Reality Conditions

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

The Archbishop, the Creationists, and the PZ

Continuing with the theme of science and religion, there is an interesting intereview in today's The Guardian with the Archbishop of Canterbury, leader of the Church of England. He talks about many things, including homosexuality -I was surprised to see how liberal his position on gay marriage is. But the thing that made to a headline in the front page of the newspaper was his clear stance against creationism: when asked whether it should be taught in schools, he says "I don't think it should, actually. No, no." One more voice for sanity.

(I don't know who is the religious leader of the British Muslim community, if there is one, but I would like him to come out and say the same thing. In my university we see roughly once per semester the Muslim Society covering the central hall of one of the buildings with posters explaining the evil lies of evolutionism with arguments straight from the Talk Origins index. By contrast, I have not seen any Christian fundamentalism around.)

PZ Myers, however, is not happy. The very fact that the Archbishop is seen to have some special authority to make pronouncements on science makes him angry -why do people listen to a religious leader more than to science and reason? My comment is here. While on a certain level I can sympathize with this feeling, I am convinced that taking such a belligerent position is a mistake. But hell, he wouldn't be PZ if he didn't make it. PZ, with your mistakes and all, we love you.

P.S.: Chad Orzel has some good reflections on the importance of religion from a social point of view. I think he is being too mild (the opposite mistake than PZ) and I'm not sure if most religious people are so just for the social aspect of religion (cultural traditions and all that).


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