Sunday, June 05, 2005

Are you blind to the evidence?

The jury in the Michael Jackson trial holds his life in their hands. Evidence must decide his future. Matthew Syed writes in the times that religion is "never esullied by anything as sordid as evidence". Is it true? Is it just nice-but-dim to be a Christian? Is it intellectual suicide? And is it also moral suicide? Why should you believe that Jesus is the Christ? What alternatives are there?

Consider the question: Are you blind to the evidence? (PDF)

Talk script from Arborfield Church, Sunday June 5th.

1 comment:

  1. The statement religion is "never esullied by anything as sordid as evidence" is a complete farse. The statement is true of all world views. A world view, whether religous or not, includes as part of its key components a definition of what is and what isn't true evidence.

    A good example of this is the discovery of neptune and pluto. Some time after Isaac Newton described how gravity works (among a lot of other thing) some astronomers were using measurements of the positions of the various planets to add to the proof that Newton's description of the world (i.e. gravity) really was accurate.

    In this survey, it turned out that Uranus wasn't really in the right place. Instead of rejecting Newton on the basis of evidence (as the person quoted would like Christians to do), a couple of astronomers postulated a further planet and gave its position. There were a few bumps but Neptune was eventually found. It is not enough to define the orbit of uranus and its orbit, too, is out of place. That lead to the discovery of Pluto, which is still too small to describe the orbits of Neptune and Uranus. But does all this mean Netwon was wrong? Not really, although apparently Einstien made a better model, we still hold to the world the Netwon describes in spite of the evidence.

    The fact is that evidence can never prove or disprove a world view. A world view is something in which evidence is given meaning and explaination.

    I greatly abbreviated some of the details of Predicting the planets