Monday, 4 October 2010

Zero sum success rate

So science has its ways to divulge truth and sift fact from fiction. Their methodologies are those of testing and weighing various evidences to add another puzzle-piece to a fuller picture of reality. But it is said there’s another, equally valid, means to divine the truth (and I really do mean divine). The religious point out that revelation can get to the truth just as science can, if not better and more directly. (After all, talking to the creator and arbitrator of the universe should give the interlocutor some information).

Well, this would be a fine statement if it turns out that revelation can reveal anything of importance in our world. But the competition simply isn’t fair, and I say this from the scientific perspective; the playing field offers unequal balance. Science has given us tangible results, things we can use and change through a workable, repeatable process. Leaps of knowledge on space, time, and baked beans have changed the world remarkably; today the most common of us live opulently, superior to any monarch of old, largely in debt to the evidence and tests of science. These achievements having only arrived in a measly c500 years: a blink of an eye on the geological scale. While it’s religion and revelation that sit, cross-legged, in the corner staring darkly at the now rapidly moving scientific method. If only looks could kill, the daggers from revelation’s eyes would pierce the heart; thousands of years without a result must be disheartening.

But the dirty looks do no harm, indeed revelation still struggles to get off the ground while science soars. No doubt, in the days of old god talked to people as if through a phone, gradually tapering off his conversations as the centuries rolled past. Introduce science and the tests and suddenly the voice of god is silent or barely audible. It's not a matter of different degrees of difficulty; it's a matter of religious problems being insoluble because they're not based in reality. Religion still has a place, sure, but the gaps it relies on a being filled at an alarming rate with natural explanations, no revelation necessary. The question is: How much longer can religion claim revelation as a legitimate search for truth when they have a score-board tracking zero?

1 comment:

shreddakj said...

"The invisible and the non-existent look very much alike."
-- Delos McKown

In the case of revelation, it would be "The inaudible and the nonexistent sound very much alike."