When Religion and Science Clash: A Twitter Conversation between @nerdista and @erichovind
My gal pal @nerdista found herself entangled recently in a conversation with @erichovind, an evangelist blogger who apparently likes to thrust his "Evidence Bible" in others' faces. The ensuing conversation took both hilarious and tragically misguided turns.
[On a side note, what is an Evidence Bible? If religion needs evidence, what then is the value of faith?]
Eric is stuck on the notion of Absolute Truth (capital A, capital T). He means capital G god. Fine. I understand the need for black and white values and lack of uncertainty. Heisenberg's principle can really be freaky if you take a moment to think about it. Besides, I read an article today that says our perception of reality may just be a holographic projection of an even more real reality. Put that in your pipe and smoke it, then talk to me about Absolute Truth.
The problem with Absolutes and science is that they are effectively mutually exclusive. Science relies on measurable evidence and constant reevaluation of the evidence. As our ability to measure changes, so does our understanding. So, understanding can never be absolute. The moment it crosses that threshold, it becomes religion and static--some would say stagnant.
It's a fundamental problem: the religious point of view is fixed, and the scientific one is not. I don't see how they can ever reconcile.
So, they shouldn't. Let people have faith. Reach for, worship, take comfort in the unknowable. It's okay. You can even call it God. Just know that scientists are also reaching and asking questions. They're not doing it to undermine your faith. In fact, they don't really care about your faith (because it's not measurable). They are reaching out and asking questions to learn more about the universe around them. And I think that's not such a bad thing.