Science Is Real

science_is_realThis is awesomely awesome: My favorite-ever band, They Might Be Giants, has a new kids’ album out, “Here Comes Science.” And in the song “Science Is Real,” they lay it all out:  “I like those stories about angels, unicorns and elves … but when I’m seeking knowledge, either simple or abstract, the facts are with science.” And they make it clear that you can’t just pick and choose: “Science is real, from the Big  Bang to DNA/Science is real, from evolution to the Milky Way.”

So, is this polite? Is it a breach of etiquette? Well, maybe. It’s perhaps a bit rude to suggest to religious folks that angels (which are mentioned in the Bible, not just in populist pablum spouted by feel-good New Age-y types) are in the same category as unicorns or elves.

But is it rude to say that if you’re seeking knowledge, you should look to science rather than religion? I don’t think so. Unless, of course, you want to argue that it’s rude to say that if you’re seeking divine/godly/spiritual/religious guidance, you should look to religion rather than science. I’m guessing most religious types don’t think it’s rude to make such a suggestion, or to say that science can’t tell us about God since science deals with the natural while religion deals with the supernatural.

So, sauce for the goose, etc. If you want people to respect what religion has to tell us about spiritual matters, then have some respect for what science has to tell us about material matters. It’s a two-way street.

Sure, Richard Dawkins says his scientific perspective tells him that there aren’t any deities (a position not advocated by most atheists), but it’s not like he’s trying to get the government to force religious preachers to stop preaching religion, or to preach scientific concepts as if they’re religion. Whereas there are plenty of folks trying to get the government to force science teachers to stop teaching science, or to teach religious concepts as if they’re science.

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4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Rob A on September 15, 2009 at 10:11 am

    Not meaning to be picky, but aren’t unicorns in the bible too?

    Reply

  2. Posted by Simon on September 15, 2009 at 7:12 pm

    Yep they are.

    Reply

  3. Posted by OwenP on September 17, 2009 at 4:11 am

    “Sure, Richard Dawkins says his scientific perspective tells him that there aren’t any deities”

    It’s a subtle point, but I think he would characterize his position as “his scientific perspective tells him that there is no reason to think there are any deities”. In terms of practical effect the difference may be slight — and in informal use the phrases might be used interchangeably — but philosophically they are world’s apart.

    (IMHO, but backed up by Chapter 4 of TGD)

    Reply

  4. If only more people could realize that science is actually real.

    Reply

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