Aug 27, 2012

The Clash Between Science & Religion has Great Implications for the Quality of Our Lives

Humanity has been making technological, cultural and all sorts of other progress for millennia, but around the 18th century, with the culmination of the Englightenment and modern science leading the way, we've made huge leaps forward compared to the past.

In the last 100 years alone, we've doubled the average life expectancy. Our knowledge increased tremedously and with the improvement in the quality of life and education humanity changed the ways it organizes the society.  Progress, however, hasn't been linear, nor at steady pace, so the question is Why?

Good change, innovation, new ideas may occur whenever, as they were normally in the past, but the conditions/environment plays a great role. Who are more likely to produce technological advances? Who are more likely to be progressive or conservative? What are the obstacles to progress? Here are some:
  • ignorance (includes lack of education)
  • poverty
  • prejudice
  • religion

Why is it that a woman in an advanced liberal democracy fares so much better than the worst place in the world to be a woman, in Afghanistan? [beheadings for showing ..ancle]. Yes, the conditions are different, obviously, but the conditions within people's minds is what counts the most in the outcome!

Science versus religion

Where do the Taliban, the Ayatollahs, the suicide bombers, and the everywhere zealots who believe they must make all of us follow their lunacy get their ideas from? Do I need to give you the answer?... 

No, you can't say every group has its crazies. This may be true, but it's the doctrine of "we know the mind of god and you must oblige too under the penalty of death"... that is the root of evil. It's teaching the children and the gallible adults not to think, not to question, no to offer skepticism, not to know, because everything there's is to know is has been given to us by the Almighty.

In a safe, open & tolerant, and well-to-do society it's easier for people to be more relaxed, have the confidence, and the education to be able to evaluate and accept progressive change.

Why do people believe what they believe? Much is through repetition, culture, and religion. It would be much more ..natural to have the wrong ideas in an environment of ignorance where good information is hard to come by or is prohibited by the regime. But, why do people in the US reject evolution in favor of creation or so-called intelligent design? Why do they believe that a fertilized egg is a human being entitled to full rights as a born person? Why don't they know, for example, that most fertilized eggs don't make it to the uterus. Does this make couples who are trying to conceive ..serial killers?

Why do such people and their political leaderss have the regressive views of women and advocate policies that favor a xtian sharia law on American women? It's amazing that a major political party in the US spreads so much ignorance, superstition and fights against education, civil rights, egalitarian society, and the scientific method.

It's religious ideas that dictate people believe all sorts of stupid stuff. It's religion that makes a person believe and do anything! It's this virus of the mind that in transmitted openly, with the encouragement of the state, and it's considered a virtue to shun reason, empiricism, and skepticism. And, it has a "fail safe" mechanism: if challenged, it must be the devil who wants to destroy you!

Bill Nye (the science guy) has a good argument in that creationism is not good for children! I'd say infecting youngminds with a virus is a form of child abuse. At least, if an adult wants to be wilfully infected so be it.

Neil Armstrong was the first man on the moon because of the scientific method and the the US's interest in beating the Soviets in the space, and weapons race. We have a strange situation here in the US regarding science. We have a long luminous history of research and scientific breakthroughs, and many brilliant minds emigrating to the US to pursue such, but at the same time we have an incredible high level of scientific illiteracy among our people. 

The space exploration, for example, was made possible because of public education, public funds for R & D, NASA, etc. This must continue. Military calculations, wars, and national security concerns made leaders spend on R&D,  but how do we convince the non-scientificly inclided public that science is the best tool we've got to materially improve our lives?  The Cold War is over, there are huge budget deficits while a presidential candidate and his party want to make our society poorer, brutish, fearful, and ignorant. 

We have to ask, who benefits from people being ignorant, fearful (real and imagined threats), and prejudiced?  In a democracy, the people vote and the public sentiment has to be taken into account. However, we seem to indulge ourselves more on trivia than substance, and superfluous impressions than understanding of the issues. 

I just saw a poll that shows too many voters are seriously considering Romney instead of sending him and the GOP into one of the worst defeats (in hopes of shedding the lunacy) ever. The people who smashed the car and are still advocating the same insane driving practice may be given the keys to the car again this November! Amazing! Actually, it's stupefying.

This blog has been criticizing this president for governing like a wuss but we can't expect him to deliver a spiffy, fast, unblemished, like-new vehicle in such a short time, especially when he has to get Congress to agree to buy the parts needed for repairs.

Other than that Mrs Lincoln how did you like the play?....