“The English philosopher John Gray, himself an atheist, says today’s evangelical New Atheists have far more in common with the religionists they despise than they think they do. In a rich, rewarding essay in the Guardian, Gray says that an earlier generation of modern atheists worshiped Science, which in their reasoning made them supporters of eugenics … until Nazism showed where that led. It is today conveniently forgotten, says Gray, that those who preached Science as the foundation for modern political life were, in the pre-Nazi 20th century, the most avid promoters of eugenics”
“But just having a strange and powerful experience doesn’t determine what you believe. I walked off that train with a new respect for why people believed in magic, not a new understanding of reality. Sometimes people have remarkable experiences, and then tuck them away as events they can’t explain.”
Below are some links about the debate between Bill Nye and Ken Ham from early 2014 about whether evolution or creationism better explains life on Earth.
Some interesting questions emerge from this debate. How do proponents of evolution and creationism approach knowledge and truth differently? This can be extended to the natural science and religious knowledge systems. Both look to find answers and truth and construct knowledge in fundamentally different ways. The two articles get into this issue a bit. You can watch the debate itself, it’s a bit long but worth watching at least a little bit.
1.Why Bill Nye Won the Creationism Debate Last Night
2. Bill Nye v Ken Ham: should scientists bother to debate creationism?
The public debate between Bill Nye and the president of a US creationist museum gives creationism a scientific legitimacy that it isn’t entitled to
3.Bill Nye versus Ken Ham: Who won?
“While the history of science, and medicine in particular, is full of good ideas that met with opposition that was eventually overcome, there are other episodes where the opposition won out – often because those ideas were not good ones.”
Dr. Gupta interviews Joel Osteen.
He started by telling the story of his own mother, Dodie Osteen, who was diagnosed with terminal cancer back in 1981. She was told “there was no treatment that could be given to her.”
It was liver cancer, and she was just 48 years old. Osteen told me, “She prayed, she believed, and she quoted scripture. Thirty-something years later, she’s alive.”
Osteen is describing a sort of faith healing or at least the power of prayer, and it is an issue that deeply divides the medical community.
“Zepps asked deGrasse Tyson to respond to comments from another recent HuffPost Live guest, pastor Joel Osteen and who talked about his faith and science.”
“Religion provides a sense of meaning and comfort for believers, and studies show that such beliefs intensify during threatening situations. Now research suggests that some people’s faith in science may serve the same role.”