June 26, 2011 | David F. Coppedge

NOMA Still Isn’t Working

Science journals and websites continue to act as if religion is a subcategory of the science department.  If Stephen Jay Gould thought that NOMA was a good idea to keep peace between science and religion (see 11/05/2006), nobody paid any attention.  Scientism has taken over the world.

  1. Teen religion:  In “Teens Maintain Their Religion,” Medical Xpress went beyond just stating poll results.  It interpreted them as “not surprising,” and actually pretty normal that teens abandon the religious practices they were taught:
"While there was a significant decline across the high school years, it's possible that teens were simply busy doing other things, perhaps a part-time job, taking part in extra-curricular activities or simply socializing with peers," he [Andrew J. Fuligni, a UCLA professor of psychiatry] said. “Plus, kids are beginning to make their own decisions, and where attendance at religious services and activities is driven by parents earlier in childhood, parents may be allowing their teens to make their own decisions about participation as they progress through high school."
  1. Rap against IDNature raved about Baba Brinkman, “a Canadian rap artist whose award-winning show The Rap Guide to Evolution wowed UK crowds at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival during Charles Darwin’s bicentenary year.”  The interviewer provided a sample of his materialistic, Spencerian-Malthusian-Dawkinsian lyrics:
Yeah, you're just a phenotype, performing all the genes inside /
Living things only seem designed, ’cause you can't see how they’ve been revised /
And the feedback lies in evolution’s brutal gaze /
Either you have babies who have babies or get booed off stage.

Was this attack against design criticized?  Not in the least.  Brinkman was allowed to preach a salvation message and hortatory sermon to the journal’s readers: “Converting people to looking at how evolution works and accepting it as a reality is an intellectual battle that is worth fighting.

  1. Moral motives:  One would think religious counselors would be in the business of determining the motives of sinners and saints, but psychologists made it their business.  According to Medical Xpress, “People are more likely to condemn the bad behaviour of others when they sense someone else may be watching, research by a PhD student in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Sydney shows.”  This conclusion was published in the journal Evolutionary Psychology.

    Whether or not the psychologists’ conclusions coincide at any point with those of a preacher, priest or rabbi, it is clear from the article that the “scientific” study by psychologists intruded into non-scientific domains.  “The relevance of these findings is broad including shedding light on both politics and religion,” the article said.  One of the psychologists made it clear who’s in charge: “"The research is also part of Explaining Religion, a three-year, multinational project looking at religious practice and the kinds of behavior, involving moral judgement, that religion often claims to control.”  While claiming that “The findings do not prove belief in the existence of a judgmental god plays a role in cooperation,” the clear message is that psychologists need no such god for their theories.  They can explain human behavior simply in terms of behaviors and mental processes

  1. Happiness science:  Another scientific article on happiness appeared on Medical Xpress June 14 (cf. 05/19/2011, bullet 1).  But do people need science to confirm that “Money can’t buy happiness”, like some New Zealand psychologists produced in “findings” published in a psychology journal?  To whom should a reader look for happiness: a psychological study, or Matthew 6:33?  What if the psychologists had found that money could buy happiness?  Would that make it right?   Can science answer such questions?
  1. Atheist pulpitNew Scientist, an ostensibly scientific media site, gave a very friendly interview to atheist evangelist Robin Ince.  Reporter Roger Highfield appeared to enjoy it: “The UK's funniest rationalist celebrates the world seen through godless eyes  [italics in original].  Ince characterized his views as rational while denigrating his opponents as otherwise.  An avowed humanist and Carl Sagan disciple, he spoke of “looking at the universe rationally and avoid coping mechanisms like mysticism or religion”.

    With a sweep of the hand Ince wrote off scholars who disagree with him, mocking, “I think it is a pity to live your life in ignorance and embrace that ignorance  – for instance with ideas like intelligent design.”  Observers of Medical Xpress (a branch of PhysOrg) over the years know that it is practically inconceivable to imagine the site granting a comeback argument to any leader in the intelligent design community, such as William Dembski, Jonathan Wells or Stephen Meyer, all of whom have multiple PhDs. 

    Ince was given a chance to choose his hero between Einstein and Darwin.  “I love the Englishness of Darwin, the sweetness of his character. He was a man without arrogance who overturned our view of how all living things came to be as they are,” he said.  There were no references to Gerald Bergman’s new book The Dark Side of Darwin, obviously.  (Bergman also has multiple PhDs.)

  2. Church blameMedical Xpress accused churches of ignoring mental illness in their congregations.  “Mental illness of a family member destroys the family's connection with the religious community, a new study by Baylor University psychologists has found, leading many affected families to leave the church and their faith behind.”  The article begs the question whether mental illness even exists, or whether conditions could be divided into sin problems and physical problems.

    Many churches have active counseling programs for those suffering depression, stress, guilt, despair and other ailments.  They already cooperate with medical institutions that specialize in mental symptoms caused by physical conditions, but deny that “mental illness” is some kind of sterile category that can explain behavior apart from spiritual factors, considering the mish-mash of theories in psychological “science” and the wayward history of psychology (cf. 04/21/2011, 02/17/2010, 10/15/2009) .  Would a psychologist ever diagnose any behavior as caused by sin?  Who is to decide?

