Krauss’s biggest mistake in the first part of his “All Scientists Should Be Militant Atheists” article is to assume the (secular) government gets to decide right and wrong. Krauss is a scientist and like many scientists and products of our modern educational system has not done much reading in history, a subject which shows this idea is beyond asinine, or if he has done his reading, the lessons history taught didn’t stick.
But let this pass. We’re more interested in his scientific opinions.
In science, of course, the very word “sacred” is profane. No ideas, religious or otherwise, get a free pass. The notion that some idea or concept is beyond question or attack is anathema to the entire scientific undertaking.
Global warming, any one? Types of evolution? Gender “theory”?
This commitment to open questioning is deeply tied to the fact that science is an atheistic enterprise.
Bovine spongiography. It is true some atheists practice science, but false in general that science is an atheistic enterprise, and this is because science must needs rely on a metaphysics, which at the least mentions mathematics and says something about cause. And if you start speaking about cause, you end up with God as the First Cause.
It’s ironic, really, that so many people are fixated on the relationship between science and religion: basically, there isn’t one. In my more than thirty years as a practicing physicist, I have never heard the word “God” mentioned in a scientific meeting. Belief or nonbelief in God is irrelevant to our understanding of the workings of nature—just as it’s irrelevant to the question of whether or not citizens are obligated to follow the law.
Never heard God mentioned, eh. Well, if he says it’s so it must be so, but I have been to plenty of meeting and have heard it. It may be because some scientists have cut themselves off from classical metaphysics that they can’t see the connection between their fields and religion. But that is a choice, an assumption, a prejudice. And some science reeks of religion. Big Bang, anyone? That was is super consonant with the Bible. Religious belief, on the other hand, is highly relevant to following laws.
I wonder if Krauss, like many who were chanting “Law of the Land!” in the Kim Davis affair, uses the term “undocumented immigrant”? Let it pass.
Because science holds that no idea is sacred, it’s inevitable that it draws people away from religion. The more we learn about the workings of the universe, the more purposeless it seems. Scientists have an obligation not to lie about the natural world. Even so, to avoid offense, they sometimes misleadingly imply that today’s discoveries exist in easy harmony with preexisting religious doctrines, or remain silent rather than pointing out contradictions between science and religious doctrine.
Say, Larry, does science hold the idea that religion has no place in science as sacred? Sorry. Couldn’t help myself.
The more we learn about the workings of the universe, the more purposeful it seems. Anyway, if Krauss really does embrace purposeless, why does he care what anybody thinks? It’s all purposeless. There is no right and wrong, science holds no special place. There is only Larry and his opinions.
It’s true that science, i.e. observation, does invalidate some religious beliefs. So much for those religions, then. But science has invalidated no belief held, say, by the Catholic Magisterium.
Consider the example of Planned Parenthood. Lawmakers are calling for a government shutdown unless federal funds for Planned Parenthood are stripped from spending bills for the fiscal year starting October 1st. Why? Because Planned Parenthood provides fetal tissue samples from abortions to scientific researchers hoping to cure diseases, from Alzheimer’s to cancer…It’s clear that many of the people protesting Planned Parenthood are opposed to abortion on religious grounds and are, to varying degrees, anti-science. Should this cause scientists to clam up at the risk of further offending or alienating them? Or should we speak out loudly to point out that, independent of one’s beliefs about what is sacred, this tissue would otherwise be thrown away, even though it could help improve and save lives?
Why are you so caring about human lives there, Larry? Isn’t that rather a Christian idea you have? I thought science said the universe was purposeless, no?
Now, Lar, you do realize that the lives inside mothers that are being killed are human, right? And you say it’s okay to kill these tiny humans so that science can progress. Well, is it any surprise, then, that some would say To hell with science? It’s not that “tissue” is being tossed onto the ash heap, it’s that your frightening utilitarianism encourages even more killing. If you want to save lives—though I can’t see why you would, science saying the universe is purposeless and all—then stop killing them. Brilliant!
I see a direct link, in short, between the ethics that guide science and those that guide civic life. Cosmology, my specialty, may appear to be far removed from Kim Davis’s refusal to grant marriage licenses to gay couples…
I stopped reading there.