We know best

December 5th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Don’t bother listening to experts, the government it seems, knows best….

Ministers will not be required to seek the advice of scientists when making drug classification policy in future, under new government proposals.

The police reform and social responsibility bill, published last week, contains an amendment to the constitution of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) that would remove the requirement on the home secretary to appoint at least six scientists to the committee.

Crime reduction minister James Brokenshire said…

Scientific advice is absolutely critical to the government’s approach to drugs and any suggestion that we are moving away from it is absolutely not true.

Removing the requirement on the home secretary to appoint to the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs at least one person with experience in six specific areas will allow us greater flexibility in the expertise we are able to draw on.

And by flexibility, the good minister means being able to get in whoever agrees with the government as easily as possible, whilst getting rid of anyone that doesn’t agree.

defending religion…not very well

June 11th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Via Jesus & Mo I happen across this

June 8, 2010

In an interview last night with ABC-News reporter Diane Sawyer, scientist Stephen Hawking opined that human life is “insignificant in the universe,” and then went on to say that “There is a fundamental difference between religion, which is based on authority, [and] science, which is based on observation and reason.” He concluded by saying, “Science will win because it works.”

Stephen Hawking does have a point. Bill Donohue, the President of the Catholic League disagrees (I’ve no idea who he is either, but he reckons the Catholic priest abuse scandal is about teh gays not peadophiles).

What Big Bill says is…

How any rational person could belittle the pivotal role that human life plays in the universe is a wonder, but it is just as silly to say that all religions are marked by the absence of reason. While there are some religions which are devoid of reason, there are others, such as Roman Catholicism, which have long assigned it a special place.

How can rational person overstate how little a role humans play in the universe? How can anybody think we have a ‘pivotal’ role in what happens outside of our planets atmosphere? We might be able to warm Earth up a degree or two or be really good at making various forms of life here extinct, but anything on a bigger scale is waaaaay beyond us.

Some religions may be more receptive to reasoned argument, but Catholicism is not one of them. Look at it’s stance on condoms, for Christs sake.

Religions may accept certain bits of science and reason, but as soon as a bit contradicts what is in it’s special writings then it doesn’t want to know. Unless of course it can come up with a bit of holy logical acrobatics to say it’s teachings were wrong without saying they were wrong.

It was the Catholic Church that created the first universities, and it was the Catholic Church that played a central role in the Scientific Revolution; these two historical contributions made possible Mr. Hawking’s career.

Just because somebody is teaching something doesn’t mean what they’re teaching is correct.

Reason, in pursuit of truth, has been reiterated by the Church fathers for nearly two millennia. That is why Hawking posits a false conflict: in the annals of the Catholic Church, there is no inherent conflict between science and religion. Quite the contrary: science and religion, in Catholic thought, are complementary properties. Ergo, nothing is gained by alleging a “victory” of science over religion.

No conflict between science and religion? Why did the Catholic church persecute Galileo for saying the earth orbited the Sun instead of saying ‘really? Could you look into it further?’

There is an inherent conflict twix science and religion: religion is based on what old teachings tell us what to believe, science tells us what we find out from evidence.

Religion without reason, Pope Benedict XVI instructed us in his Regensburg address in 2006, leads to fanaticism. That much Hawking seems to understand. What he doesn’t get is its contra: science without faith also leads to disaster—the genocidal regimes in Germany, the Soviet Union, China and Cambodia being Exhibits A, B, C and D.

Pope Beni got something right, but the examples given of science without faith are not cause and effect. Throughout history there are appalling examples of religious and non-religious people in power causing atrocities. Being ‘of faith’ or not does not mean one is A Good Guy or A Bad Guy.

Religion will never get to the truth. There are too many reasons not to. Science is about discovery. It doesn’t matter what that discovery is.

The difference between a believer and an atheists

February 12th, 2010 § 2 comments § permalink


The Church of England’s ruling body will close its meeting with a call for more recognition of the compatibility of religious belief with science.

The motion will urge it to fight back in what is the latest move in a public battle between atheists and believers.

The compatibility of science and religion only goes so far.
The scientist that is also a believer may, for instance, recognise evolution and all the current scientific thoeries as true and look deeper in to how the world works, but ultimately, will come to the conclusion that it all started with god.

An athiest scientist will keep looking.

The motion at the General Synod in London is proposed by Dr Peter Capon.

Many religious people feel they are being gradually pushed out of the public sphere by opponents who are using science as a weapon.

‘Science’ itself isn’t the weapon, rational arguement is. And seeing as religion is not a rational ‘thing’*, then religion is on a loser. Science will one day have all the answers. Although it may take a bit of time.

(*I can’t find the link to which religious person said it recently, so drop a link in the comments if you do)

Dr Capon, himself a former lecturer in computer science, says atheists are misleading the public when they claim science and religion are incompatible.

Athiests are misleading the public? Atheists are using evidence and rational thought. It is the religious folk that are misleading the public with stories and assertions and rules that have supposedly come form god but only come from someone or people with a knack for manipulating people and telling a good story.

Think of it this way. Two scientists, one an atheist and one a believer, after rigorous experimentation and testing and research, after following all the evidence they find about the beginning of life, the universe and everything, they end up ringing the doorbell on the Pearly Gates. God answers.
The religious scientist turns to the atheist and says ‘See. I said it was him that did it. Our quest for the ultimate answer has finished.’
The Atheist scientist looks at God and asks ‘So. How did you do it, then?’

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