Sunday, May 02, 2010

So what of love? What of science?

On my Facebook page, one of my sister's long time friends, who insisted on having me as one of her Facebook friends, took exception to something I'd posted that spoke in favor of science. Here's the quote directly from what she wrote, typos and all:

And what makes the son of a false pastor an expert on something he seems to know nothing about. Its more than just science. Can science explain love, not just a chemical reaction but sacrifiial love.

Now let's start by saying that in her Facebook profile, the author of the above lists only the Bible under books, has "worship music" as her number one music choice and identifies as a Christian and a Republican. So you can imagine that we're not going to see eye-to-eye.

However, I have to be honest. Science can't explain love. At least not yet. And perhaps it never will. But this doesn't mean that its inability to answer this question in any way invalidates the rest of science. Nor does it give validity to religion or any other belief system that relies on mysticism and the supernatural.

Once again, I'm faced with someone who thinks if they find one potential "weakness" in science, it proves that their system is right. But let's be perfectly clear on this one point. Even if a religious person manages to somehow prove that all the learning, teachings and discoveries that science has provided us are somehow completely and utterly false, it still doesn't prove their religious beliefs right. It ignores other possibilities. It creates a false dichotomy.

I will never claim that science proves religion to be false. It has, on numerous occasions, shown that certain ideas and beliefs held by religious people are false. We now know that the Earth actually moves. We know that the Earth isn't flat. We know that its impossible for stars to fall from the skies (meteors aren't actually stars... elementary astronomy).

Yet I don't have to prove that religions are false. I'm not making the claims. Those who claim them to be true have the burden of proof. If you make a claim, you'd better be ready to back it up, particularly if you insist that those claims give you some kind of special authority to govern how my children are taught, what I can and can't say, why we'll go to war or how I live my life.

And, no, your own book doesn't prove a damned thing except that someone at some time in the past wrote a book.


Post a Comment

<< Home