Tuesday, March 06, 2007

God is a Scientist - Part 2

Make no bones about it--I disagree with several of the sentiments brought up in Richard Dawkins' book The God Delusion. But where is the productivity of accentuating the differences? It is much more beneficial to highlight the commonalities, because there are many of those, as well. I fully expect that, truth seekers as we both are, we will eventually come to an agreement on what is true.

God Understands and Follows Nature's Laws
Richard Dawkins makes this statement on page 104 of The God Delusion:

"What if God is a scientist who regards honest seeking after truth as the supreme virtue? Indeed, wouldn't the designer of the universe have to be a scientist?"

Exactly!

If God indeed did create the earth upon which we live, he would have had to know an immense amount of science. It seems clear that if he exists, he does know science, as illustrated in this excerpt from the scriptures of the LDS church:

And the Gods set the [sun, moon, and stars] in the expanse of the heavens, to give light upon the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night, and to cause to divide the light from the darkness.

And the Gods watched those things which they had ordered until they obeyed.

Pearl of Great Price - Abraham 4:17-18

Noted scientist and member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Henry Eyring, in his book, Reflections of a Scientist, stated that scientists "expect the truth to prevail because it is the truth". Church prophet Brigham Young reminded members of the church not to be afraid of truth just because it doesn't come from a prophet's mouth. He said that the gospel embraces all truth, whether revealed to a prophet or not:

How gladly would we understand every principle pertaining to science and art, and become thoroughly acquainted with every intricate operation of nature, and with all the chemical changes that are constantly going on around us! How delightful this would be, and what a boundless field of truth and power is open for us to explore!

[Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, vol. 9, pg. 168, January 26, 1862].

On the same subject, President Ezra Taft Benson said:

Religion and science have sometimes been in apparent conflict. Yet the conflict should only be apparent, not real for science should seek truth, and true religion is truth. There can never be conflict between revealed religion and scientific fact. That they have often occupied different fields of truth is a mere detail. The gospel accepts and embraces all truth; science is slowly expanding her arms and reaching into the invisible domain in search of truth The two are meeting daily -- science as a child, revealed religion as the mother. Truth is truth, whether labeled science or religion. There can be no conflict. Time is on the side of truth -- for truth is eternal.

[Ezra Taft Benson, Conference Report, April 1966, pg. 129].

On page 125 of Dawkins' book, he quotes Matt Ridley:

Most scientiests are bored by what they have already discovered. It is ignorance that drives them on.

I am glad that this is so. Scientists have made and continue to make excellent discoveries that benefit not only our health, but the comforts of life and our understanding of it.

Ignorance is what drives true religionists on as well. True scientists and true religionists relish and are exhilarated by the search for truth, and applaud the discoverer, whether he or she be from the realms of religion or science. A true religionist does not disparage the truth-seeking scientist. Neither does a true scientist disparage his religious compatriot.

One day, when all is known, our religion will be our science--and vice versa.

Read Part 1 of "God is a Scientist" here.

5 comments:

  1. I haven't read the Dawkins book so I'm not sure how to comment. But I have a related question: When I was flying to Costa Rica in December, I met a young Mormon missionary (interestingly, he was a Costa Rican returning from doing missionary work in New York City!). We discussed Mormonism and he told me that Mormons believe that the Native Americans are descended from Israelites who emigrated here. I said, "well that would be easy to verify through genetic testing." He sort of nodded, then changed the subject.

    Has any such genetic testing been done? And if it were done, and it revealed that the Mormon belief was untrue, what would you believe?

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  2. I don't know if any genetic testing has been done. And I guess I don't know what I would believe if the results didn't say "Israelite".

    How many would have to be tested to find a statistical sampling that had enough confidence?

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  3. Frank, God is a liberal.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Anonymous,

    I'm not sure your point. Would you mind elaborating?

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  5. Frank, I agree that there is much value in seeing science among the manifestations of God. You might be interested in the Mormon Transhumanist Association:

    http://transfigurism.org

    ReplyDelete

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