Thursday, January 15, 2009

God and Science: An Inner Conflict

LiveScience posts the story God and Science: An Inner Conflict  today:

God and science are inherently at odds, or so goes the story with roots that reach back nearly 400 years to the Inquisition's trial of Galileo on suspicion of heresy.

The ongoing effort of U.S. creationists to inject doubt about evolution into science classrooms in public schools is an example of that conflict, not to mention the polarizing arguments over the decades offered by numerous members of the clergy, politicians, and some atheist scientists and scholars including Richard Dawkins.

Now a new study suggests our minds are conflicted, making it so we have trouble reconciling science and God because we unconsciously see these concepts as fundamentally opposed, at least when both are used to explain the beginning of life and the universe.

Experiments headed up by psychologist Jesse Preston of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and her colleague Nicholas Epley of the University of Chicago provide some data to support the argument that the conflict is inherent, or hard-wired. They found that subjects apparently cannot easily give positive evaluations to both God and science as explanations for big questions, such as the origin of life and the universe, at the same time.


There you have it.  God, angels, miracles, signs and wonders are found in some brains while evidence, data, and analysis are found in others.  No wonder the fundamentalists denounce science so vehemently and cling to their Bibles.  They can understand all of that mystical stuff and perhaps even visualize it during some periods of their consciousness.

Brains hard-wired for either God or science, but not both.  Done.

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