Science and Religion: Grappling For Truth Throughout History - Politicrossing
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Science and Religion: Grappling For Truth Throughout History

Let us approach science and religion more diligently and with greater tolerance.

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I attended a lecture where an astronomer explained why Pluto had been demoted and was no longer considered a planet. Pluto is only 70% the diameter of our moon, and only 18% of Earth’s diameter. Discovered in 1930, it was number nine on the list of planets, was the most distant and coldest, and had the strangest orbit.

As telescopes became more powerful, and researchers grew more aware of the panoply of objects in our galaxy, Pluto was regarded as merely a planetoid in the Kuiper belt, among tens of thousands of celestial bodies in that section of our solar system. If Pluto was to still be considered a planet, at least six or seven other spherical masses, of more or less equal size, would have to be considered planets as well. Since none of them conform to the traditional standards for planets, Pluto was demoted.

Astronomers at the California Institute of Technology have been seeking a true ninth planet in the Kuiper Belt, after encountering evidence of its existence in early 2016. This potential planet is approximately ten times earth’s mass and perhaps 5,000 times Pluto’s mass.

So Much We Don’t Know

The above observations epitomize the ever-changing nature of our scientific knowledge base. We believe we know something to be true. Later, we discover more, overturning what we previously “‘knew.” The most learned people on Earth once “knew” that the sun and the stars revolved around the earth. To astronomers who came later, the sun and the stars clearly did not revolve around the earth, but initially to say otherwise was to risk death.

Today, many people believe that evolution explains everything about life in the universe. It does not. No one can explain what put the Big Bang in motion and, tellingly, where matter originated. Without carbon and some level of heat and moisture, life cannot begin, and even when those factors are present, more often life does not begin.

It was once thought that life couldn’t exist at the bottom of the dark ocean. Today, we observe that the ocean floor is teeming with life and that life finds a way to thrive often in the absence of what is thought to be “ideal circumstances.”

Currently, some otherwise supposedly intelligent people don’t accept that the brain functioning in men and women is somewhat different. Men tend to excel in math and science, however, this is not to say women cannot excel in math and science. Our brains are wired differently. Women have other advantages in brain functioning.

As we proceed into the future, based on available scientific evidence much of what we “know” to be true will prove to be untrue, especially as we learn more about the universe, the stars, the galaxies, our own solar system, and even Earth itself.

My God Supersedes Your “god”

It’s been said that more people have died in the name of religion than for any other reason. Actually, most wars likely have been fought over territory. Tribal warfare, since the dawn of civilization, can be traced back not only to differences in culture and lifestyle, but also to differences in appearance, inclination, and one’s respective deity.

Every religion has tenuous precepts and tenets that even the wisest scholars cannot explain. Religion is interpreted by mortals on earth and, understandably, is subject to human predispositions and biases. Some religions have given man a vaulted position on earth and woman a lesser position. Many religions suffer from a parallax view: Ours is “the way” and your way is inferior.

Religions carefully lay out what God has intended for us, and how God wants us to worship him. Yet, no one can prove that they’ve actually consulted directly with God. Thus, every religious text ever written, every set of laws or commandments, and all religious customs represent the accumulation of man’s interpretation of events on earth and how they might relate to the heavens.

Science and Religion are Here to Stay

It is prudent, even praiseworthy, to improve our knowledge of science and add to the storehouse of what we believe to be scientific facts. And, there is little reason to abandon religion when it brings peace and comfort to devotees, and spreads goodwill, enabling humankind to live in harmony.

Let us approach science more diligently recognizing that what we “know” today could well be overturned by what we discover tomorrow. Let us approach religion with greater tolerance, recognizing that every group feels that they are right and has a direct relation to God. Let us not be slaves to scientific certitude or religious dogma because, quite simply, no one has all the answers and no one is ever likely to have them.

