TEXAS FAITH: Is science leading to a new literalism?

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Bill McKenzie of Dallas Morning News asks, Has science, with its emphasis on empiricism, led to a new literalism, where we value things we can prove more than things we cannot? Twelve panelists respond. http://religionblog.dallasnews.com/archives/2011/05/texas-faith-is-science-leading.html

MIKE GHOUSE, President, Foundation for Pluralism, Dallas

The battle between science and religion is a product of the insecurity stamped in to men to view anything different as a threat to their existence and to the resources that surround them. There is a built-in mechanism that propels them to prove, talk, fight and act superior to hide their insecurities, and tempts them to enforce their views on others. Thank God our American system is relatively immune to such invasions.
Science is not an alien object; nor is its goal to falsify religion it’s rather a human desire to understand the inexplicable.
Faith in the invisible gives a majority of us comfort that the causer of the universe has created a system that works and we don’t need to pull our hair for that. The problem is not with science or religion. The insecurity among us drives the wedge. Finding the truth is our own responsibility and religion is about being truthful.
For a long time literalism was confined to the conservatives among religion. “What they see is what it was,” was their ethos. That contagious virus has now hit scientists as well . They are as irrational with their fanaticism as the religious literalists.
About two years ago I joined atheist groups to invite them to be a part of the Unity Day to complete representing every American in the event. I was kicked out of it for believing in God. Such is the literalism in every group be it scientific, religious, spiritual or rational.
We are yet to find a logical scientific reason why we fall in love, why we long for the one when we can have the other, why do we take our shirt off for a friend, why the “noise” of music is mellifluous, why tears roll down when tragedy befalls humanity and why do we risk our own lives to save the other? The scientific observations may not find the causal relationships in affairs of love or belief in God, but may help in understanding Hitlers, Bin Ladens and their likes to mitigate such occurrences.
Ward has indeed made the other point, that the emphasis on empiricism has not led to a new literalism but the rising freedom in our societies has brought the literalists among scientists out of the closets just as acceptance of atheism has graduated over the last two decades.
Literalism is part of the equation in everything we do; science is not an exception, we have to live with all dimensions of life; left to right and moderates. If we can learn to respect the otherness of other and accept the God given (or genetic if that suits you) uniqueness of each one of us then conflicts fade and solutions emerge.
Texas Faith panel addresses the issues we face on a weekly basis. For every one’s response, please visit. http://religionblog.dallasnews.com/archives/2011/05/texas-faith-is-science-leading.html  

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