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Religion Vs Evolution: A Pragmatic Viewpoint

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From flickr.com: Evolution vs. Religion {MID-71819}
Evolution vs. Religion
(Image by Gialla Farfalla)
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"The nuclear fusion theory of how the sun emits heat and light is an invention of evolution scientists" All other theories require the sun to use up all its energy sooner than the evolutionists' invented timetable would allow."

I cam upon this little gem of "wisdom" from a booklet published by the Accelerated Christian Education that is a fundamentalist school curriculum used in about 6,000 schools (so they say) in 145 countries. But despite its great-sounding name, education is the very last thing that the organization seeks to achieve. According to their website (www.aceministries.com ) the aim is "to diligently teach our children to love the Lord in every sphere of their lives, with all their hearts, all their souls, and all their minds."

Well, you know me by now. I'm an iconoclast. Nothing is scared that can't be examined, dissected, and exposed. "Christian education is not an alternative. It is not a luxury. It is not even just a good idea. It is the law of God. It is the law that He gave to our forefathers, and it is the same law that He now gives to us. It is the GREAT COMMANDMENT." Please. Education is about "an enlightened experience." But more than that, I'm just going to say what I think education is about:

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Deliberate and hopeful. It is learning we set out to make happen in the belief that people can 'be more';

Informed, respectful and wise. A process of inviting truth and possibility.

Grounded in a desire that at all may flourish and share in life. It is a cooperative and inclusive activity that looks to help people to live their lives as well as they can.

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What the folks in ACE are doing is confusing education with "schooling." So for you who believe in the crap of "Christian Education" a la ACE, let me spell it out for you. ACE's "Christian education" is simply schooling that is the act of trying to drill learning into people according to some plan often drawn up by others.

Paulo Freire, one of the most famous and influential educationalists of the 20th century, famously called schooling: banking -- making deposits of knowledge. Such 'schooling' quickly descends into treating learners like objects, things to be acted upon rather than people to be related to. I could not agree more. So with that distinction made let's deal with this thing called religion and its adversarial relationship with evolution.

First off religion is NOT science and therefore can be described as simply a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs. Let me again be blunt and go even further: religion has its origin in and derives its power from the natural world. In response to fear, superstition, and ignorance occasioned as a response and result of unexplained natural phenomenon, religion was created in an attempt to first explain, and then allay the fears of ignorant (poorly informed) people by, creating rituals, unsubstantiated beliefs and a set of spurious rules that ultimately results in the exercise of direct control over entire populations, albeit by the appeasement or non-appeasement of a deity or sets of deities.

These deities, say their earthly representatives (priests, pastors, ministers, shamans etc.) expect and demand all kinds of barbaric fealties to them from blood sacrifices, sexual abstinence, constant begging, praying, adoration and worship to wars fought in their names all for some hoped-for reward in paradise. Taken to extremes we have the martyrdom complex where the religiously fanatic believe that death and dying "in dome deity's name" is what salvation of about. How illogical is that?

By contrast, science is the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment. Again let me be blunt: science is about PROVING and offering FACTUAL bases for occurrences in nature and the world. Science CONSTANTLY validates and tests conclusions reached and explains natural phenomenon with the use of REAL WORLD experiments. Thus, science can PREDICT with sometimes a 100% certainty that rain will fall, how long and how heavy. Science is the basis for Artificial Intelligence (ATMS, Smartphones, computers etc.) that drive world growth and human development.

Science is also NOT ABOUT A BELIEF SYSTEM. You can believe what you want but that does not make it either true or real. I can believe that my dog Max turns into a werewolf every Wednesday and goes on a blood-binge feasting on pigs. Or that I'll win the New York lottery and have a billion dollars in my bank account if, way, 100 of you read this article and share it. But that has NOTHING to do with reality. In fact, you'll either think that I'm a pathological liar or certifiable -- or both. And the great thing about science it that it continues to validate itself and its conclusions by continually testing and retesting -- over and over again.

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Religion tells you to simply believe without proof. It tells you to develop a certain adoration, bordering on the fanatical, with an unseen deity. It tells you that you are worthless -- a sinner -- and that you "fall short" of a demanding and fickle creator who they confusingly say "created you in His own image." Religion's teachings are dogmatic, rigid and unchanging in a world that is a far cry from the days of Christ when the donkey's back was the revolutionary means of transportation. Religion relies on fear (dying) to control people who do not understand the process of life.

Death is the inevitable consequence of life. Religion and its myriad belief systems would be useless and meaningless had not a select group of individuals (priests, shamans etc.) invented a "divinely good deity or deities" AND A CORRESPONDING adversarial "evil, devil, Satan etc." set of deities. Thus, ALL religions rely on an adversarial relationship between two competing deities to survive, gain converts, and drive membership. This is the core basis, despite what anyone may tell you, for the existence of every world religion.

In the end the reasons for so-called "Christian education," religious instructions and the like is to develop, groom, and prepare religious and church memberships for "combat" with the non-believer. Those "not saved" (from what we're not told) and who, unable or unwilling to "repent" are damned to the everlasting fires of Hell. Phew! That, my friends, is very heavy scare tactics that's reinforced over and over again every Sunday in, believe it or not, "places of worship." It's these contradictions sustained and driven by an inability by every fanatic to think rationally that keeps these institutions in business.

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MICHAEL DERK ROBERTS Small Business Consultant, Editor, and Social Media & Communications Expert, New York Over the past 20 years I've been a top SMALL BUSINESS CONSULTANT and POLITICAL CAMPAIGN STRATEGIST in Brooklyn, New York, running (more...)
 

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