Oh no you didn'tMy morning coffee was interrupted by a gentle knocking on the front door.  On the other side was a delightful older woman and her apprentice proselytizer sporting bibles, Watchtower magazines, and other paraphernalia of the trade.

She opened by explaining they were there to make sure I understood what the bible had to say, because they’ve found many people don’t know.  I politely replied that I had a bible, had read it, and was pretty familiar with what was inside.  I finished by explaining that I really didn’t feel the need for any additional guidance today.

That should have been the end of it, save for a few pleasantries, and I could return to my cooling cup of Joe and my newspaper.  But no.

She reaches into her stack of pamphlets and pulls one out while saying that perhaps she might interest me in some information on God’s creation because science is constantly trying to disprove it, and I might need to know how to respond.

It was at that moment I wished I was a woman and could pull off that whole finger-wagging head-shaking “Oh no you did not” indignation move.  But alas, I’m just a gesture impaired male.  Either way, it was clear my coffee was going to get colder.

I responded, “I’m sorry, but you have to understand that science is not trying to disprove religious mythology.  That is neither its purpose nor its intent.  It exists to explain nature in a way that allows us to predict and manipulate it.  This is a role that religion does not fulfill, nor aspire to fill.  Science is dependent on a method of discovery and rigorous explanation that is completely indifferent to your beliefs.  Science is not a democracy, nor is it dependent on faith.  You don’t get to pick and choose where it leads.”

“You drove up here in a car whose existence is the product of chemistry, metallurgy, physics, and a dozen other scientific disciplines.  You have a cell phone in your purse, you’re wearing synthetic blend clothes, and you’re schlepping out brochures drafted on computers and produced on high-speed printing presses.”

“The world you live in is the product of science.  It’s unfortunate that you feel threatened by aspects of science, but unless you’re willing to go back to your cave and huddle around the fire you need to find a way your theology can coexist with it.  Anything less is a major act of hypocrisy on your part.”

Science doesn’t want to play in your sandbox.  Stop dragging it in.

8 thoughts on “Oh no you didn’t

  1. It was more of a deer-in-the-headlights stare with their mouths slightly agape. I assume their pamphlet didn’t cover how to deal with this situation.

  2. Love it! So wish to meet up with you and Kim one of these days! I can just imagine a lively conversation…civil, but lively:)!

  3. Science is the tool we use to discover the magnificent universe we are a part of, all created by God.

  4. Believe it or not, I did actually think about the fire-as-science question when writing this up. In all likelihood, early man probably acquired fire from natural sources (e.g. lightning strikes) and simply made use of it. I wouldn’t classify that as science. But as Brian notes, fire starting might well have been the beginning of science. So I’m willing to let her have her fire, but she had better not let it go out.

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