Monday, July 20, 2009

The artificial dispute twixt science and religion.

There is an artificial conflict between science and religion being pursued and exacerbated by those whose intent is more feudal than religious. Religion has long explained the unknown to human society, because, “I don’t know,” is the most difficult pronouncement most people can imagine.

As people began to observe and understand the world around them, natural curiosity encouraged efforts to discover ever more. Knowledge became powerful, and some used it to accrue social power, status and/or material wealth. Some used what was known as a basis for learning more and others learned so that they might teach and encourage more folks to do the same… The groups are not mutually exclusive.

O’er the course of human development people have often associated knowledge with mystical or religious authority, and those who would leverage that for power and wealth tried hard to keep information to themselves. By the Renaissance period of the western world, knowledge had become too widespread and the genie was out of the bottle.

Losing control of knowledge was bothersome, but not overwhelming to the aristocrats (who were rapidly evolving into plutocrats of the post feudal period), because high social status was still largely limited to white, wealthy men and their entourages.

Events of the Renaissance had led to scientific and social experimentation that spawned a phrase which became the basis of a new nation: “…that all men are created equal.” That phrase was to lead to a society that would, eventually, resemble that remark.

There has always been (and always will be) a segment of the population that finds the aforementioned phrase, at best, distasteful. Now, as the phrase approaches near complete social acceptance and practice, we begin to see an increasingly restive movement of plutocrats, aristocrat wannabes, (and their sycophants) attempting the restoration of old ways.

Trying to return to the past has been an effort governed largely by civility, but as desperation rises civility often falls by the wayside. In population, we who are melanin challenged are due to become the largest minority in the USA. In positions of wealth and power, there is an ever increasing presence of women and less melanin challenged minorities.

Religion can be interpreted to appear as if it conflicts with science in a manner that allows it to be used as a lever against the social progress of the last millennia. That most scientists have religious beliefs, and most religions are comfortable with the progress of science specifically, and society generally, disproves the fantasy of those desperate for a return to anachronistic ways.