The post is titled Is science faith based?, followed immediately by the answer "No.". Which is wonderful, really it is :-)
Of course, Phil Plait (author of the post) does go a bit further in qualifying this. And it's an excellent and important read for anyone on either side of the issue.
He points out that the site Answers In Genesis states the following incorrect assertion that science is based on a faith in "unprovable" axioms:
Much of the problem stems from the different starting points of our divergence with Darwinists. Everyone, scientist or not, must start their quests for knowledge with some unprovable axiomâ€”some a priori belief on which they sort through experience and deduce other truths. This starting point, whatever it is, can only be accepted by faith; eventually, in each belief system, there must be some unprovable, presupposed foundation for reasoning (since an infinite regression is impossible).
He then summarizes exactly what science is about on a very core and fundamental level, using it as an example of how flawed the central assumption that science is somehow faith based is amongst fundamentalists:
The scientific method makes one assumption, and one assumption only: the Universe obeys a set of rules. Thatâ€™s it. There is one corollary, and that is that if the Universe follows these rules, then those rules can be deduced by observing the way Universe behaves. This follows naturally; if it obeys the rules, then the rules must be revealed by that behavior.
This, really, is such a beautiful way to explain all of science in a concise and accessible way, and I really do love it.
Anyway... I strongly recommend reading the entire post. In this day and age, when intellectualism is constantly under attack, posts like this are so very important.
But the real danger of many Christian conservatives like Huckabee is that they don't care. To them, it doesn't matter that the US was formed to be a nation where religious freedom was fundamental. It doesn't matter to them that there are many people who don't believe what they do. They don't want us to be a nation of many peoples and philosophies united together. Hell, the actual teachings of Christ, you know the ones about love, tolerance, acceptance, and not judging others because we're imperfect ourselves, these things don't matter to them either.
To these modern Christian conservatives it's their way, or nothing. There is no debate, no discussion, and absolutely no compromise.
We are entering very frightening times to be alive and living in America. The current power the US Government poses to covertly engage in domestic surveillance, arrest and detain without warrant, judge or jury, and harshly silence with newly created laws meant to limit free speech, is undeniably Orwellian in scope. Add to this mix the virtual powder-keg that is the growing divide between fundamentalists and the rest of us and it's obvious we need to do everything within our powers to keep people like Huckabee out of the White House.
I know I've had a lot of posts about this stuff lately, but it's been heavy on my mind since the discussion I mentioned here. It just astounds me, and confounds me, that people really are stupid enough to a) think that there is some innate conflict between science and religion, b) dismiss accepted scientific theories backed with strong scientific evidence (such as evolution, carbon dating, etc.) without studying them in the slightest, and c) fervently argue that science is out to destroy religion and it must be wrong without first getting their facts straight.
At any rate, I read this article today, and I was pleased to see that I'm not the last sane religious person on this planet.
I mean, I'm sure if I went into the Life Way Christian Store, or the Creation Museum, I'd find a hellova lot to be offended by. In fact, I'm sure I'd be a lot more offended than Lori Baxter was in Victoria's Secret. But the thing is, I wouldn't be surprised by it. I wouldn't be going into these places and then be shocked that they had idiotic things promoting Intelligent Design while at the same time attempting to thrash real science. What kind of a moron goes to a Victoria Secret and doesn't realize there's going to be scantily clad mannequins?!
My wife is having surgery this week. It's a moderately routine surgery, everyone assures me that it will go well, but it is not without some risk.
For this surgery, several relatives have come into town to show support. I'll be open and honest in saying I can't really see the point of them coming. One set of relatives are only coming for the day of the surgery, arriving after she's gone under the knife and departing before she returns from her medicated recovery, meaning she wont even see them. Another set came a couple of days before while my wife has been on an all liquid diet (to prepare for the surgery) and leaving the day my wife gets out of the hospital, meaning they wont be around to help during the few weeks of recovery thereafter. I guess the "support" they are giving is the kind where you don't actually do anything, but whatever. I appreciate it. Sure I do.
Anyway, one set of relatives are staunch Christian Conservatives, or more accurately, Christian Fundamentalists. They view the Theory of Evolution as an attack on their beliefs and refuse to even try to understand what the theory actually says, instead they spout the same tired and misinformed rhetoric that persons like them have spouted for decades. They make horribly off color jokes about Terrorists threatening to burn Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama while Christian Fundamentalists go door to door to collect gasoline donations (the sorts of jokes that somehow wind up offending on multiple levels including being sexist, racist, and morally reprehensible). They also sit there watching Fox News every waking moment of the day without giving a second thought to the hate and lie laden faux news filling their closed minds.
Well, I usually try my best to keep my mouth shut around these relatives, mostly because they are quite old and it doesn't do any good to debate with them anyway (save your strength for the school boards that are trying to insert Intelligent Design into Biology classes). Yet, somehow, something is invariably said that is so grating on my intellect that I have to speak up.
Last night, it was a discussion about how America is a "Christian Nation", founded by Christians, for Christians, and nowhere does it say our founding fathers felt that church and state should be separate. Well, naturally, that made my blood boil, and I had to say something.