In Darwin’s Pious Idea, we come to one of the still prevalent modern myths—the religious v. science myth. Well, what can one say? There are people out there who still believe President Obama was born somewhere other than U.S. soil. People will believe what they want to believe, the facts be damned it would seem. Cunningham on this myth:
“This contrived nonsense—the very invention of an urban myth, but one that formed a new niche that would accommodate a form of cultural colonization—was accompanied by a number of other, now well-known but utterly erroneous, myths.”
He then goes on to list some of these, that medieval people and earlier believed the world to be flat, that Copernicus was persecuted by the church for his findings, that Huxley bested Wilberforce in their famous debate (“Frank James says, ‘the myth was created twenty years later and, despite the best efforts of historians, is still trotted out uncritically to this day.’), and so forth.
He writes: “The evidence against such nonsense (Religion v. Science) could fill a library.”
Of more interest is the origin of the “secular” and this space the materialist inhabits as he casts stones about. The materialist believes this space to hover in the air so to speak, like a city in the clouds. But it has an origin and genealogy. Cunningham notes:
“…we point out that science as we know it in the West is very much a child of religion. Religion may not have been its only parent, but its parentage is indisputable, and incontrovertible. The only suspicion of cuckoldry—of those left to bring up another’s child thinking it to be their own—is that of secularism. In short, science is not the child of secularism, if by “secular” we mean nonreligious. And it cannot be for many reasons, but let’s take just two. First, the secular is not an atheistic accomplishment but is itself a child, another progeny, of religion. Second, historically speaking, science, as understood in Western culture, emerged from the soil and womb of monotheism. Homo sapiens are intrinsically religious, but it would not help the cause of science—or rather, we would never bother inventing science—if our religion was not monotheistic.”
He then goes on to point out the difference between a polytheistic world, where spirits and gods inhabit the very warp and woof of the elements, meaning every brook, wind, tree, and rock and something like the Christian narrative. With countless deities running loose and controlling everything by whim and fiat, what would be the point of studying such a world for there is no reason to suspect or have a presupposition of regularity or causal chains within nature. It is only with the narrative of a single God creating a world separate and apart, distinct from that God, that we begin to see the fertile soil being laid for the sprouting of modern science. In other words, to take apart a plant, a beetle, a frog, a stone, was not to offend the gods anymore, but was rather to study the very work of an artist, where the painting and the painter were two separate things. But this also created a “secular” space. Cunningham notes:
“In other words, the world was not God, for it was created, and in this way it was secular. Moreover, it was finite, which meant that we could in a sense get our minds around it.”
What does the materialist have to show for his continuing blather? Nothing. He can’t even account for the space he inhabits. He looks around, casting stones at everything he doesn’t like, and yet the stones, the house, the neighborhood, the conceptual machinery, everything, was built by others, thank you very much. It is infantile. It resembles the spoiled brat who prattles on about his independence as his parents drive him to high school, clothe him, feed him, shelter him, and marvel at his zero contribution to said independence. The best we can hope for the materialist, the believer in scientism, is that he would simply grow up for God’s sake. Go out and build something like Western Civilization…and then come talk to us. In the mean time, shut up and eat your vegetables.
“In sum, the science versus religion trope is a conveniently contrived invention, not at all based in historical fact. Also, religion is one of the parents of science, just as it is the source of secularism. The modern-day creationists and fundamentalists [read secular fundamentalists] are just that—modern–…”