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Bruno Mota

Self-catalytic RNA ;-)?

In any case, I agree with you. On one hand creationists and IDers believe God's job is to issue patches to the parts of creation He couldn't get right the first time, much like Microsoft continuously churns security updates for Windows XP. They also seem to assume science is flawed simply because it does not provide a complete explanation for any and all phenomena.

The radical rationalists on the other hand think religion is just the way stupid people came up with to try to explain physical phenomena. Thus, if the evolution of DNA or the Standard Model could be understood scientifically there would be no further need for gods, big fairies in the sky, spaghetti monsters or whatever.

Needless to say, both views are silly, and completely miss the point of respectively science and religion.


"The radical rationalists on the other hand think religion is just the way stupid people came up with to try to explain physical phenomena."

Whereas, if you think about it, the most persistent and deadly natural threat in any human being's daily life is other human beings. It has probably always been more important to come up with an effective way to live together peacefully than to understand why the sun rises in the West or whatever. In the Abrahamic religions, at least, the Creation seems to function more as legitimation of the authority of God to speak to that question than as the actual point of the religion in itself.

Bruno Mota

Yeah! Historically religion always served as the glue that kept societies together, both by creating a modicum of shared trust (the Ummah, Christendom ) with a set of rights and mutual obligations, and by legitimizing systems of goverment and law.

A sociologist might argue that, since the justifications for these things have largely been replaced by anthropocentric social contracts, human and civil rights, and legitimacy deriving from democratic mandates, religion is now obsolete. And again he would spectacularly miss the point, just like our radical physical scientist, or the proverbial man with a hammer who thought everything looked like a nail.

Richard Johnguy

I miss this blog: do you think you'll ever post anything here again?

Regarding religion and scientists, astrophysicist Mike Shara (religious status unknown) says that the combination of 3 atoms of Beryllium to form one atom of Carbon (a process that only happens inside stars) is so staggeringly unlikely that it offers the best evidence for divine intervention... so it seems you don't have to get all complex and biochemical to still somewhat miss the point.

Still the 3 best authors I've run across for actually considering the role of religion in everyday life are Emile Durkheim, Marcel Mauss and Mary Douglas, who between them add up to the view expressed above, that religion is a means for dealing with social interaction.

Richard Johnguy

d'oh: and I completely forgot to state why I think this blog might become relevant again; if Obama/Biden win they'll be wanting to implement some sort of plan in Iraq. This:
is old news and almost certainly no longer relevant, but I for one have no idea what might hav replaced it. In any event, I think the current situation may see some change, almost certainly for the worse in the short run.


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