  3. Gay marriage advocacy:  In a shocking display of NOMA violation, Science Daily advocated abandoning Father's Day and Mother's Day and replacing them with “Co-Parent’s Day.”  Why?  Because “a second parent doesn't have to be a dad. It can be a same-sex partner, a grandparent or another caregiver.”  Even though most of the article affirmed the value of fathers, clearly the program featured in the article, advocated by Philip Cowan, a UC Berkeley psychologist , is in line with the “gay agenda” of redefining marriage and family.

    Once again, psychologists were presented as experts with “findings” deemed scientific, therefore more worthy of reporting than the views of Focus on the Family, the Family Research Council, or other institutions who specialize in family issues.  The science sites always give the edge to academics and psychologists because they are assumed to be scientists.

  4. Beyond gay marriage:  If same-sex marriage continues its sweep, now that New York’s legislature adopted it by the narrowest of margins, what’s to stop other definitions of family?  Indeed, PhysOrg asked, “Can U.S. Law Handle Polygamy?”  The very question suggests it might.  The press release from Washington University in St. Louis gave honor to “Adrienne Davis, JD, an expert on gender relations and the William M. Van Cleve Professor of law” to give her “expert” opinion at the PhysOrg pulpit.

    To Davis, whether you agree polygamy is right or wrong is beside the point.  She “approaches polygamy as a problem of bargaining, cooperation and strategic behavior.”  She acknowledged that “Proponents and detractors of polygamy use same-sex marriage to support their arguments,” but was only concerned whether U.S. laws can handle plural marriages.  She even excused it by comparing it to families that have undergone multiple divorces, a form of “serial polygamy, or polygamy on the installment plan” (see Analogy).  It was not her moral concern whether two wrongs make a right. 

    But aren’t children harmed by polygamy?  The article threw in some doubt: “it is unclear that polygamy generates more problems for children than the standard alternatives.”  And aren’t women abused by it?  Science and law can work it out: “She proposes some default rules that might accommodate polygamy, while ensuring against some of its historic and ongoing abuses.”

    There was not a tinge of moral outrage in this article at the idea of polygamy, long detested by most Americans and civilizations.  Science has arrived to tell us what is moral.  “Is it better to channel legal energy into continuing to root out, repress, and punish polygamy, or into admitting it into the marriage pantheon?” Davis ended this “scientific” article loaded with moral terms like better, best, rules, and fairness. “The answer may hinge on whether polygamy could be effectively regulated.”  Next question: who regulates the regulators?

It is abundantly clear that scientists and academic experts view no subject, no issue, no controversy as out of bounds.  It is also abundantly clear that science journals and news sites feel no obligation to ever include the opinions of religious experts or conservatives.  They have become echo chambers for godless liberals who pretend their critics do not even exist, except maybe as lab rats or targets for mockery.

One can only shudder at the thought of a “marriage pantheon.”  The Roman pantheon was a shrine to pagan gods.  Science has its pagan gods, too: moral relativism, materialism, and evolution.  What kind of marriage(s) will come out of that toxic brew?  Historic marriage was instituted by our Creator.  The denial of the Creator puts Man, with his Science, in charge.  And now that the “gay rights” special-interest groups have co-opted so-called “scientific” experts with their presumptive authority, don’t even try to imagine what permutations of 1 + n entities will be enshrined in the “marriage pantheon.”

Here’s how it happened.  Churches in the 19th century made a devil’s bargain: “You scientists can have all the natural stuff; we just want to focus on the salvation of souls.”  Sounds so attractive a deal.  After all, what did D. L. Moody and Charles Spurgeon know about boring stuff like pig embryos, fossils and geological strata?  “You can have it.We don’t want it; we don’t need it.”  And so the church gave away Nature to “Science”.

Next thing you know, the conspirators Huxley, Tyndall, Haeckel and others were redefining Nature.  Nature is all that exists.  Nature is all that is Real.  Since Science now owned Nature, Science owned everything that is Real.  By implication, churches dealt with things that are Unreal.  Anybody living in an unreal world must be mentally ill.  Religious people, therefore, became the patients of psychological scientists, who treated them like lab rats.

This lesson from history is disturbing and far-reaching, but there is a solution.  Let’s go back and redefine Nature again.  Actually, since the term is so ambiguous it is virtually meaningless, let’s define all of reality as Supernatural (we can play their word game, too).  There’s even observational support for it: lifting your arm is a supernatural act, could it not be argued?  Mind over matter–wow!  Spooky action at a distance in the fundamental particles, fine-tuning in the universe, arguments in the conceptual realm–don’t you see?  The supernatural is everywhere!  Everything is supernatural.  (What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.)

Theology therefore reclaims Science from those mentally ill materialist scientists who deny Reality.  Science is once again the property of the Creator.  We learned our lesson.  Never again will we cede our rightful territory to the conspiratorial bigots whose pilfering of Christian concepts led to intellectual atrocities like those listed above.  From now on, you will practice science within the will of your Creator, and for His glory alone, like Newton and Kepler did.  We will suffer non-Christians limited operation on scientific questions, provided they are observable, testable, and repeatable, and have as their goal the improvement of human life or good stewardship of the Earth (see Francis Bacon).  Any time one of you tries to steal our assumptions or moral categories to deny your Creator, though, we are going to expose your irrationality and embarrass you publicly.  This is for your own good.  It is a form of tough love for sinners who trade in self-refuting fantasies, the outcome of which leads to evil and chaos.  Now, let's get back to the beginning of wisdom and clean up this mess.

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