Thursday, November 11, 2010

Forever the twain shall meet.

The Myth of Separate Magisteria | Big Questions Online:

Gould via Big Questions Online

I know both scientists and religious believers for whom the idea of non-overlapping magisteria (NOMA) has become an unexamined fiction designed to skirt the culture wars. It is clear, however, that NOMA (a term Gould adapted from Catholic theology; the 'Magisterium' is the Church's term for its teaching authority) is not only a fiction but a useless fiction — from the standpoint of both religion and science.

To cite one prominent example, scientists use embryonic stem cells in research aimed at developing treatments for currently incurable scourges of the body. Some church leaders, primarily Roman Catholics and conservative American Protestants, are doing everything they can to impede the research because their faith tells them that a six-day-old embryo is the equivalent of a person — and that destroying the cells for scientific purposes is murder.
Gould was well-intentioned but facts are facts and there are real world implications to attempting to force reality to match a fantasy world conjured up by ignorant savages where capricious sky gods impregnate virgins, order genocide, and demand belief in magical bullshit.
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