Saturday, February 02, 2008

Fossils and Faith

I have been laid up with a virus-you know those unsung tools of the intelligent designer-but today my blogging energy got a boost or a kick from an article called "Resurrected Life" about an artist who uses fossils as the basis for religious art. At first read the article might seem to be a sincere attempt to reconcile religion and science through art. A noble idea and one I endorse.

The article left just a few questions in my mind as explained in the following excerpt from my Lawrence Journal World Blog:

"...there are just some things about it that really bother me as a scientist and as a religious person. For instance, Mr. Detrich thinks that non believers have nothing to live for. Personally I don't believe it is in my ken to say whether or not someone else has anything to live for based on their beliefs. Granted I don't know what is going on in the depths of atheist Richard Dawkins' psyche, but he certainly seems to think his life has a point.

Second of all I am bothered by this statement about nonbelievers:

"They might just accidentally come to the conclusion that life would be better if they believed in a super being, in a creator, rather than life would be better if your actions didn’t matter."

This is a kinder gentler version of Pascal's wager which basically says you should believe because the reward is eternal bliss and the penalty eternal damnation. I have never been impressed by this wager in it's original form and I am even less impressed with Mr. Detrich's kinder gentler version. Also, does Mr. Detrich's kinder gentler version extend to devotees of, say, Krishna or for that matter any sort of belief in a supreme being?

Next, I wonder why is the notion of God "creating" incompatible with scientific explanations of how life came to be and evolved? Mr. Detrich seems to at least accept the geological time scale. Well, if that scale is valid then why could not God's actions to bring change be seen from our end as being-well - evolution?

Finally what am I to make of the concluding statement in the article where he says it is "better to be on the side of good than on the side of bad." Well what about that? Is some one automatically good because they believe in a higher power and some one automatically bad because they don't? Or is some one automatically bad because they believe that evolution happens? Does Mr. Detrich still think we are "evilutionists" as he writes in his "musings"?"

Check out his musings for yourself at:

Remember Darwin's Day is February 12.

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