Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Never Enough Stark Contrasts Department

Note: I've been reading Carl Sagan's Cosmos. If you ever read the book, or saw the mini-series, you will understand. If you have been paying attention to the news at all, you will understand.

Science requires imagination, analysis, observation, and above all, questioning.

Fundamentalism requires rigidity, ignorance, insularity, and above all, obedience.

Science encourages humility. Discovering how much can be known leads one to the discovery of how much one will never know. Every new revelation deepens the mystery, and in this we who cherish science remain in ecstatic awe.

Fundamentalism encourages audacity. They arrogantly presume that a single book can contain the entirety of The Truth. Any fact that contradicts their Truth is declared blasphemy, and thus they maintain a false sense of superiority.

Science, despite its reputation as a discipline for "brains," can be mastered by anyone willing to pay attention, make intelligent guesses, then test the guesses. It is so simple that children can learn it.

Fundamentalism, regardless of its philosophy of taking the Bible literally, is most often practised by those who never read the Bible aside from Church, and know little of the book's actual contents. It benefits from this lack of knowledge to maintain congregations.

Science accepts criticism--welcomes it. It thrives on scrutiny and responds with thanks.

Fundamentalism responds to doubt with scorn and treats open-mindedness as weakness.

Science reveals relationships and thus helps foster understanding of our place in the cosmos.

Fundamentalism demands division and so foments the very chaos they claim to defy.

Science is Heaven. Fundamentalism is Hell.

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