Monday, September 03, 2007

Science Is Under Pressure Globally

" Science is under pressure globally, and from every religion. As science becomes an increasingly dominant part of human culture, its achievements inspire both awe and fear. Creationism and intelligent design, curbs on genetic research, pseudoscience, parapsychology, belief in UFOs, and so on are some of its manifestations in the West. Religious conservatives in the US have rallied against the teaching of Darwinian evolution. Extreme Hindu groups such as the Vishnu Hindu Parishad, which has called for ethnic cleansing of Christians and Muslims, have promoted various "temple miracles," including one in which an elephant-like God miraculously came alive and started drinking milk. Some extremist Jewish groups also derive additional political strength from antiscience movements. For example, certain American cattle tycoons have for years been working with Israeli counterparts to try to breed a pure red heifer in Israel, which, by their interpretation of chapter 19 of the Book of Numbers, will signal the coming of the building of the Third Temple,7 an event that would ignite the Middle East."

"In the Islamic world, opposition to science in the public arena takes additional forms. Antiscience materials have an immense presence on the internet, with thousands of elaborately designed Islamic websites, some with view counters running into the hundreds of thousands. A typical and frequently visited one has the following banner: "Recently discovered astounding scientific facts, accurately described in the Muslim Holy Book and by the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) 14 centuries ago." Here one will find that everything from quantum mechanics to black holes and genes was anticipated 1400 years ago."

- Pervez Amirali Hooddbhoy


Rambodoc said...

Its Vishwa Hindu Parishad, not Vishnu...

Paul said...

Thanks for the clarification, Rambodoc!

Guitar's Cry said...

I think that people are afraid that science will destroy their spiritual beliefs. On an individual basis, people reject science because they are unwilling to either conform their spiritual beliefs to new ideas.

Culturally, I think that religious groups are afraid that they will lose their members to science. While this may happen, it won't completely; many people retain religious belief alongside scientific belief.

Science and religion really don't have to oppose each other.

Webs said...

I'm with Guitar on this one. Many people feel as threatened by Science. Even though without they would likely not be alive due to lack of medicine and lack of understanding of human biology.

And I also agree that Science and Religion do not have to oppose each other. There is a chance that as we learn more about Science they will oppose each other, but they don't have to. And in fact there is a high percentage of scienctists that claim beliefs in Religion. And people like PZ Myers do nothing to help this situation. Instead they just further the divide by calling people Jesus tards.