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a question of faith.....


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Hello all

 

While speaking to a friend yesterday I discovered he is a devout Christian and a biology teacher. I was raised an atheist and still consider myself so. What I would be interested in is what proportion of the scientists out there adhere to any of the religions. Leading on from that is which of the religions accomodates scientific advancment most, or are they all the same?

 

Personnaly I cannot see how a devout Christian can believe in evolution but claim that the bible is the word of god. But that's my opinion.

 

I don't want this thread to be seen as inciting any trouble. I am just interested how religious scientists balance what I see as contradicting theories.

 

Any/all replies welcome. Thanks

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While i don't follow any religion myself, i do know a number of people who are religious. they tend to see the holy books of their respective religions as guides for living their life rather than a divine truth about reality.

 

indeed, this is also what the pastor of the local church appears to believe as well(i occasionally have a chat with him at the local pub). he definitely doesn't believe that events such as the garden of eden or god creating the animals as is in a day should be taken literally, but as metaphors for the inherent flaws of man(origional sin) and how god holds immense power(creating every living thing i na couple of days).

 

now, all this is meant to show is that a number (and i think a significant number) of religious people do not think the bible is an accurate historical document but a book on how to be a decent human being.

 

this is how i belive that religious scientists view it.

 

and of course you will get a number of people who believe it is divine truth and inerrant in every way(except the bits they don't like)

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We're social creatures. In order for us to build communities larger than a few hundred people, it became necessary for us to believe in "leaders" we might possibly never meet. The larger the population of a particular group, the more we needed to believe in entities and higher powers beyond our immediate experiences. I think this naturally lead to an ultimate higher power with authority over everything.

 

I have never had any clashes with my local government, aside from a few traffic tickets, and while I have never met the mayor of my city I still believe in his power and authority. The same goes with my federal government. They hold power over me that I allow in order to function within my chosen society. They have written laws which detail the consequences I face should I choose to break them.

 

I don't begrudge anyone their belief in a higher power unless they act on those beliefs in a way that infringes upon what I can allow as an individual. Most religions and their followers have a fairly benign effect on the society around them, but there are many instances of discrimination and ignorance in religious teachings as well. And zealots in any form can be detrimental to our society, be they religious or not.

 

I don't think religion and science are mutually exclusive, but I think religious beliefs often have a sacred quality that science finds antithetical to its purview. But I have been encouraged by some of the major religion's willingness to acknowledge what science has discovered about our universe, and their desire to adapt their beliefs accordingly. Some, however, believe that their faith is threatened by anything that challenges it in any way, and these are usually the ones who cry out for science to have an open mind, while they shut their own down tightly around a few sacred scriptures they take extremely literally.

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Why have a religion if the deity/deities you worship can't be truthful and coherent in the first place?
What qualifies as "truth" and "coherency" for diverse cultures over the span of thousands of years?
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There are statistics out there that split up the proportion of religiosity among scientists from different countries. I will have to see whether I can dig them up again. But off the top of my head the tendency were that a smaller proportion of scientists are religious compared to the average of the population. Among scientists the natural scientist were the least religious. And among those the order was roughly physicists, chemists and biologists in descending order of religiosity. One exceptions was one poll in which biologists and medical sciences were put together . There the biologists + MDs ranked together with chemists, I think (i.e. medical scientists tend to be more religious than biologists).

 

In many areas faith and the actual work does not interfere and hence is not seen as a contradiction. People are very good in compartmentalizing thoughts. Still, I presume that evolutionary biologists still tend to be the most godless bunch of them all.

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Thanks for the input guys and gals, I find this subject fascinating I have to admit, not the is there, isn't there a god question. I am aware that some of science's most renowned scientists have been very religious. I guess believing in god doesn't effect your ability to be a good scientist.

 

Still wonder which religion has supplied the most science (although I think the results would be very debatable). A Muslim friend of mine claims quite adamantly that Islamic scientists discovered many of the breakthroughs that western science has claimed long before western science made the discovery. The friend is not a fundamentalist but a layed back friendly guy. Yet he remains adamant that what he said is true. If that is true could it be argued that islam is more of a "scientific religion" compared to say Hinduism. I wonder what the league tablle would look like :D

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Hi Tranquillity, Im Lucky, All I know about evolution of man is this< Darwon( bad spelling ) says that we (mankind) evolved from the first chreture that walked upright with the abillity to make tools or figure things out on their own


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I know that the Catholic church denies this theroy and says that mankind was out of no where Man apeared. I have my own reservations about

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Hi Tranquillity, Im Lucky, All I know about evolution of man is this< Darwon( bad spelling ) says that we (mankind) evolved from the first chreture that walked upright with the abillity to make tools or figure things out on their own
In fact, evolution is only the change in allele frequency in a population over time. Darwin proposed that mankind and apes evolved from a common ancestor who may not have walked upright or used tools.

 

I know that the Catholic church denies this theroy and says that mankind was out of no where Man apeared. I have my own reservations about
In fact, the Catholic church recognizes the theory of evolution, though they consider it one of their god's mechanisms. Edited by Phi for All
clarification
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  • 2 weeks later...
In fact, the Catholic church recognizes the theory of evolution, though they consider it one of their god's mechanisms.

 

Really?! That's pretty cool and fascinating no matter how they consider it.

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I'm not a scientist, but I love science. And I believe in Evolution. I also believe in God. I personally do not think that there has to be a separation of the two. But I will keep my opinion as simple as can be.

 

How can you believe in God, and Evolution at the same time?

 

Well i'd like to introduce myself by saying that i'm computer programmer. And as you might know there are many ways to write a program. You can write a program the "dumb" way without object oriented structure and using only LOC (lines of code). Or you can write a program the smart way and include object oriented programming models that can be reusable. In my view, Evolution is like a bit-of-automation in that regard.

 

Belief in God and Science is not impossible. How you define God is irrelevant. Many people on this forum will ask, "well which god do you believe in, allah, boodah, etc.." But to leave the definition static, I will just leave the definition as an "undefined primary creator."

 

Alternatively, if you believe in God as most fundamental Christians do, then he is a ruthless, egoistical deity. How can the fundamental christian version of the biblical God allow for Genocide, Rape, Torture to exist? If your answer is "Free Choice", then my question is how did the intention for original sin begin? aim-hackintoit

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