Bill Curry had a curious letter to the editor published June 10th edition of the paper that sponsors this blog. It was in response to a letter from someone who objected to the paper publishing a Phyliss Schlafly column supporting Ben Stein’s movie Expelled about creationism. I read the Bible every day too and believe that God created everything, just not in the literal fashion that creationists like Mrs. Schlafly and Mr. Curry claim.
Mr. Curry took off on a revisionist history trip in an effort to connect science and Christianity. He wrote that Bible-based Christianity is responsible for modern science because many of the scientists during the Scientific Revolution (16th century) were Christians. Credible historians do see a connection, but not the one that Mr Curry asserts. The connection is that the Protestant Reformation, the Catholic Counter-Revolution, the discovery of the new world, the fall of Constantinople, and the rediscovery of Aristotle undermined the status quo. It was finally politically acceptable (no more inquisitions) to challenge established thought and a new age of scientific discovery began.
Stranger yet, he claimed that the scientific method was inspired by a Bible quote. This is curious on two counts. First, historians attribute the scientific method to al-Haytham, a first millenium Muslim Arab widely regarded as the first scientist. Second, this same method is the foundation for the theory of evolution and the reason why the vast majority of the scientific world rejects creationism.
I do agree with Mr. Curry that science is revealing many wonderful insights every day that strongly suggest God’s presence, but scientific discovery is something we all share as humans. It is part of our wiring. Though it may be the result of individual inspiration, it is generally not attribued to prayer or spiritual belief. It dates back to the discovery of fire – well before the invention of writing. As a result, it is shared by all cultures and religions.
Finally in an effort to establish his position that good science is based on a belief in God, Mr. Curry took a swipe at Buddhism saying that the reason there aren’t any well known Buddhist scientists is because Buddhism is an atheist religion. This is just wrong on so many points that I don’t know where to start. It may be better to just leave you with a quote from one of our greatest modern scientists,
“The religion of the future will be a cosmic religion. It should transcend a personal God and avoid dogmas and theology. Covering both the natural and the spiritual, it should be based on a religious sense arising from the experience of all things, natural and spiritual, as a meaningful unity. Buddhism answers this description.” Albert Einstien