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Monday, February 19, 2007

An Educational Scandal

I borrow the above post title from Richard Dawkins's book, The God Delusion. Steven Layfield, the Head of Science at Emmanuel College in Gateshead, once gave a lecture called The Teaching of Science: A Biblical Perspective. For goodness's sake, he is the head of science! And it seems that he has no masala in his head! Do read the lecture text in the link provided! Also, take time to read this, a reply by Richard Dawkins to this lecture. Have a good laugh! What a loser?! And at the end he says:


As we stated at the beginning, Christians, with very good reason, reckon the Scriptures of the Old & New Testaments a reliable guide concerning just what we are to believe. They are not merely religious documents. They provide us with a true account of Earth history which we ignore at our peril. Many who parade as competent scientists today are unwittingly asking the same question which Satan first uttered back in Genesis, 'Did God really say...?'(3:1)

...True Science then should confirm pupils' realisation that they are rational, spiritual beings of infinite worth with immortal souls whose eternal destiny, because of their sin, is placed in the balance. True science is no enemy of true religion. Indeed, the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge and of wisdom (Proverbs 1:7 and 9:10). As the 17th century astronomer Johannes Kepler remarked, his work consisted of 'thinking God's thoughts after Him'.

May it please God to raise up a new generation of Scientists who are duly respectful of their Maker and who, recognising the limitations of human scientific enquiry, give full weight of respect to the statements of propositional truth of Holy Scripture - being the authoritative Word of God.

9 comments:

Logitha said...

I find you really funny Priya.

But then, each has his own set of beliefs.

But really, what are you gaining from proving to yourself that God doesn't exist?

Logitha said...

But you are right Priya, about one thing. You mentioned in the previous post that science will offer an the answer.

God will be revealed once again by something as simple as science. =D

I say simple because compared to God's grandeur and splendid, science seems so small and insignificant.

Priya said...

{what are you gaining from proving to yourself that God doesn't exist?} A better understanding of the world and why people behave in such a way as they do. Especially religious people. A better understanding of the wonders of science.

And may I ask you the same question? What are you gaining from proving to yourself that God exists? Do you get your morals from your religion? Why, can't you have good morals without the teachings of your religion? A lot of things can be said on either side of the argument and there is nothing to stop this from going on and on. As you say, 'each has his/her own set of beliefs'.

But the issue here is not about the advantages or disadvantages of being an atheist. I believe that atheists can be as much happy and 'good' as theists are. But the issue here is about teaching creationism and questioning the credibilities of science in schools. Imagine, teaching creationism to students, making them believe that our world is only a few thousand years old. While scientific evidence has shown that our earth is billions of years old. When you teach creationism, what evidence do you present to show that it is true? The scriptures of course. Whereas science provides a more convincing evidence by carbon dating and other scientific methods.

Athiests are all not fundamentalists, Logi. Present them with convincing evidence that God really exists, other than the words of the god himself in the scriptures, we will from that moment onwards become believers of God. But religious moderates, as yourself, and religious extremists are fundamentalists. They are not to be expected to easily change their minds.

Just because a lot of people like you have become christians, after some period of atheistic beliefs, doesn't make it true that God exists. Once upon a time, most of the people believed that the sun went around the earth. That didn't make it true did it? If you are happy to be deluded, go ahead. It's just like hearing from your doctor that you are abosolutely healthy, while you actually have cancer. In fact, I feel really better only after being exposed to such literary content about atheism. Truth hurts for the first time when you hear it, but truth frees you from all pain, eventually.

{God will be revealed once again by something as simple as science. =D} I think it will be the ooposite, Logi. Science will strongly disprove God. Few centuries ago, the probability of there existing a God might have been higher compared to today. Because now we know that the causes of diseases and mental illness are no longer attributed to sin or demonic possesion. The findings of science have led to the probability of the existence of God to become lower and lower as time forwards.

Sam Harris, in his book The End Of Faith, says:

"If religion addresses a genuine sphere of understanding and human necessity, then it should be susceptible to progress; its doctrines should become more useful, rather than less. Progress in religion, as in other fields, would have to be a matter of present inquiry, not the mere reiteration of past doctrine. Whatever is true now should be discoverable now, and describable in terms that are not an outright affront to the rest of what we know about the world. By this measure, the entire project of religion seems perfectly backward. It cannot survive the changes that have come over us - culturally, technologically, and even ethically. Otherwise, there are few reasons to believe that we will survive it."

Priya said...

Hi Logi,

Visit this link in youtube:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=O-jjDLKMswM

And pls watch the other videos under this author. You'll gain more insight into the matter.

Priya:)

Suresh said...

wow, Priya, pattaya kelapra po!

Durga said...

Priya,
Intha booka vachu innum oru postaa? Vera atheism books padichu adha pathi eluthunga, illana religious texts, philosophical texts padichu eluthunga. Compare- contrast pannunga. Make the argument yours. Unga argument Dawkins books cut-paste job'veh irruku.
Good luck :)

Logitha said...

Priya!

You're going to have to give me a few days to come up with my answers to your questions and my rebuttals to your arguement.

I don't want to miss a question and end up looking fooling (though it's what I'm best at).

Thank you maam!

-Logi

P.S. I love reading your blog. Gives me reasons to question my faith, which I believe is the basis of strengthening my relationship with God.

However, let's not let our opinions get in the way of our friendship or our respect for each other. Let's keep it as civil as posible. (Oh no, I'm not accusing you of anything, but I just thought it's a good thing to keep in mind as we debate. =D)

Priya said...

@ Suresh

Thanks. But I kind of agree with Durga.

@ Durga

I know, i know. I'm not a speed-reading machine. I need time to read more books and I've already said that in my comment to sk, i think.

So sure. You'll see me posting a lot on this subject, after I've gained a lot more insight. It's interesting.

@ Logi

It's alright Logi. We're still friends, although we differ a lot in this one issue, or even in others too. I'll be patiently waiting for your rebuttals. Take it easy;)

Durga said...

By the way, Priya I think I forgot to mention my view on this quote.
I believe what he says to be true. Completely.
This conclusion is from having read widely myself.

Having said that, I encourage you to read widely too. (previous comment on reading blah blah).

You and I can grow, change, mold and construct in knowledge, argument and belief by reading as much as possible on this issue. The result may completely differ but may enrich each other in many different ways.

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