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Scientists without religion are immoral – so says the Vatican!

Scientists without religion are immoral – so says the Vatican! October 26, 2007

It’s almost 15 years since the Vatican finally handed in the towel over the “Earth-centric” universe. Galileo, they announced in 1992, was right all along. Evolution, too, seems to get a luke-warm thumbs up these days (“It’s more than just a hypothesis”, apparently).

But we should still be scared of scientists – left to their own devices, they go mad and start creating atom bombs, cloning human beings (and probably worse). Without guidance from a bloodthirsty book written by bronze-age shepherds, we’d all be in the soup. After all, Christians weren’t in charge when they dropped the atom bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaski, were they….???

Sadly for the Vatican (and others who still cling to similar superstitions), the fact is that morality does not come from the Bible – we are moral despite the Bible (and the Koran). Our morality comes from our evolutionary past, shaped by our capacity for reason and informed and guided by scientific understanding of what makes humans tick. We’re rational creatures, capable of questioning dogma and judging what is wrong and right. Thank goodness!

Incidentally, for a topical and entertaining fictional telling of the perils of mixing religious dogma with science, check out Phillip Pullman’s “Northern Lights” (“Golden Compass” in the US).

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