Thoughts on Judaism

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Fundamentalist Science Cringes

Is it just me?  No, it definitely is not.  Every time I hear a religious person talk about science, I grit my teeth and hope for the best.  Sometimes, I sigh in relief at the end.  Many times, I am not so lucky.

The latest was a brilliant statement by HR Akin proposing that women could block pregnancy during a rape. This is based on a "theory" that has since been thoroughly discredited.  However, since it supports the idea that abortions should not be allowed in rape cases, fundamentalists, even sensible ones like Mike Huckabee, will give it credibility.  No matter how you feel about the question of abortion in the case of rape, it is independent of the fact that a rape victim cannot control whether she gets pregnant.  Justifying your unpopular position with nonsensical "science" makes it both unpopular and embarrassing.

Then, there was the Israeli bestseller, "Hamehapech", which set out to prove that the Torah knew the deepest secrets of modern science millennia ago.  Again, it is largely debunked nonsense, devoid of science.

Of course, there are spirited defenses of spontaneous generation, disproofs of the theory of evolution, proofs of geocentric universe models based on relativity, proofs based on cryptic quantum mechanics, extrapolated to the nth degree, ark-eology (the profession of finding Noah's Ark), and many others all driven by ideological facts that are not facts at all, but merely dogmatic pronouncements.  It is flat out embarrassing to think that I am frequently equated with these people, and therefore, with their "ideas".  It unfairly erodes my credibility.  Who elected these people to speak for us on science?

Of course, the deep left has its own sacred cow science issues, positive feedbacks in global warming, new age magic, mermaids (to support an agenda of stopping navy operations) and history revisions to support their various extreme ideas.  But at least, I am not associated with them automatically based on my appearance.

So, if you are fundamentalist who believes that the Bible, the sages, the Zohar or your favorite rabbi are the sources of amazing scientific facts, think about whether you would believe in those facts if they did not support your underlying agenda.  Facts are evil little mothers that don't care if your cultural sensibilities are right or wrong.  Be honest.  You did not derive your values based on facts.  You are inventing facts to support your values.  Before you state that fact in public, have a little rachmones on the rest of us.

3 Comments:

  • Could you provide sources or links for the myths on each side? I thought even the most die-hard Chareidi had dismissed the geocentric universe by now. (Although I understand that Young-Earth Creationism is alive and kicking...which is scary enough.)

    By Blogger AztecQueen2000, at 9:22 AM  

  • http://www.torahscience.org/torahsci/rebbeletter.html
    Here is a link to the Chabad Rebbe on geocentrism.

    This was more of a lament than a post, but all of the ideas are prevalent in the fundamentalist world, Jewish and Christian. In fact, the Jewish ones seem to borrow prolifically from the Christian ones, opening them to the same lampooning. The problem is that it opens me to the same lampooning. It is more and more embarrassing daily. Not only that, but as a rabbi and a professional, my credibility takes a hit every time these things come out.

    By Blogger Rebeljew, at 10:20 AM  

  • new blog discovery.
    great post..."grit my teeth."

    Tuvia

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:10 PM  

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