Monday, August 28, 2006

Can religious and scientific teachings coexist?

From Newsday

The Rev. Ledyard Baxtor, pastor, Old Steeple Community Church, Aquebogue:

We need to promote the idea that they coexist. I'm distressed that the continuing attempts on the part of some to divide science from faith. There are at least four ways that historically, faith and science have been related through conflict, independence, dialogue and integration. ... Even Galileo said something to the effect that the Bible teaches us how to go to heaven and science teaches us how the heavens go. More recently [geologist] Stephen Gould had a clever saying: Faith is about the rock of ages and geology as a science is about the age of rocks. ... In a one-room schoolhouse, you would teach math and English, but you wouldn't teach them out of the same textbook. ... God created [heaven and Earth] and I believe that with all my heart and mind. But that's not science. Science is more about how the universe works, so there really need not be any conflict.

Richard Visconti, pastor, Caroline Church, Setauket:

The more we understand and the more we know about our world, the better off we are. ... Religion is an understanding of our relationship to God and how we understand our dependency upon God. And so there are two understandings ... we believe God created the world and he created us, and he gave us the minds that we have to investigate and to learn more about our environment. And, hopefully, others will benefit from our knowledge.

The Rev. Richard Anderson, pastor, Holding Out Hope Church, Middle Island:

We live in a secular society that's going to teach science, that we evolved, and obviously, I'm not for that and don't believe that's how we were created. And I know there was talk for a while about intelligent design and bringing that into play with understanding creation. I'm not for teaching evolution in school for our children, but the burden falls on parents. While we're forced to have our schools where they don't teach biblical principles, it's up to parents to know the word of God and the Bible and teach their children at home. ... I believe God gives tremendous knowledge to doctors and those in the medical field, with breakthrough cures and medicine that can absolutely change a person's life and give them great quality of life. ... As a pastor, I don't tell people not to see a doctor or get medication, but I do tell them that everything you do, you must do through prayer.

Rabbi Michael L. Kramer, Temple Judea, Massapequa:

The Torah consists of the historical narrative of our people, moral teachings and what God desires of us. And it's not a scientific text, and it's not interested in science. Therefore, there is no contradiction between religion and science and, furthermore, science only increases our wonder and amazement about God's universe. Reform Judaism is supportive of advancements made by science in the public good. I see no conflict because I don't believe it was the purpose of the Torah to give us any scientific knowledge. It's more interested in teaching us how to respond to the universe and what God demands of us.

Prakash Shukla, priest, Hindu Community Center, Hicksville:

Religion and science work together. With each and every thing, religion depends on science. Every 11th day of the Hindu month is fast day. Same thing with science. Resting your stomach makes your stomach healthy. ... Religion is one type of science. There is a coin. One side is science and one side is astrology. Science can't control everything. Science can't control a storm or an earthquake, but something's there. It's God. Until now, science couldn't make blood. What makes this? This is God. Some natural things just can't have been done by science.

The Rev. Mark Billington, pastor, Bellerose Baptist Church, Bellerose:

For the most part, I believe that religion can inform our views of science and provide ethical guidelines for our understanding of scientific procedures. Religion provides ethical guidelines such as that of mankind being created in the image of God as well as other guidelines. ... But any of those ethical understandings can help us in better determining where science goes too far. Religion informs values every day [on] topics such as abortion, euthanasia, genetics and even evolution. Because [you have a] religious understanding does not necessarily mean you cannot have a scientific mindset as well.

75% in Arkansas, Alabama believe Bible literally true

Sat Aug 26, 3:01 PM ET

Not surprisingly, the Bible Belt region lives up to its name with states like Alabama, Arkansas, Tennessee and West Virginia containing the highest percentage of those who believe the Bible is literally true. Alabama and Arkansas came out on top as 75% say they believe the Bible is literally true. West Virginia (70%) and Tennessee (68%) are close behind.

The northeast region of our map represents the other extreme. In Vermont and Massachusetts, only 22% of those respondents believe the Bible is literally true—the lowest percentages in all states surveyed.

Earlier this summer, a national survey found that 54% of American adults believe the Bible is literally true.

In Arkansas, the question proves to be one of the rare ones that doesn't cause divisions along party lines; 83% of Republicans and 75% of Democrats say the believe in the Bible's literal truth. Seventy-nine percent (79%) of women and 69% of men identify themselves as true believers.

In Alabama, Democrats and Republicans both share high levels of belief on the authenticity and literal truth of the Bible. Women again outnumber men, though by a smaller percentage, 79% to 72%. The states differ, though, when the question is dissected by respondents' ages. Percentages of those agreeing with the Bible's authenticity are in the high 70's across all age demographics for Alabama. In Arkansas, however, percentages are actually higher for younger voters. Eighty-one percent (81%) of those 18-29 and 83% of those 30-39 believe the Bible's literal truth and then the numbers drop off, hitting a low of 66% for voters ages 50-64.

In Vermont, 37% of GOP voters and only 14% of Democrats say they are believers. Along age lines, the highest percentage of believers are those ages 65 and older (36%.)

In Massachusetts, Republican believers again outnumber Democrats (39% to 17%) Surprisingly, among conservatives in the state, the percentage of those who believe the Bible is true (41%) is outweighed by the percentage who do not (44%.)

As expected, strong connections exist in most of the states surveyed between the percentage of those who answered affirmatively on the Bible question and their positions on abortion and same-sex marriage.

The national survey was of all adults. The state surveys consisted of Likely Voter samples. The results may not be directly comparable.

Rasmussen Reports is an electronic publishing firm specializing in the collection, publication, and distribution of public opinion polling information. (link)

Friday, August 25, 2006

350,000 Embryo's Trashed

If it weren't for fertility clinics, there wouldn't be so many unwanted "embryos" that are simply tossed when they run out of room. Those embryos could be donated to science to possibly cure one of your children or grandchildren. The Anything But Religious Right prefers to defend the embryo's right to life but does nothing about their being put to the trash bin.

Watch this "human life" literally tossed in the garbage when it could have been used to save lives.