Friday, June 01, 2007

Does it matter what you believe?

I was wandering through the blogosphere...

It always amazes me how one thing can lead to another. I began with a science article in the New York Times, which lead to a great science blog called denialism blog. Specifically to an entry on how to be an effective "crank", which after reading, I understand "crank" means science crackpot with a following! This futher lead me to the blog of an "IDer" which I learned by clicking refers to one who believes in "intelligent design" -- of the universe, not of human societies which would be a much sillier claim.

That ultimately gets me to the comment by a reader of this "Intelligent Design" blog called Uncommon Descent. The reader, after discussing various points made by the young earth advocates (believers in creation 6,000 years ago) versus the old earth advocates (intelligent design believers in creation over billions of years) declared:
"And so I persist in my tendency to accept a young Earth with great caution… fortunately for all of us, in the end it probably doesn’t matter much except that we would all like to know."
And at this point my reading came to a grinding halt, and I had to do some responding! Because it does matter, very much.

What people believe or are willing to learn about the origins of our planet and ourselves has huge consequences for the choices that we make in the present, and the future of all of us.

Young earth creationists not only believe that the earth was created in 6 days, 6,000 years ago, but also believe that resources like oil were created that way, and therefore can either be recreated humans in minutes through simple chemical processses or by nature within days or months, or simply by God by fiat, since that was how it was created in the first place from this viewpoint. The logical consequence of these beliefs?

That is it sinful to conserve oil (or any other natural resources) because attempts to conserve are an expression of doubt in God's power. So, yeah, what you believe about the origins of the universe, earth and man DO matter.

1 comment:

E. R. Dunhill said...

Nice place you have, here. I find an alarming trend among many of the biblical literalists I know, who use disagreement over origins as an attack on the entire wisdom-tradition of Western science. Then falls climate change. It's interesting that there's never any conflict over the mechanics that runs an internal combustion engine, nor the chemistry that yields aspirin.
I also continue to question the conclusion that an omnipotent, omniscient God would be unable to devise a system as simple as evolution.
In truth, I think the majority of the origins debate is about demonstrating adherence to group norms.