Saturday, January 19, 2013

Science and Culture

I will get to the title theme of this post soon, but I'd like to make some personal notes first. I don't know if you are new to my blog, but there has been a bit of a change. I had a book and several booklets in .pdf form in the right column, but have taken them off. I have to admit that it was by accident. I wanted to erase an old reference paper I had on Google Docs, but somehow I erased them all. I was upset at first, but I realized I probably had them here long enough. Sometimes we plan for change and sometimes it just happens. I know there are ways to protect your documents on the web, but I have them on my own backups and I can use them if I want to. Maybe this will prompt me to modify the whole style of the blog, although I'll be afraid I'll erase all my posts. I did delete some of the old posts that had to do with the booklets.

Despite all this, it’s been good to write semi-regularly on my blog once again. I’ve been told my writing is didactic, basically meaning preachy. I know I can be heavy-handed and when I work on my mystery books, I try to keep the story moving and interesting in order to keep it easier to read. I still think a message is important, but I know people can be turned off if it comes across too strongly.

I was contemplating this when I wrote some of my recent posts. I was getting rather wound up about the problems of the world, and I stopped to consider the tone I should take. I'm still going through some thought processes about this. As my husband said, many blogs are didactic. Sometimes preaching is necessary, and I hope you will take my sincerity into account. On the other hand, I'd like to be clear and inviting. Such, I guess, is the challenge of writing. (And I sometimes go in and edit a post, as I have done with this one.)

I write about various things, and sometimes I take breaks from the blog. If you look at past posts, you will see I have written a great deal about Intelligent Design Theory (ID). To clarify, I have moved on from ID to what I call "Special Creationism," which still has to do with complexity and design in biology as ID does.  However, ID still emphasizes evolution, and Special Creation accepts that God may have made various species directly from scratch. In my posts, I come back again and again to the question of Darwinism and the conclusion that totally materialistic evolution is impossible. It may not seem to you the most fascinating of topics to consider in today’s world. But you might find upon reflection it very much relates to our country’s culture and mindset.

Today’s scientists as a group have great influence on people. They have persuaded government lawmakers concerning various issues. It might seem logical to think that’s the way it should be, since science scholars are intelligent and have a lot of education. Yet a very vocal group has unfortunately not only boasted of their own lack of religion but loudly disdain other persons’ beliefs. They have changed the culture in various ways, including the enforced teaching of evolution in public schools and use of human embryos for research.

I can’t totally generalize, because some scientists are religious. A 2009 Pew Research Center survey of scientists showed at least half have some sense of spirituality. It was interesting that the religious leanings of scientists have remained very close to what they were about 100 years ago, as reported in the link. Scientists on the whole, however, are less religious than the rest of the population.

Atheistic scientists may have knowledge of facts, but instead of praying for God's wisdom, they settle for human knowledge alone. One can read in the Bible about man’s wisdom in 1 Corinthians:

For it is written:

“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,

and the learning of the learned I will set aside.”

(1 Corinthians, 1:19, NABRE)

In this Bible chapter, Paul talks about teaching the “message of the cross” (verse 18). Though that may seem foolish to some, it saves us from perishing in the end.

It is very frustrating to see the prejudice against believers, and for a while I was angry about what some scientists say. But then I realized that there are some over-publicized spokespersons and not all scientists are like them. Unfortunately, the loud ones are saying that church and state must be separated in our country and are powerful enough to so far get their way. Adding to that problem is a conflict between what many of us believe and what is being taught to the public, both in schools and in the media.

Our culture is also tremendously impacted. The prevailing mindset of Darwin's theory is "survival of the fittest" instead of the religious theme of "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." World views must affect the behavior of children, at least sub-consciously. Though adults may rationalize a motive for group unselfishness, I doubt that all adolescents desire to think that through.

Though I understand that some people are concerned that we teach the most up-to-date science, the irony is that the evolutionists are keeping our kids from learning just that. They keep the numbers of probability of functional proteins from the media, and the new facts of DNA and other complexities of the cell have not been proclaimed widely. So, of those who do believe Darwinian spokespersons, many of them have not been taught all the facts. That is where we need to come in and teach both children and adults what really is happening with new scientific research. When they learn about the fabulous world of biology, they can evaluate for themselves where it comes from. I have already written much about life processes in my blog. As time goes by, more and better animations and scientific data are available. As I explore the Internet, I am pleased to find people are learning about cell biology already, judging from the number of hits some of the animations are getting. They show ever more of the complexity of the cell, the basic unit of biology. Here is a link to one of them, called "Journey Into the Cell," by Dr. Stephen Meyer of Discovery Institute.

None of us know everything. It seems natural for us to see things with a certain mindset. We evaluate facts from the point of view either of entirely materialistic mechanisms, or from the faith that a Creator had the genius to put life together and get it to work. Believers appreciate the creativity of biology and can go from there to learn more. I pray that non-believers will come to see the Lord's wisdom.

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