Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Creationism is a "kind of paganism"

Although I'm an ardent atheist and have a disdain for religion in general, I think it should be emphasized that I'm not naïve enough to think that religion inhibits the mental functioning of any individual (although it seems that those with inhibited mental functioning flock towards the easy answers religion provides).

Indeed, there are many religious figures for whom I hold a great admiration. Chief among them are the astronomers the Vatican keeps on hand at their Vatican observatory in Arizona.

I’ve been a fan of George Coyne for quite some time now. In March 2005, Astronomy magazine ran a wonderful article (entitled Coyne of the realm), featuring an interview with Coyne on his views on science, religion, and how the two worked to support each other. If you have a chance to pick this article up, I’d highly recommend it.

However, Coyne isn’t the only Vatican astronomer who’s captured my attention. Guy Consolmagno recently was quoted as stating:
Religion needs science to keep it away from superstition and keep it close to reality, to protect it from creationism, which at the end of the day is a kind of paganism - it's turning God into a nature god. And science needs religion in order to have a conscience, to know that, just because something is possible, it may not be a good thing to do.
Although I disagree that science needs religion in order to have a conscience, any more than an Atheist needs God to tell him how to behave, I don’t think it hurts for the two to work together. Furthermore, he asserted that the God of the Bible is entirely supernatural and thus outside of the realm of science.

Additionally, Consolmagno stated that, “It's not like [the Pope] has a magic power, that God whispers the truth in his ear.”

Of course not. I hear that’s reserved for President Bush.

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