Welcome faded_Glory

Continuing the discussion from India Asia Collision:

Welcome! Tell us a bit about yourself. What is your academic background/specialty? I’m always happy to see geologists on the forum. I’m a chemist but my undergraduate degree is in Environmental Science where I took geochemistry, hydrology, and structure/tectonic classes.

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Thank you for your welcome! I found Peaceful Science via the Skeptical Zone. I have been involved, on and off, in the ID debate for years now, mostly as a lurker but sometimes I contribute when I think I may have something to say of interest to others. I used to post on the old ARN forums and sometimes on Uncommon Descent, although I haven’t visited that site for years now.

I am a geologist by education and a geophysicist by practice. I have worked for 35 years as a practicing geoscientist (and later as a manager) in the oil & gas industry, am now retired and am using my spare time to brush up my more general geology knowledge - as an industry professional you tend to become rather specialised and it is hard to keep up with the developments in other areas of the science.

I don’t have much to say about the biological aspects of the debate, but I do have some views on the relation between science and religion, coming from a non-religious background. These may come out if and when I engage in some of the other discussions.

Looking forward to more discussions!


Awesome, great to have you here. As a fellow non-biologist I would say one of the things I really enjoy about Peaceful Science is that there is a strong scholarly community (in sciences, theology, and philosophy) so it’s a great place to learn about, and dive into, other disciplines. I’ve learned a lot about population genetics and evolution from the people here as well as some astrophysics, etc.


So you come from a non-religious background. Does this imply you are religious now? Can you give us a taste on your views?

No, I am not a religious person. Interestingly, I was exposed to religion in my early youth (until the age of 10 or so) because I grew up in rather peculiar circumstances: my father was a lung specialist in a catholic sanatorium, and we lived on the grounds. There was a convent there, and a chapel, and the nuns worked in the sanatorium as nurses and did a lot of other work to keep the place going (in the kitchens, doing the laundry etc.). My parents were not catholic, not even religious, which apparently wasn’t a problem to get a position there (our neighbour was the anaesthesist and he and his family were Jewish), but as a kid I roamed the grounds and often visited the nuns at work - they were really lovely and spoiled me rotten. I have only good memories of this time.

Yet, their beliefs did not rub off on me (to be fair, I don’t think they even tried to) and although I learned biblical stories I never got to see them as anything but stories, in the mould of so many other stories a child hears and understands to be fantasy.

Later I did my Undergraduate studies on the Free University of Amsterdam (I am a Dutchman now living in the UK) where I got to a close-up view of a different Christian tradition - Reformism. One or two of the professors sometimes started their lessons with a prayer, but that was about the extent of it. I learned bog-standard Paleontology including a basic understanding of Evolution, which was not in dispute there and then. I believe that the teachings of Teilhard de Chardin were rather popular at the faculty back then (even though he was of course a papist Jesuit!). We did courses in basic philosophy but just descriptive, not normative.

So that is about it - I have mingled plenty with people of various religious creeds (I also worked and largely lived for some years in Egypt) but somehow the beliefs and teachings passed me by. If I have a belief, it is a kind of skepticism that humans actually have the faculties required to understand all of the secrets of life and the universe. Perhaps there are things out there that we will simply never be able to understand - like a mouse will never be able to understand calculus. Which is not a reason not to try and figure out as much as we can, of course.

I suppose that makes me a kind of Agnostic. I do have rather serious doubts about the traditional narratives of all organised religions. I would qualify as an Atheist with respect to the revealed religions of the world.

Sorry for the length, but you did ask :wink: