Wednesday, February 16, 2011

No Excuse of Scientific Illiteracy

Lawrence Krauss wrote an opinion piece for New Scientists and made an excellent point.  Freedom of religion provides no excuse for the promotion of scientific ignorance.  While you are free to believe what you want about God and religion in this country, one would hope that your beliefs would fall inline with the scientific information we have accumulated over the centuries.  

The University of Kentucky settled a religious discrimination suit with an astrophysicist named Martin Gaskell.  Gaskell wanted to become the director of the student observatory a believed himself to be the best candidate (don't all candidates think that about themselves?).  When he did not get the job, Gaskell claimed the school discriminated against him because he is a Christian.  However, he may not have been qualified for the position.  If you apply to become a science educator, then you should probably know about science and possess the ability to articulate scientific concepts to the public.  Gaskell seemed to misunderstand the nature of scientific theories and specifically seemed confused with evolution.  

I have stated many times that many scientists find no problem incorporating modern science into a modern belief system.  Religion does not demand scientific illiteracy and science does not require atheism.  Misunderstandings of science and theology pose serious problems for our national future.  You can believe what you want, but if you want to be a science educator you must actually understand the science.  Faith is what we believe in the absence of evidence, not in spite of the evidence.

No comments:

Post a Comment