We see articles on this subject every day, and we almost always ignore them. The last time we even mentioned it was Religion vs. Science? Try Opera vs. Baseball, where — although we discussed both sides — we said that we preferred to remain aloof.
You’re all familiar with the position taken by Ken Ham. He fanatically says you’ve got to choose one or the other — see Ken Ham Is Engaged in a War. On the opposite side are people like Richard Dawkins, who sees virtually no merit in religion. Then there’s the occasional guru who writes that in the magnificent grandiosity of his spiritual ecstasy, he is able to encompass them both simultaneously.
Here’s a good article on the continuing debate, from the website of National Public Radio: Are Scientific And Religious Explanations Incompatible? It’s the sort of thing we routinely ignore.
Your Curmudgeon continues to remain aloof, but we’re going to discuss the subject again. To avoid inflaming those on either side of the debate, we’ll use another analogy. We’ve already used opera and baseball, so today it’ll be golf and football — either American football or soccer, it doesn’t matter in this context.
Do golf and football conflict? Some like one but not the other, some like both, and there are those who ignore them entirely. Hard-core partisans love one and despise the other, but only the craziest of those would declare that “You’re either with us or against us!” To keep our analogy going, we assume that there are also accommodationists who try to please both factions.
But the fact is that that golf and football are different activities. One can indeed enjoy both — but not at the same time. It’s obvious that no one can play golf on the same field where a football game is underway. And while engaging in one, the rules and skills of the other are totally inapplicable and probably counter-productive.
Also, legislation favoring either of them (or both) makes no sense, and penalizing or outlawing them is insane. Well, getting back to science and religion, there’s the special case of what gets taught in public schools, but that’s because the states aren’t allowed to teach religion. The Founders were correct in insisting that government should be secular. They knew from history about the inevitably deleterious consequences of combining church and state. But aside from prohibiting governmental activity, there are no restrictions on religion.
So where does this leave us? Pretty much where we began. Because we think it’s an ill-conceived controversy, we shall remain aloof from the compatibility issue. Nevertheless, we’ll continue to ridicule creationism — including creationists’ efforts to gain governmental support for their nonsense.
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