Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Bible IS a Science Textbook!

     Archaeologists were astonished last month to unearth the remains of what appears to be a first century "classroom" in a cave not far from Jerusalem. Despite its small size, the cave was spacious enough for one adult "teacher" and twelve adolescent "students". In addition to a wealth of early Christian symbols adorning the walls, explorers were amazed to discover a collection of chemicals, minerals, plant and animal samples, some fragmented Greek parchments, and curiously enough, a stack of twelve identical copies of the Jewish Old Testament. Archaeologists are already celebrating the find as not only a rare picture into first century scientific education, but explicit proof that the Bible actually was intended to be read as a science textbook.
     "It really is an astounding find!" The Senior Archaeologist reported. "It's bound to turn both the religious and scientific worlds on their heads."
     This statement became even more true than expected when further investigation of the classroom revealed detailed instruction for how to make animals talk, how to create matter out of nothing, and the theoretical framework for how to survive in the belly of a great fish for up to 72 hours. 
     "As a scientist, I follow the evidence, no matter where it leads." One science professor remarked after reviewing the findings. "As a man of science, one frequently has to abandon theories when they are shown to be false. It's been the way of science for millions of--I mean thousands of years! In science, it doesn't matter how many alterations have been made. What matters is whatever we believe today, we know will always be correct!"
    The find has not been without its share of controversy. Certain activist groups are outraged at the notion that they be expected to give the Bible more credence now that it is affirmed as scientific fact, and have now taken up the mantra that "Science is Intolerant" and have even gone so far as to decry Mathematical Physics as being a "fundamentalist agenda".
     Not to be outdone, the evangelical community rejoiced at the findings calling it a miracle [scientific discovery] from God.  "Our country just doesn't value church the way it used to." One local pastor commented. "We've had to abandon our study of Finding Answers in the Book of Genesis for the more simplified study Finding the Book of Genesis. People just seem to fall asleep now in church, so I'm grateful I can now do science lectures which are bound to keep people at the edge of their pews for hours!" 
     Other Christian groups lament their loss of status as a "Faith Based Organization" and are now assimilated into "Scientific Associations". The marketing departments however, have already acquired the rights to slogans such as "Just Have Science", and "Science Moves Mountains!".
     Indeed, it seems the ramifications of this find could be endless. Formerly unknown historical figures will soon be integrated into the history books, such as the recently discovered Gentile scientist, "Bildad Nye the Science Goy". The archaeological team intends to continue their excavation and will be posting their discoveries regularly. There seems little doubt among professionals that, like The Dead Sea Scrolls, The Gospel of Judas, and Hillsong United's four power chords, the discovery of The Jerusalem Science Classroom, will most certainly continue to impact the world, for generations. 

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Ethics Case Study #1

Dan belongs to a religious sect that has a long history of practicing astrology. According to his religious convictions, he is persuaded that his unborn child will display homosexual tendencies. His religion does not condone homosexuality, but he still desires to raise the child. However, his common-law partner Sue, a non-practicing Catholic, has determined she wants to take no chances and is seeking to acquire an abortion. Canadian Law prevents Dan from making the final decision. When first questioned about her decision, Sue insisted that she was operating within her rights and that for her, it fell into the same category as terminating a fetus that would be born handicapped. "There's no way I could feel comfortable being forced to care for a child like that" she told her doctor. Sue explained that if her doctor refused her an abortion due to her reasoning, she would turn to other methods, even suggesting Fetal Alcohol Syndrome as a means of assuring her a less controversial approach. "My doctor encouraged me to abort when I was sixteen when FAS was discovered." Sue was overheard saying, "I hope it doesn't come to that, but I can't make this decision based on what makes people happy." What is the most ethical outcome for this scenario?

I've always had a deep fascination with ethics. Not the least of which is exploring how personal values dictate opinions. In the fictitious case study above, a number of controversial issues are presented. This is done so, not to create adversity, but to explore the assumptions that go into the formulating of our conclusions. How does the prioritizing of issues dictate the expression of our worldview?

For example,
Priority 1: Woman's rights - Sue must not be made to do anything against her will.
P2: Religion - Faith groups must not be forced to abide by societal restrictions
P3: etc....

What's your priority list? Again, the purpose of this post is not provide an arena for explicit slander, it is an opportunity to examine how conclusions are formed. Feel free to even include why you put certain priorities where you do. Have fun and keep it clean!

Jake Rivers