Guy, please call me Patrick as I find the trotting out of academic credentials stuffy. Since we all agree that science is neutral on matter of faith/religion, why force compatibility?
Please don’t go down that path as it always ends up talking about Hilter, Stalin and Mao… I am not here in the name of Atheism. I am here for the purpose of truth in science. And how science and reason can be used to help people. Would you fell better if I say that I am a Cultural Catholic, or an ex-Catholic? Would my discussion of science be more palatable?
I am a long way from deadly nihilism. I live a life with purpose and meaning and am very hopeful on the future. I am very optimistic that my children and grandchildren will live even better lives with purpose and meaning. I believe that people’s lives can be made better through science and reasoning.
Yes, I am fine with Dr. Swamidass and his volunteers mixing science and religion in public venues. What I am not fine with is US Government officials mixing science and religion in setting US policy. And that goes for secular educational institutions as well. Keeping government and religion separate is a requirement of the First Amendment of the godless US Constitution.
For example I am fine with Dr. Francis Collins, eminent scientist and researcher, writing books and talking about science and his faith, and creating Christian initiatives like Biologos.
What I am not fine about, is the Director of the National Institute of Health (NIH) Francis Collins mixing science and religion in setting of US policy on health. Dr. Collins has been exemplary in this regard and should be a model to Dr. Swamidass on how a Christian can run a US Government organization that must remain secular.
I would like to think that virtually all the supporters of @swamidass’ work are in full agreement with you in this matter.
But how, then, is PeacefulScience.Org the recipient of your blessings, while BioLogos.Org (which also opposes science and religion being mixed by US Government officials) does not enjoy your blessings?
Everything you’ve described as acceptable to you seems to be even more true of BioLogos. Can you explain this distinction you are making?
So, really, BioLogos is exemplary (except, perhaps, in their treatment of some Atheist commentators), and that BioLogos provides a model for how influential men and women can continue to explore religious ideas without trying to impose religious ideas on branches of American government and/or to US government policies.
Edit: the reference in the sentence above, to the “American public”, was in error. The wording has been revised.
I don’t have any objections to general views along these lines.
I don’t think anyone has ever suggested that anybody at BioLogos or PeacefulScience has attempted to do such things. Both entities are on record for opposing such matters.
It’s good to see that we can work out your views and discover that both groups are very difficult to distinguish in a way that would justify opposition to one, and encouragement of another - - especially when you have already posted your opposition to a number of @swamidass’ views purely on the matter of religious views of Creation of life in Earth’s prehistory.
Yes… that is correct, and best. My prior wording was an oversight on my part:
BioLogos provides a model for how influential men and women can continue to explore religious ideas without trying to impose religious ideas on branches of American government and/or to US government policies.
Auntyevology wanted me to contribute. Wish I could, no time. I will say this, however. Patrick needs to learn some history of science: atheism provides no special advantage to empirical inquiry, and may itself stand in the way of the growth of knowledge. From Roger Cotes’s Preface to Newton’s Principia:
“Without all doubt this World, so diversified with that variety of forms and motions we find in it, could arise from nothing but the perfectly free will of God directing and presiding over all. From this fountain it is that those laws, which we call the laws of Nature, have flowed; in which there appear many traces indeed of the most wise contrivance, but not the least shadow of necessity. These therefore we must not seek from uncertain conjectures; but learn them from observations and experiments. He who thinks to find the true principles of physics and the laws of natural things by the force alone of his own mind, and the internal light of his reason must either suppose that the World exists by necessity, and by the same necessity follows the laws proposed; or if the order of Nature was established by the will of God, that himself, a miserable reptile, can tell what was fittest to be done. All sound and true philosophy is founded on the appearances of things; which if they draw us ever so much against our wills, to such principles as most clearly manifest to us the most excellent counsel and supreme dominion of the All-wise and Almighty Being; those principles are not therefore to be laid aside, because some men may perhaps dislike them. They may call them, if they please, miracles or occult qualities; but names maliciously given ought not to be a disadvantage to the things themselves; unless they will say at last, that all philosophy ought to be founded in atheism. Philosophy must not be corrupted in complaisance to these men; for the order of things will not be changed.”
Let me tell you why I am no longer welcomed on Biologos.
A few years ago (during the Obama Administration) Biologos started touting that Dr. Francis Collins, Director of the National Institute of Health and Founder of Biologos was going to be keynote speaker at their upcoming “Christ in Creation” Conference. Further attendance was not open to the public and required a fee (and Biologos permission) to attend or watch the video feed. I passed this to the Constitutional Attorneys at the Freedom From Religion Foundation and they sent a strong letter to the NIH Director with copies to Congressional Watchdogs in both the House and Senate. The FFRF letter stated the illegality and unconstitutionality of the NIH Director speaking at a religious creationist conference. Dr. Collins, to his credit, took heed to this letter, and Biologos ceased advertising his attendance. Dr. Collins, again to his credit, threaded the line very adeptly. He very quietly, on his own funds (not Biologos nor Government) popped in on one of the evenings of the conference, and didn’t speak formally but instead played his guitar with other Biologos staff members.
I find the Christian “I am not worthy of salvation” and “we are all sinners” to be most dehumanizing especially to children. Talk about nihilism. I much prefer “you learn from your mistakes” “keep trying, you can do it” “you’re a beautiful person who can do great things” and the Vulcan “Live Long and Prosper” and the Jamaican “Be Happy”
Why force an incompatibility between faith and reason? Would that people of all faiths be willing to test and improve their attitudes towards the “unfaithful” by giving the benefit of the doubt in conversation, and “doing unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
You most certainly have a faith, Patrick --in atheism, and it leads you dangerously close to categorical intolerism… yet, fortunately, you were apparently exposed to, at least, the social ethics of Jesus at an early age. Credit where credit is due. Cheers!