Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Scientists get serious in fight with religious zealots

The New York Times reports (reg. required) on a forum in California where prominent non-religious scientists gathered to discuss why we are losing the war with the Christianists, who insist that much of what science has uncovered in the last century violates the teachings of the bible.

We have our own local crackpot still at work, though I haven't seen her in front of the library lately, so we know that the zealots are on our own campus. . . .


lammers said...

I've always wondered why anthropologists, archaeologists, and anthropologists don't have similar problems with members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

After all, mainstream ideas about migration of ancient peoples, development of ancient cultures, etc. conflict terribly with the Book of Mormon (Native Americans were not the Lost Tribes of Israel, etc.)

Yet I've never heard of Mormons getting all upset about it and trying to squelch and suppress these academic disciplines. Why are they so tolerant? Why don't they feel threatened by current knowledge the way fundamentalists do?

Anonymous said...

A lot of the credit for the LDS church's historical embrace of science goes to its tradition of valuing education and to a singular man, Henry Eyring. He was a world class chemist (Berkeley, Princeton, etc.) and a leader in the LDS church, and he wrote an important book called "Reflections of a Scientist" that is the best explanation I personally have ever read for the peaceful coexistence of science and faith. It specifically addresses evolution. Why he did not win a Nobel Prize is anyone's guess, but it may have been because of his religion. Regardless of faith, the book is worth a read.