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Letters to the Editor

These letters were sent in response to editorials or articles with various unscientific claims.

 

Original Editorial:

The following quotes are from an editorial in The Wichita Eagle of July 30, 2006.

Our Letter:

 

Conflict Between Science and Religion?

 The editorial by AAAS Chair Gilbert S. Omenn and CEO Alan I. Leshner in The Wichita Eagle entitled “No conflict between science and religion” (1) appears to have been good politics, as it may have helped to overthrow the anti-evolution board members in Kansas. But is this approach good for science? As scientists, we are duty-bound to tell the truth. It is simply not true that there is no conflict between science and religion. That’s what the whole debate is about in the first place. The conflict has persisted for centuries and probably will continue for centuries more.

 As scientists, our experience with the external world has led us to conservative assumptions that are in opposition to the extreme assumptions of traditional mythology (2). We assume, for example, that matter and the motion of matter neither can be created nor destroyed (conservation). The opposing assumption, creation of something from nothing, has no experimental proof and thus must be regarded as the more extreme view. To soft-pedal the contradiction between conservation and creation is a detriment to science. Indeed, the usual obfuscation typical of the last century now has led us to a so-called “scientific” theory that speculates that the entire universe could be created out of nothing. We should welcome the open debate, for pedagogical reasons if nothing else.

Glenn Borchardt, Director
Progressive Science Institute

 


1. Omenn, G.S., and Leshner, A.I, 2006, No conflict between science and religion, The Wichita Eagle: Wichita, KN. www.kansas.com

 2. Borchardt, Glenn, 2004, The ten assumptions of science: Toward a new scientific worldview: Lincoln, NE, iUniverse, 125 p.

 

Corvallis Gazette-Times article mixing science and religion:

http://www.gazettetimes.com/articles/2007/04/21/news/community/2aaa03_schori.txt

Our Letter:

The fact that "Schori finds commonality in science and religion" (G-T, April 27, 2007) is not surprising. The claim that there is no conflict between science and religion is as ancient as it is false. It may be good politics, but is it good for science? As scientists, we are duty-bound to tell the truth. It is simply not true that there is no conflict between science and religion. That’s why the whole debate exists in the first place.

As scientists, our experience with the external world has led us to conservative assumptions that are in opposition to the extreme assumptions of traditional mythology. We assume, for example, that matter and the motion of matter neither can be created nor destroyed (conservation). The opposing assumption, creation of something from nothing, which is so common among religions has no experimental proof and thus must be regarded as the more extreme view. To soft-pedal the contradiction between conservation and creation is a detriment to science. Indeed, the usual obfuscation typical of the last century now has led us to a so-called “scientific” theory that speculates that the entire universe was created out of nothing. We should welcome the open debate, for pedagogical reasons if nothing else. When will OSU open the forum to strictly scientific views?

Glenn Borchardt, Director
Progressive Science Institute
Berkeley, CA

Author of the book, "The Scientific Worldview" (www.scientificworldview.com).

 

Overbye Essay in the New York Times of June 5, 2007 extolling the pessimistic glories of Big Bang Theory.

(http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/05/science/space/05essa.html?_r=1&scp=2&sq=overbye+expanding+beyond&st=nyt&oref=slogin)

Our Letter:

Editor, New York Times:

 The pessimistic essay by Dennis Overbye (The Universe, Expanding Beyond All Understanding) is simply more of the usual claptrap concerning the archetype of today’s systems philosophy: the so-called Big Bang Theory of the origin of the universe. This remnant of the pre-Copernican view will be put to rest in the next few decades, possibly by a scientifically invigorated USA or most likely by rapidly developing China or India.  The last step in our intellectual evolution is to accept the assumption that the universe is infinite and eternal. The archaic cosmological theory promulgated by establishment science and accepted uncritically by US media is headed for a resounding crash. The glorification of Einstein and his religiously flavored assumptions implying an expanding finite universe will continue apace, but the New York Times need not be a part of it.

Glenn Borchardt, Director
Progressive Science Institute

Berkeley, CA

Author of “The Scientific Worldview: Beyond Newton and Einstein,” iUniverse, 2007 (www.thescientificworldview.com).

Progressive Science Institute
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