links for 2011-04-08

  • Faith gave us jihad, crusade, and inquisition. Science gave us mustard gas, involuntary sterilization, and nuclear weapons. Faith gave us international charities that feed starving children. Science gave us clean water. Gregor Mendel was a Christian monk. Muhammed ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi was a devout Muslim. Oppenheimer did not think of the Bhagavad Gita by accident.
    Don't characterize people involved in a community, or claiming adherence to a certain way of thinking or doing things, as stupid, or evil, or blind. Don't characterize a way of doing or thinking as universally good or evil- it blinds you to the evil or good that exists in it. If you think these men advanced science *despite* having faith, then you are interpreting the evidence to suit your assumptions. Accept reality; for these men, faith and science were not demiurgic oppositional forces, but simply two ways. We shouldn't dismiss faith as "magical thinking" that can't exist in the same mind as critical observation.
    (tags: science faith)
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