Saturday, June 02, 2007

More thoughts on the Deace Piece

Okay, I’m getting all kinds of comments due to my last post in regard to the article in which Steve Deace has quite the little rant about Hector Avalos, the religion professor at ISU who has headed up some pointed petitions. I started to respond to yet another comment and got entirely carried away. I’m making it into a separate post because it’s getting to long for the comment section [besides that, I’ve been too busy to post much this week so this rambling post will have to do.]

The comment was as follows:
“my point was that you seem to dismiss the ideas of people who don't agree with you for reasons very similar to "they're angry materialists" or "scientists are only faith-based materialists" and other such unsupported nonsense.”
I believe that, *overall*, scientists are just scientists, atheists are just atheists, and theists are just theists. Period. Some are “angry”, some aren’t. But, individually, scientists have various worldviews that may on occasion affect their work, and there are certain fields of science that would obviously be more affected by a person’s worldview than others.

I don’t think most scientists give these religious or philosophical issues much thought in their day to day work, but there are those who do (both theists and atheists) due to the nature of their work. There is a point where science and theology merge, and there is absolutely no way to get around that issue, IMHO. There is also no way we are ever going to be able to eliminate either materialism or the question as to whether there is a supernatural component to our existence. So, all this anger directed toward each other is, in a sense, a waste of time and leads to nothing more than further hatred between groups of people. Beating each other up every day is getting us no where. FAST.

Having said that, I do believe that those heavily involved in this debate are fighting for the scientific theories that they feel are best supported by the evidence. I don’t think anyone is lying, but I do think that those of us fighting the hardest can’t get around the fact that our worldviews have an impact on how our minds perceive the information that we digest in regard to science and theology. Fr’instance, those who oppose my views regarding the issues in this debate believe that I am shunning reality. They feel that I am insincere in my quest for truth since I have stated many times that I feel Creationists and IDists have extremely compelling arguments for the scientific theories they put forth. They tell me “Creationism” is not science and that to accept it as such requires a blindness to science that is both willful and powerful.

Funny thing is that their belief that I am blinded may be spot on. For the absolute life of me, I cannot in my wildest imagination come to the realization that some of the theories these ardent evolutionists state as being a “fact” are indeed “factual”. I’ve considered the ToE from every freaking angle, and it is seriously lacking in many respects. And, when they tell me that “Creationism” is unscientific and proceed to explain why they feel that way, I truly believe they are the ones who are willfully blind. The work put out by Creationists and IDists (completely separate ideas) is science, and that is as plain as day. You can disagree with the interpretation of the evidence, but you can’t claim it isn’t science. Granted, there are some Creationists who state that if something doesn’t coincide with a particular interpretation of the Bible, we must dismiss it regardless of how compelling it may be. That doesn’t sound very scientific to me, but not all Creationists come at their work in this manner, and IDists certainly don’t.

Sometimes when I hear some of the statements that are thrown at me about willful ignorance, etc., it seems to me that some of those people have made science into their form of theology. They make it sound as if science is their only path to truth, and anything else is insignificant. There is almost a reverence for science in their tone, and they simply and quickly dismiss theology with a wave of their hand.

Truth be told, I consider their beliefs in the exact same way the perceive mine. They seem completely and utterly blind to anything other than their philosophical beliefs which they feel correspond with their scientific beliefs.

So, IMO, this is where that all popular term “tolerance” comes in, and let’s be honest...there really are only three options in the running that anyone takes seriously in regard to our origins. Those are philosophical naturalism, creation, and ID. We need to be “tolerant” of those who hold each view, and realize that they aren’t “evil” or “lying for Jesus”, but that due to their particular worldview, they seem to be “blinded” by any other interpretation. It appears we are all in the same boat, IMO. Materialists conclude that our blindness is due to ignorance or religious indoctrination, theists conclude that the materialists are blind to the truth due to their ignorance or rejection of theological truth and understanding. Then we have a whole array of those who fall somewhere in the middle and are so wishy washy that it’s hard telling what they believe, and I’m not sure they know themselves.

“Then, you simultaneously put for as an example of "good points to ponder" a rant from someone who clearly makes the same sort of argument. You can't have it both ways; are we supposed to take this guy seriously? If we are, why can the whole of science be dismissed with the same sort of bogus "scientists are immoral materialist" argument?”
Here’s the deal. Deace let lose with a heck of a rant, and while I don’t agree with everything he said...he makes some good points. Personally, I would have chosen to eliminate the overall tone of his rant. He might want to consider his last name and replace that D with a P.

BUT, he makes some points that I’ve been thinking about recently, and his presentation in no different than that of numerous evolution blogs I read every fact, it was quite tame compared to some. Sometimes, I think a mirror placed in a person’s face might help them realize how they are acting, how it feels, and the affect it has on their readers. Although, I don’t think all evolutionists and atheists are how Deace describes them, I do feel that are those who fit Deace’s description to a tee. They are a small, but very loud crowd that gets a lot of attention because of their megaphone’s and their attitudes. They are an intolerant group, and nothing good will come of their constant nasty confrontations with those who disagree with their opinions. Both sides have individuals like this, and I have no patience for them. They are accomplishing nothing other than creating intense hatred for their fellow man. There are ways to be firm and state your point without tearing people apart as individuals.

You asked, “Why can’t the whole of science be dismissed with the same sort of bogus “scientists are immoral materialists” argument?” Personally, I think that is an absurd question. Of course, no one would ever conceive of dismissing “the whole of science” because there are scientists who adhere to materialism. But, on the other hand, when we witness supporters of ID being blackballed in the scientific community because of their connection with ID, it doesn’t sit well. What the heck are we suppose to think? It would seem that anything that doesn’t fit within the materialistic paradigm is halted by the Darwin police. They have a monopoly on what can and cannot be considered in regard to the origin of life and how that may affect various fields of science.

In conclusion, I guess there will always be those who consider me to be willfully ignorant until I abide by their particular version of truth.