Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in the Newcastle Herald, an Australian tabloid located in Newcastle, New South Wales. It’s titled LAME OR BLIND IF ALONE, and it’s the second letter at that link. The newspaper has a comments feature.
Because the writer isn’t a politician, preacher, or other public figure, we won’t embarrass or promote him by using his full name. His first name is Peter. He writes a lot of letters, but that doesn’t qualify for full-name treatment. Excerpts from his latest letter will be enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary, some bold font for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]. Here we go!
John Arnold (Letters 19/4) says all religions are ‘voodoo’ and have no place in a modern world that uses science to explain existence and phenomena.
We can’t find that letter but it doesn’t matter. Peter disagrees with it and says:
But I say religion helped make modern science possible, specifically Christianity’s idea that a rational being created a rational universe capable of being investigated.
Ooooooooooooh! Without Adam & Eve, Noah’s Ark, and all the rest of it, there wouldn’t be any science. Right! After that brilliant insight, Peter tells us:
And since science can’t explain all existence and phenomena, I also say Mr Arnold’s error is scientific over-reach or scientism.
Whoa — wait a minute! First, Peter says religion makes it possible to do science. Then he tells us there’s stuff science can’t figure out — and science is to blame. How is that possible? He continues:
Science is inherently incapable of explaining the existence of countless intangible realities including justice, mercy and love. It can’t tell us why there is something rather than nothing, nor can it say where everything comes from.
What’s going on here? If science is useless, and religion makes science possible, then … well, it’s rather obvious that religion is to blame. Doesn’t Peter see that? Let’s read on:
Science explains how things work, but not what they mean, and it says nothing about what we should do. [Science is useless!] I think Einstein got it right: ‘Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind’.
Creationists shouldn’t quote-mine Einstein, who was clearly an atheist. Anyway, having made his point, or at least thinking he’s done that, Peter changes the subject:
For me a spiritual worldview is important, as is taxpayer funding of taxpayers’ religious schools and institutions, in determining what is in the best interests of an enlightened 21st century society.
We don’t know the legal situation in Australia. Can government use tax money to support churches and teach creationism down there? Anyway, Peter’s final paragraph refers to other letters, and without them it makes no sense, so this is where we leave him.
And that’s the situation on the underside of the flat Earth, dear reader. Top side, bottom side, it doesn’t seem to matter. Creationists are the same everywhere. And that’s wonderful!
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