I’m sure I’ve quoted this enough times that it looks like I’d sleep with Galileo or at the very least take him to dinner (which I surely would…dinner that is). This phrase is, to me, one of the most powerful statements in the history of civilized man. The full line is "The Bible was written to show us how to go to heaven, not how the heavens go."
While I am known for my rather callous feelings towards religion. This is not the goal of this post and indeed 99% of my posts are not trying to butcher the faithful upon a pedestal. What I’m here to discuss today especially is what religion cannot do and will never be able to do.
There has never and will never be a scientific use for faith. All of the benefits that people get medically from being religious have been seen with equal success in merely positive people. It provides absolutely no aid to any real world field of science. This is no a negative to faith, because it was never meant to do such a thing (or at least I don’t believe it ever outwardly advertised such), however in modern day it is a huge flaw that is overlooked by many who have vendettas against certain scientific beliefs.
Obviously to many this is a post in response to intelligent design, formerly known as creationism, and even before that known by 4-5 names. As was stated in a very good book I’ve been reading (“only a theory”) it would appear that more often than not religion is not trying to explain how something works but instead is trying to merely get credit for the something.
You cannot discover how malaria spreads, why the suns light gives people skin cancer, nor can it even explain why people cannot breath underwater. We didn’t decode the human genome with a single bit of guidance by any book of faith nor did we make it to the moon through the discoveries found in any scripture.
There will never be a time when faith can properly function as a scientific tool and likewise there will never be a time when science can function properly as a tool of faith. Each is by its very roots incompatible with the other. This is not to say you cannot be a faithful scientist, that is a scientists who for whatever reason has religious convictions, but neither will benefit the other. They exist in solitude from one another and that is by no means a bad thing.
The danger is when we make the mistake of assuming that faith can save our biological selves. We do not need another era of trephinations to remind us of what happens when we fight that truth. So as many have, much more eloquently than I, this is a modest request to cease and desist with the incessant attempts to use faith as a tool of science. In the end it helps no one and creates various problematic and violent situations.
Well that’s it for today, I will likely discuss the book linked above once I finish it. It is fantastic though and roughly 50% of the way through it I suggest anyone read it who has the ability to do so.