Yesterday was marked by a number of events that all prompted me to think of science, religion, superstition and atheism.

On the one hand, there was an interiew with David Attenbourough on Breakfast where he was talking about his forthcoming programme on Darwin and Evolution. He made an interesting point which I never really thought about before. 

Every religion has a creation myth – whether this is Australian aborigines, an African tribe, Hindu or Hebrews (with Christianity borrowing on the Hebrew myth of Adam and Eve). However prior to Darwin, there was no natural explanation to nature’s unique richness and diversity on our planet, so there was no alternative, non-supernatural view to uphold. In the grand scheme of mankind’s development, it’s a fairly new theory, and as many things new of course it is going to be opposed by some (or many) religious people, as it threatens the very essence of their perception.

Curious though how some churches – the Church of England, for instance – manages to blend faith in a supernatural origin of the universe with belief in evolution on planet Earth. Some other religions are not nearly as forgiving and flexible.

Interestingly, Attenborough says he believes in god. I have to admit I was a bit surprised by that. But the main thing it shows is that being a prominent scientist, believing in evolution, and believing in god at the same time obviously works for some. I’ll leave it at that as I am not currently envisaging this blog to be an “atheism v religion” debate centre, mainly because this type of discussion in cyberspace is (a) typically not very productive and (b) there are plenty of other blogs that do it more successfully than I imagine I could.

On the other hand, I was reminded yesterday by just how many people still believe in horoscopes. Yesterday’s reminder was a very pathetic statement about the link between one’s “star sign” and their approach to decorating their home. Just shows that TV personalities would do anything for ratings given how many people still have faith in this – sorry! – drivel! If any reader of this is offended by my total cynicism in this area, I would gladly explain this point further with reference to my own “star sign”.

Finally, whilst reading OpenParachute.wordpress.com, a NZ atheist – scientific blog which I quite enjoy reading, I found a link to this YouTube monologue which I think is rather good. I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in science v superstition debate.

http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2009/01/minchin_on_youtube.php

 

Copyright 2009 by CuriouslyInspired

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