The Kevorkian Papers

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Science VS Religion

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Primitive man always craved

An existence less bleak and depraved;

So he made holy hosts

Of gods, totems, and ghosts

To feel tranquil and piously saved.

 

But "heretical" minds, not enslaved,

And still trusting to facts misbehaved;

For they dared to adorn

A new "faith" that was born

And called science through which they were saved.

 

 

However, the old faith held sway

With control through its "auto da fe,"

And for dissidents now

The old faith has learned how

To maintain its control to this day.

 

The lingering old faith still skews

Most control to just men who refuse

To help fortify science

With much more reliance

On women's more down to earth views.1

 

In some with "born-again" Christians it's found

That brain lesions on "rebirth" abound

With sequelae bizarre

That make some of them far

Bigger pains in their next go-around.2

 

Still the new "faith" was futile without

An immense technological clout

Yielding quarks and such things

As those weird superstrings

That have now sowed the seeds of some doubt.

 

In their misguided, weak state of mind

The new mystics of science will find

That such eerie dissembling

Just ends up resembling

The old faith or mystical kind.

 

In both macro- and microcosmology

A few scientists, without apology,

Concoct theories bizarre,

So unreal that they are

Much like mathematicians' theology.3

 

Math's moot, convoluted domain

Spawns queer theories just short of insane;

So, like Einstein one ought

Instead trust in pure thought

From a real, convoluted, live brain.4

 

A few physicists identify

Their great T.O.E. with God on high,

A strange numinous trend

That perhaps might portend

That as science pure physics will die.

 

To avert such a fate and succeed

True believers must doggedly heed

Thomas Huxley who said

That pure science is dead

If it ever embraces a creed.5

 

Like a cancer the creed now began

Its attack in the form of a ban

On some stem cell research

And men's clones, which the church

Says will desecrate God's holy plan.

 

All ethical codes should dispense

With fixed dogma that's blindly intense;

Without going to church you

Can manifest virtue

Through reason and plain common sense.

 

For scientists one thing is clear:

He or she must steadfastly adhere

To refuse being shackled

On all problems tackled,

Not stopping and showing no fear.

 

Yes, some mysteries of Nature may never

Yield their secrets to human endeavor,

But this sad thought will still

Not diminish the will

Of pure science to plod on forever.

 

References

1. Wertheim, Margaret: Pythagoras' Trousers. W.W. Norton & Co., NY, 1995, 223-252.

2. Caen, Herb: In: Winokur, John: The Portable Curmudgeon. Plume (Penguin Books), NY, 1987, 34.

3. Georgi, Howard: In: Regis, Ed: Who Got Einstein's Office? Addison-Wesley Publ., Inc., NY, 1992, 269.

4. Dyson, Freeman: Disturbing the Universe. Harper & Row, NY, 1979, 196-197.

5. Huxley, Thomas: In: Andrews, Robert: The Concise Columbia Dictionary of Quotations, Avon Books, NY, 1989, 233.



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+1 #1 Julie InYourFaceNewYorker 2011-05-16 22:13
I don't understand how anybody can find God (at least the Judeo-Christian one, which is obviously what I'm most familiar with) comforting. He brutally kills everybody on page six of the Bible. What I find appalling is how when someone dies an untimely death everybody says that it's "in God's plan." Recently I found out that a girl I knew as a teenager on a summer tour died by falling down a waterfall. I listened to her funeral service online and the Rabbi-- a REFORMED Rabbi, I think!-- was going on about how it was in God's plan. How can ANYBODY be okay with believing such claptrap? I'm sorry, if it is true, if God pushes a 30-year-old woman off a waterfall to her death, then he's a jerk! I don't care if it's part of some great cosmic plan. That doesn't make him any less of a jerk! In fact, it makes him a sadist!

Julie
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