Tuesday, January 18, 2005

The Retreat Into Fundamentalism

Dig this. In today's paper here in Kansas City, someone on the opinion page lamented the scientific exploration of one of Saturn's moons. It seems that, up on Titan, scientists are looking for a parallel to the origins of life on earth, and apparently, in order to discover said origins of life on earth, "all they have to do is turn to God's holy word, the Bible, and read Genesis." Well, that sure got me thinking.
The first, easy thought that came was (naturally) a smart aleck question, "Which story in Genesis should they read?" There happen to be two stories in Genesis about the origin of life on earth, and they are different from each other. But that, like I said, is the easy way out, a counter-productive smart aleck response, and besides when you enter the rainbow, things are never simply black or white - there is a whole spectum of color to consider.
My second, more difficult thought was this: the reaction against scientific discovery and the reation against cultural diversity are branches on the same vine. They both represent a retreat into fundamentalism based on a fear of what is so rapidly becoming known about the world. As humanity comes into contact with the intimate minutiae of the atom and the immeasurable breadth of outer space, we are astounded and amazed. Likewise, when humanity comes into contact with people with different cultural systems, different values, and different belief systems, we are nearly overwhelmed with the vastness of the variety. We then have basically two options in how to respond: deny it or embrace it.
Those who deny it will tend to retreat into the known, go "back to the basics," affirm the foundations of their own personal epistemology. Those who embrace it are the ones who know what it means to enter the rainbow. I choose to embrace it!
The problem with the denial of scientific discovery is that denying it doesn't make it go away. The problem with denying cultural differences is that denying them doesn't automatically make us all the same. You can choose not to enter the rainbow, but that doesn't make the rainbow disappear.
One last thought: Denying diversity by retreating into fundamentalism is killing the Church. Embrace diversity and you embrace God.
Peace - Andy B.
(By the way, I dare someone to tell me who Cain's (Adam and Eve's murderous son) mother-in-law was.)


iamnettie said...

Interesting thoughts...hey by the way you copied the saying off my shirt again :P Hope you are having a great day. :)

dabeckztr said...

To AB: Very Interesting thoughts! Amen Preacher! I choose to embrace diversity as well! Which of course was one of the reasons why I chose to study abroad. I not only believe that if one were to embrace diversity you would find God, but I know from first hand experiences that you find God. And sometimes it takes a few weeks to realize that God was and is there in the embraced diversity.
This is cool dude! Hasta Luego y Cuidates! (c-ya later and take care!)

Seamhead said...

Andy this post goes right along with a song that Haley Matherly and I have been working on. Here's the lyrics.

Anonymous said...

Diversity...I love it! I want to know all about new places and new people, new sights and sounds, new tastes and smells. Although I may not agree with all of the people, customs, sights, sounds, tastes, or smells I want to experience them and have an idea of why those choices are made. God teaches us to respect each other, especially those that are different from us because it may be more difficult. As God's people I believe it is our responsibility to learn as much as we can about others and embrace what is different. People of science, bring it on! I want to know more about our origins so I can know more about me and hopefully more about my reason for being.

Seamhead said...

Andy, here is the live link to the song.
Gentle Arms of Eden

Homer said...

I like these comments about science and creationism. I have never had a problem a associating science and creationism. The bible stories are wonderful, beautiful stories; the scientific facts concerning creation and evolution are equally as beautiful because they only serve to support the existence of a supreme being. God has given us the ability to explore and create and to ask and solve questions.

Ksqurred said...

mmm.. is it eve.. thats the only one i could think of.. as nettie would know.. i was going crazy.. saying he was married to his brother and everything.. ahh ... arkansas is getting to me... !!!!
oh and i have one too
talk to you later..

Anonymous said...

I recently read Dan Brown's "Angels and Demons" and the whole book is about the conflict of religion and science. I agree with you that to deny science is like sticking your head in the sand. So, too, is denying religion. By all means we should embrace diversity. It's the best way to see everything more clearly.
Dave Wood