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

From: George Murphy <>
Date: Fri Dec 01 2006 - 12:43:09 EST

Christians need to be concerned with far more serious threats than a "Church of Latter Day Scientists." If it ever comes into being it will be as big a joke as Comte's "Universal Church of the Religion of Humanity."

  ----- Original Message -----
  From: Janice Matchett
  Sent: Friday, December 01, 2006 10:16 AM
  Subject: [asa] The "Church of Latter Day Scientists" ?

  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. ..."

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Received on Fri Dec 1 12:44:30 2006

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