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6.11.2011

Bible vs. Science (A "Gut" Feeling)

I read an interesting article about gut bacteria this morning.

As I was reading about these "new findings" from intestinal biology, an idea occurred to me as to why some people fancy faith over reason, the Bible vs. Science.

Perhaps some people are made to feel uneasy (queasy?) when they are not 100% certain that the world is as it seems. Science can explain a lot of things, but scientists admit that their work is dynamic and changing as new facts come to light...this can be unsettling for some people.

That is to say, there is a certain comfort in believing that the universe in unyieldingly consistent.

The Bible provides that sense of comfort. Science, though a much better explanation of reality and the universe, is never 100%.

In fact, science can't "prove" anything. All it can do is "fail to disprove" some things. It is the nature of science that it can only disprove the disprovable. A theory and it's subsequent hypotheses are only as good as their ability to be tested.

Conversely, God is neither provable nor disprovable. It is the nature of Faith that the existence of God is simply accepted and held to be rock solidly true.

Believers like the unyielding consistency* over time of the Bible's take on things (however unprovable they may be) vs. the seemingly daily and often unsettling "change" of Science.

When I have queried religious people about their "core values" (a simple psychological exercise where you get people to think about something that if they did not have it life would not be worth living, followed by a visualization of how that thing makes them feel), I always get a similar response. Their core value is peace, calm, tranquility, and the like. Conversely, non-believers are less consistent, reporting core values like knowledge gain, excitement, adrenalin, discovering new things.

I think there is a high correlation between core values and whether someone prefers reason over faith. The Bible, for all its contradictions and defiance of the laws of physics, is a stable philosophy that appeals to those whose core value is stability. Mythology, by design, can be fit to any belief system. It only requires interpretation of abstractions that are untestable. Science though is pesky. It requires continual questioning and the end results do not always appeal to common sense and belief.

*Not to be confused with internal consistency from Statistics, which the Bible sorely lacks.

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