Commenter defending Christians insists they have less intelligence than infants.

There was another comment on the valedictorian post by Bob Mallard that I found poorly-reasoned.

religion has never been void of science nor should faith. No human with intelligence above a an infant who practices faith denies the principles of science. Just because you have faith does not mean you believe there is a demon behind every bush. Religion is not for the weak, and religion is not the antithesis of science. We should not go down that road.

Oh no.  Please.  Let’s go down that road.

Religion has never been void of science?  Are you kidding?  Religion can only exist in the absence of science.  You think science supports the idea of someone rising from the dead?  You think the claim of someone walking on water is harmonious with physics?  You think the story of someone being converted into a pillar of salt meshes with chemistry?  If so, you wouldn’t know science if you were drowning in it.

The very idea of a miracle is something for which the natural laws were suspended.  Nothing could be more anti-scientific than that.

And one of the points of science is to separate good ideas from bad.  Stars are created through a natural process called the Jeans Instability.  They are not created by rubbing twigs together.  One claims is scientific, the other is not.  However, faith can be used to defend quite literally any claim, no matter how ludicrous and no matter how offensive to the conclusions of science.  You cannot get more antithetical to science than that.  If faith and scientific knowledge were identical then students would learn about a global flood in geology class.  But they don’t, because it isn’t science.  If faith were based on facts and observable reality it would be called “knowledge”.  It isn’t because…it isn’t.

No human with intelligence above a an infant who practices faith denies the principles of science.

You have just done anti-theists like myself the courtesy of asserting that all Christians do not have superior intelligence to an infant.  To be a Christian necessitates a denial of the principles of science.  If our understanding of neurological death is correct, then Christianity is false because Jesus could not have risen from the dead.  If our understanding of surface tension is correct, then Jesus could not have walked on water.  The list goes on and on of all the claims in the bible invalidated by science.  The excuse is that these things were miracles orchestrated by a god who is not bound by the same laws that make science possible.  But anytime your recourse is to miracles you are denying the validity of science.

And as for this:

Religion is not for the weak…

Religion is not necessarily for the weak, though it’s no secret that Christians regularly target the weak for conversion.  Oh, your life is in shambles?  Come to Jesus.  Oh, you’re a child and at a point of cognitive development where Santa Claus still makes sense?  Believe in a guy who rose from the dead.  Oh, you’re on your death bed?  Convert or burn for all eternity.  But I cannot deny that despite these practices that there are certainly strong Christians.  However, don’t say to me that believing in someone rising from the dead is for reasonable people and expect to be taken seriously.  You might as well tell me that oxygen deprivation is good for your health.  Both claims are so transparently false that you’d need a bias indistinguishable from brain damage to believe they are true.

Science has been eroding faith and religion for thousands of years.  You can even test this yourself by trying to think of two things:

1.  Try to think of a question for which we once had a religious answer but for which we now have a scientific answer.  This should be easy.  You can start with geocentricity.

2.  Try to think of a question for which we once had a scientific answer but for which we now have a religious answer.  You will quickly realize how impossible this is.

Science has been carving away at the assertions of religion since humans first learned to reason.  The idea of someone rising from the dead is not more harmonious with science than the claim that lightning is sent as god’s wrath or that illness is caused by infestation by demons, it’s just that people finally admitted it with the latter two.  Christians, it seems, have failed to take even that baby step.

Faith is compatible with science.  Sure.  And ice cubes are compatible with fire.

Patheos Atheist LogoLike What Would JT Do? and Patheos Atheist on Facebook!

About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X