but churches who sloganeer on their signboards leave me cold.
Driving to work yesterday, I saw a signboard from a local church with this piece of bumper-sticker wisdom:
“Science that doesn’t bring us closer to God is useless.”
I hate to say it, but all science is an attempt to bring us closer to the meaning of our existence. Like most religions, those attempts are imperfect and sometimes perverse, but they all have as a result some understanding of why and who and what we are.
Galileo, Copernicus and Kepler all brought us a smidge closer to understanding our place in the cosmos by giving some measurable, visible concept of the earth’s relationship to the stars.
Darwin (God bless his heart, because the fundamentalists are damning him to hell) postulated a theory that made sense and provided a sensible basis for evaluating how we became what we are. If that isn’t trying to bring us closer to whatever made us possible, then I’m burning in hell.
Intelligent design also brings us closer to God (whatever he , she or it is), in that it provides an excellent example of how rational, empirical thought and reason can be shunted aside by superstition or mysticism.
The science that led to the atomic bomb also brought us closer to God by showing us just how little we grasp of the power of what surrounds us.
And even the torture and bestiality practiced by Mengele brings us closer to God by demonstrating how science can be be corrupted, perverted, twisted or mocked by those with good or evil intentions.
Somehow, I think the person who arranged the letters on that church signboard really meant to say “All thought that doesn’t mesh with ours is irrelevant.”
And, even though it isn’t particularly scientific, the implications of it also bring us a little closer to whatever God is or isn’t.