[asa] The "Church of Latter Day Scientists" ?

From: Janice Matchett <janmatch@earthlink.net>
Date: Fri Dec 01 2006 - 10:16:52 EST

My post is here for those interested:

"....Church of Latter Day Scientists"

Some excerpts:

"...While the three firebrands of militant humanism - [Daniel
Dennett, Sam Harris, and Richard Dawkins] - are trying to convert the
masses through a take-no-prisoners stratagem, others are suggesting
an "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" approach--well, sort of. ....

"Let's teach our children from a very young age about the story of
the universe and its incredible richness and beauty. It is already so
much more glorious and awesome--and even comforting--than anything
offered by any scripture or God concept I know."-- Carolyn Porco

Research scientist and astronomer Carolyn Porco recommends that
instead of denying humankind's yearning for transcendence, science
should capitalize on it. Acknowledging that religion fulfills an
essential human need--otherwise, it wouldn't have passed through the
evolutionary sieve--Porco suggests that it is a need that can be
satisfied in scientific inquiry.

Scientific discovery engenders awe and wonder by exposing us to the
grandeur of the universe. Plumbing the hidden mysteries of nature, we
gain a sense of meaning and immortality as we become aware of our
part in a greater whole. This, says Porco, is "greatest story ever
told"--a story that needs its own "church."

The church that Dr. Porco has is mind is a "Church of Latter Day
Scientists" replete with ceremonies, communal worship, rituals
(including baptism!), missionaries, apostles, and even its own sacred
sites: research labs, particle accelerators, and observatories. There
would be worship centers (museums, planetaria and lecture halls). It
would use the media to spread the "word"-- extolling the genius of
Darwin and showcasing the elegance of evolution.

What would a church service look like? Dr. Porco gushes, "Imagine
congregations raising their voices in tribute to gravity, the force
that binds us all to the Earth, and the Earth to the Sun, and the Sun
to the Milky Way...can't you just hear the hymns sung to the
antiquity of the universe, its abiding laws, and the heaven above
that 'we' will all one day inhabit, together, commingled, spread out
like a nebula against a diamond sky?... 'Hallelujah!', they will
sing. 'May the force be with you!'" ..." Continue:

~ Janice ..."...our proper course will be, first, to show that man
has no remaining good in himself, and is beset on every side by the
most miserable destitution; and then teach him to aspire to the
goodness of which he is devoid, and the liberty of which he has been
deprived: thus giving him a stronger stimulus to exertion than he
could have if he imagined himself possessed of the highest virtue.
..." http://www.ccel.org/ccel/calvin/institutes.iv.ii.iii.html

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Received on Fri Dec 1 12:33:41 2006

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