PhilHunt wrote:Religion on the other hand requires a suspension of reasonable thinking
Perhaps there are religions that do that. My God does not require me to suspend reasonable thinking...
There are also some intelligent scientists around who take the Genesis account as true and do not accept the theory of evolution.
I am not being offensive when I say suspension of reasonable thinking. This is just a statement of fact.
If I told you that my next door neighbour can raise the dead you would quite reasonably not believe me yet a belief in religion as written in the Bible requires us to suspend reasonable thinking and believe that there were some people, saints for example, who were able to bring back the dead, speak to spirits and angels, survive decapitation, foresee the future etc...
A belief in miracles, which is part and parcel to belief in religion, requires a suspension of belief in the laws of nature. To believe that a person with cancer can be cured through radiotherapy is a belief based on scientific testing. A belief that that self same person can be cured through prayer is irrational and not based on any scientific basis. In fact a test was carried out by the Templeton Foundation http://www.templeton.org/
in an attempt to prove that prayer worked.
They selected 3 groups of patients recovering from operations.
Group 1 were prayed for but were unaware of it.
Group 2 were not prayed for.
Group 3 were prayed for but were aware of it.
The results for recovery in the patients of group 1 and 2 were the same but interestingly group 3 showed significantly lower rates of recovery than the other two groups.
The test had many flaws but the results certainly did not bolster religious claims that prayer aids physical recovery.
As to scientist who believe in Genesis; again, this requires them to disregard all evidence to the contrary and to believe that a book, written by many different men and at different times, mistranslated and massively edited in the middle ages, somehow represents the real truth of our origins.
I read one story about a scientist who had a crisis because what he was learning in science seemed to contradict everything he read in the Bible. One day he went through the Bible and cut out all the sections which could not be true according to his learning in science and he was left with a slim volume. he then decided that he had to make a decision, either to believe everything in the Bible or to believe science. He chose the Bible. This is not a rational decision as he decided to disregard the actual evidence presented to him in favour of irrational thinking. So in response to the fact that many scientists believe in Genesis as fact, this doesn't mean anything. Many people believe the holocaust never existed but I don't pay them credence.
trolley wrote:I think it is important to remember that Intelligent Design and Creationism are not the same thing. Also, evolution is more than just a theory. It is a fact, borne out by the fossil record. Biological organisms evolve from generation to generation , through mutation and survival of the fittest. Does evolution exclude the possibility that there may be a higher power working from behind the curtain?
I stated that ID was a form of neo-creationism. They argue that the gaps in the fossil record show that there was no smooth transition from one species to another and thus that the theory is false.
Micro-evolution is prooven fact. Scientists have observed this type of evolution in our life times. The chaffinches of the Galapagus islands are the most studies species in the world and evolution of body size, beak size etc in response to change in habitat has been observed. This is one way that micor-evolution has been proven.
Macro-evolution, how we got from a fish species to mamals for example, is more difficult. The fossil record can show intermediates but it is unable to show the entire evolutionary cycle. The obvious reason why it is so difficult to do so is that fossils are not so easy to come by. A fossilised animal must be one that had fallen into a boggy terrain, not been eaten by other animals and not gone rotten through exposure to air. Obviously this is a very rare occurance and it is for this reason fossils showing all the intermediate phases are hard (impossible) to come by. For this reason, macro-evolution will always remain a hotly contested topic.