Archive for November, 2012



I hate people that qualify their racial existence. I’m 1/8 cablasian… So on and so on. No one gets treated like a 1/8 anything n this world. You’re either black or close to white.

I have a lot of troubles with mixed people and their ontology or cosmology…

At the same time I have heard people articulate that the intersections they experience from a mixed racial heritage have been very powerful. One of my friends is Peruvian and African American and her positions on many issues have evolved uniquely from that identity. That experience is, undoubtedly, not the same for every person; but I think a valuable perspective that should not be silenced.

Provocatoria: This mixed race skin game

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No, Richard Dawkins. No. Just. No. This is the most patronizing, ignorant statement one could make in an argument against religion, for it quite pointedly fails to see the inherent impetus behind religion’s existence – to know and understand why we are here and how we fit into this universe on an existential, intellectual, and yes spiritual level. A great majority – if not all – of the great scientists upon whom Mr. Dawkins rests his own scientific knowledge and understanding were men of faith in one form or another. From Mendel (a Catholic Monk) and Copernicus (a devout Catholic and probable priest) to Kepler (a devout Lutheran) and Newton (a devout Anglican), Galileo and his Jesuit supporters (yes, even Galileo was a believing and practicing Catholic – criticizing the Pope and challenging scriptural interpretation does not make you not Christian, it makes you a challenger to scriptural interpretation. See Martin Luther and John Calvin) to Kelvin and Maxwell, the fathers of modern physics (both devout Christians), I think it is clear that religion in no way impedes one’s understanding of the physical world. And this does not even begin to consider the notable scientists of other faiths (all of the major religions have produced some of the world’s greatest scientists – as a Christian I am just most familiar with Christian scientists).

These men embarked on their scientific discoveries just because they believed in God. Their discoveries were part of their attempt to understand God, His creation, and how it works. So in fact, Mr. Dawkins, it would seem that religion actually teaches us to question and explore our world – to learn and understand it. Religion, if you took ten minutes to truly engage it, teaches us that the world can be understood – and should be understood! Are there mysteries? Of course. But there are also scientific mysteries. You would also discover that most major religions officially support, endorse, and preach as fact or probable theory scientific discoveries. Pope Benedict XVI has spoken several times in favour of science, saying “This clash (between science and religion) is an absurdity because on one hand there is much scientific proof in favor of evolution, which appears as a reality that we must see and which enriches our understanding of life and being as such.” The Church’s official stance is to encourage its members to discern their own conclusions on the matter (not dictating their position for them – sounds like teaching us to not be satisfied and to understand the world, but that’s just me) Even Darwin – despite his doubts and struggles with religion – relied on the Bible as his moral compass and the Church as a central aspect of community. His thoughts on God? “I have never been an atheist in the sense of denying the existence of a God. – I think that generally … an agnostic would be the most correct description of my state of mind.” Einstein was of a similar mind, accepting the existence of God though not necessarily a Judeo-Christian one. His thoughts? “[…]Even though the realms of religion and science in themselves are clearly marked off from each other, nevertheless there exist between the two strong reciprocal relationships and dependencies. Though religion may be that which determines the goal, it has, nevertheless, learned from science, in the broadest sense, what means will contribute to the attainment of the goals it has set up. But science can only be created by those who are thoroughly imbued with the aspiration toward truth and understanding. This source of feeling, however, springs from the sphere of religion. To this there also belongs the faith in the possibility that the regulations valid for the world of existence are rational, that is, comprehensible to reason. I cannot conceive of a genuine scientist without that profound faith. The situation may be expressed by an image: science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.”

Was Einstein’s concept of God not a Christian one? No, it wasn’t. Did it align with any major religion? No. Does that mean that he did not learn from and respect religions or profess that there is an intricate relationship between science and religion (whatever that religion/faith may be)? No, it doesn’t. So, Mr. Dawkins, the next time you want to quip about religion being anti-intellectual and the opposition to scientific understanding – please just don’t.

Disagree with religion all you’d like – call religions out on their hypocracies and injusticies, God knows they are many. Challenge fundamentalists and champion science – you’ll be joined by many religious people. But please – get your facts straight and engage in a respectful discussion instead of relying on ill-informed, maliciously intended platitudes to make your point.

And that is my rant for the day.

The scientific establishment is perfectly capable of taking a stand against progress towards a greater understanding of the world all on their own. “Science progresses one funeral at a time,” as Max Planck put it, because it’s not specifically a religious failing to put one’s unshakable faith in what one believes to be true, but a human one.

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Drinks with friends 🙂

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