-it’s-not-science’s-business to look for your imaginary friends for a later article.

The author then proceeds to layout “assumptions” made by science, “One such law in physics is the law of conservation of energy, which “cannot” be broken. And one scientific assumption is that the same processes taking place today are the same ones that have always taken place in the past.” engaging in a strawman fallacy since the conservation of energy is a scientific law (a statement based on repeated experimental observations that describes some aspect of the world) and therefore not an assumption and uniformitarianism, while an assumption, is one based on tried and tested science for over two hundred years and hardly some arbitrary notion invented by scientists to deceive theists. The author proceeds to lump these two “assumptions” together for his strawman coup d’etat where he declares “How can the universe exist if both of these are true? It's easy to conclude that they cannot ultimately be both correct because we exist! So either one of these scientific tools is wrong, or both of them are inaccurate in some way.” Easy it appears to the author, who does not know a law from an assumption, strange that not a single real scientist has bothered to bring the profoundness of this fact to the attention of science!

The final paragraph of the first article is then used as an opportunity to trundle out the crowd favourite – Einstein, with the now famous aphorism “Science without religion is lame, and religion without science is blind”. Now a good lesson for the author is that if you are going to use the “Argument from Authority”, at least make sure your authority has the same opinion as yours. Needless to say Einstein was not a theist and took pains on many occasions to distance himself from theists who liked to use his comments (as in this case) to bolster their arguments. Furthermore a cursory study would have shown that this quote although used thousands of times by theists, has nothing to do with religion and is in fact together with the remainder of the full quote an explanation of how scientists have “faith” that the universe can be explained in some logical manner.

Finally, in the introduction to his first article XFactor says:

 “there are flaws in the scientific process that leaves enough room for “God””

This statement really sums the essence of the first article up. The author’s deity resides in the current “knowledge gaps” or “flaws” (mostly as a consequence of the author’s ignorance) in science. The author attempts to demonstrate “flaws” in science where the preferred deity can reside. It is a logical conclusion therefore that as science fills these gaps so the author’s deity will recede into ever smaller gaps.

In part two of my series of articles I will be investigating the second article in the trilogy of scientific nonsense.

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.
 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
125 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Dr. G. Dharmaraja
NUMSA launching the left party

NUMSA has been expected to fulfill the longstanding dream of South Africa’s toiling masses: a new movement for socialism.  Read more...

3 comments 198 views
Submitted by
Trevor McArthur
In defence of the opposition to s...

To the security cluster ministers: It is not the EFF that is posing a threat to national security but yourselves! Read more...

4 comments 132 views
Submitted by
Inspired Parenting
Parenting Leaders

A new law is being drafted in SA to stop parents smacking their children. This is extremely good news. Read more...

13 comments 116 views
Submitted by
JohnDough
Denied access to your children?

I understand that each and every divorce case is different, but the denial of access and withholding of maintenance are way too often used as weapons.  Read more...

6 comments 344 views
Submitted by
lizeka.maduna
Vagrants took to the streets

Scores of Vagrants took to the streets in Durban on Friday. Durban whoonga addicts paraded down West Street to the Durban City hall to hand over a memorandum to eThekwini mayor James Nxumalo.  Read more...

6 comments 412 views
Submitted by
John Madhiri
Freedom of expression

I get the idea that whilst we are free to express ourselves we should endeavour not to be offensive of to incite responses that lead to disharmony! Read more...

3 comments 142 views

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Up to 40% off fashion accessories

Save up to 40% on selected handbags, purses, watches, jewellery and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2000 on top electronics

Get every day mind bowing savings on top electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

As seen on TV - New book releases at only R199 each

Get mind blowing book savings on new titles. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to 50% on Women’s month treats!

Celebrate the awesome women in your life with awesome treats like beauty products, fashion accessories, bestselling books, electronics and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 60% off - clearance sale!

Save up to 60% on appliances, books, electronics, toys, movies and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

 

services

E-mail Alerts The latest headlines in your inbox

RSS feeds News delivered really simply.

Mobile News24 on your mobile or PDA

E-mail Newsletters You choose what you want

News24 on your iPhone Get News24 headlines on your iPhone.

SMS Alerts Get breaking news stories via SMS.

Blogs Your opinion on you, me and everyone.

Calais Website keywords automated by OpenCalais.

 
Interactive Advertising Bureau
 
© 2014 24.com. All rights reserved.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.