The Course of Reason

Lucky for You, Science is Not a Religion

August 30, 2011

So, as everyone has heard, Hurricane Irene is crawling its way up the East Coast. Scientists have built models to determine its path, community members have reinforced homes and businesses, families and friends have offered hands of help, and, last and definitely least, the priests and pastors have offered prayer and spiritual guidance.


It must be a slap in the face for the Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Greek Mythologists, Astrologers, Mormons, and Rastas to see and hear a priest pray for the Catholic Church’s adherents’ safety throughout the storm, since you have to be Catholic to benefit from perks like prayer and Hail Mary’s (along with communion, which I must admit, I’ve snuck a communion once to see what the flesh and blood of Jesus tastes like and to be honest, his flesh is dry and tasteless and the blood is surprisingly weak…I can get a stiffer, more delicious shot at a bar). Also, it must be disappointing to be a Catholic and see/hear Protestant pastors pray for their congregation, since a Protestant god must be pissed to see such orthodoxy and importance of traditional values in the Catholic church (not to mention the priests infatuation with little boys).

Luckily, we have alternatives to magic! ::GASP:: Scientists have been working tirelessly to find the solutions to the equations that are governing the hurricane’s path, non-religious people are trying to be all-inclusive and help everyone (not just themselves or those that are like themselves) with preparation, and the religious (who are doing more than prayer) are accomplishing the same goals. It must feel nice for those people who are doing nothing but praying to know in the back of their minds that there are others who are actually trying to do something. If you have no sense of communal activity, no real knowledge of climate patterns, no skills at actually caring for those of us who are “going to hell”, it must be a relief on your conscience to know that there are others who do care and who will actually help the rest of society.

Finally, a couple questions, or rather, “What if..”: What if science was a religion? What if the perks of scientific progress were only available to those who accept Darwin into their heart? What if, and this is hard for me to say, a child who hasn’t given themselves up to science, asks a hospital for help with leukemia? Luckily, the scientific method and those who practice it, don’t care whether or not you accept, or even enjoy, scientific findings….because thankfully, the nature of science is much more accepting, much more beautiful, and most importantly, much more helpful than any religious organization.

Also, if you would like to do something to help out, why not donate a few bucks to the Red Cross? They can use whatever you can provide.

This article originally appeared on Skeptic Freethought.



About the Author: Shawn Witham

Shawn Witham's photo
Shawn is a PhD student in Physics at Clemson University whose research interests are computational biophysics. His interests include philosophy of science, alternative politics and economic systems, and open source software.




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