We so often hear religion is not incompatible with science because “science can’t tell us everything”, with the implication being that religion can tell us what science cannot. This must be one of those things we need religion to explain to us, not how earthquakes happen but why they happen and how we can prevent them!
“Many women who do not dress modestly … lead young men astray, corrupt their chastity and spread adultery in society, which (consequently) increases earthquakes,” Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi was quoted as saying by Iranian media. Sedighi is Tehran’s acting Friday prayer leader.
“What can we do to avoid being buried under the rubble?” Sedighi asked during a prayer sermon Friday. “There is no other solution but to take refuge in religion and to adapt our lives to Islam’s moral codes.”
Seismologists have warned for at least two decades that it is likely the sprawling capital will be struck by a catastrophic quake in the near future.
Referring to the violence that followed last June’s disputed presidential election, he said, “The political earthquake that occurred was a reaction to some of the actions (that took place). And now, if a natural earthquake hits Tehran, no one will be able to confront such a calamity but God’s power, only God’s power. … So let’s not disappoint God.”
Minister of Welfare and Social Security Sadeq Mahsooli said prayers and pleas for forgiveness were the best “formulas to repel earthquakes.”
“We cannot invent a system that prevents earthquakes, but God has created this system and that is to avoid sins, to pray, to seek forgiveness, pay alms and self-sacrifice,” Mahsooli said.
But, I imagine someone might say, “those patently ridiculous and superstitious kinds of questions are not the kinds religion answers that science cannot”. But then what exactly are those questions and how are they any better answered by unfounded religious assertions than the question of why earthquakes frequently hit Iran is?