Jeff Davidson is "The Work-Life Balance Expert®" and the premier thought leader on work-life balance, integration, and harmony. Jeff speaks to organizations that seek to enhance their overall productivity by improving the effectiveness of their people. Visit www.BreathingSpace.com



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Faith

World-changers: Dem’s Brave New World is Neither Brave Nor New

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Photo credit: Martin Jernberg

On the cusp of Joe Biden’s White House win and with Georgia and his party’s control of the Senate on his mind, Chuck Schumer crowed, “Now we take Georgia, then we change the world!”

First things first. Before Democrats change the world, they have to change America.

Basking in world-changing fervor, House Democrats passed the “Equality Act,” which they say will help end discrimination against LGBQT and transgender Americans. If passed in the Senate and signed into law by the president, the Equality Act would promote subjective biological truth and feelings-over-facts mythology.

The Equality Act would:

1) Add “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” as protected classes under federal civil rights law. Democrats insist that the bill doesn’t expand existing civil rights law; it merely clarifies it. Truth: Any time the federal government creates a law, it doesn’t clarify diddly—it complicates and adds more control over our lives.

2) Make dissenting Americans vulnerable for their beliefs about marriage and biological sex. The Equality Act broadens “discrimination” to mean much more than unjust or prejudicial treatment based on race or gender. It’s now discriminatory to disagree with the construct that there are more than two genders and that we’re not born into one (or more)—we choose who we are.

3) Pressure employers and workers to conform to new sexual norms or risk civil and federal lawsuits. Remember the baker who refused to make a cake for two gay men and their wedding? After months of litigation, legal costs and lost revenue, he won his battle, but lost his livelihood.

4) Force hospitals and insurers to provide and pay for gender conversion “therapy” regardless of moral or medical objections. Imagine the pressure on a surgeon faced with performing an irreversible gender reassignment that runs counter to his or her medical judgment or moral beliefs.

5) Harm families by normalizing hormonal and surgical intervention for gender dysphoric children—even though 80-95 percent cease to feel troubled about their bodies and gender after puberty. Naturally, parents who encourage their kids to give their changeable feelings time to resolve will likely face false accusations of child abuse or worse.

World changers: Act II

Hot on the heels of the misguided Equality Act, is a new and possibly more dangerous one—the “For the People Act of 2021.” For which people? A good portion of half the American people do not trust the result of the 2020 presidential election.

Millions think the party in power used a pandemic to tilt an election. Will the For the People Act of 2021 help restore their trust in free and fair elections? Let’s see:

It would expand mail-in voting, allow inflation of voter rolls (which would likely include dead people), complicate voter verification, enhance voter irregularities and create many other snafus. In short, it would make what many think happened in the 2020 election business as usual.

If signed into law, the For the People Act would pave the way for one-party rule reminiscent of pseudo-democracies and autocracies like Russia.

If perpetual power and election domination is the goal, the For the People Act of 2021 fits the bill. After all, how can Democrats change the world when they lose power every 2-4 years? Logically, the party that keeps power deserves power.

Specifically, the For the People Act of 2021 would:

1) Federalize elections by imposing unconstitutional mandates on states while wresting authority from them to regulate voter registration and process. Further, it would force states to implement early voting, automatic voter registration, same-day registration, online voter registration, and no-fault absentee balloting.

2) Make it more difficult to ensure accuracy at the polls by requiring same-day voter registration. If a person registers and is ready to vote, how can election officials possibly have enough time to verify the accuracy of their registration information and eligibility?

3) Reduce election-day turnout and damage voter morale through 15 days of mandated early voting. This could demoralize those working in get-out-the-vote efforts. It would rob early voters of the information available to Election Day voters. Late-breaking developments can be game changers and can alter voter choice. Information is an essential element of our voting rights and many would be denied it.

4) Degrade registration accuracy by requiring states to automatically register virtually everyone—citizens or not. States would be forced to use lists containing driver’s licensees, those with criminal records, and non-citizens registered for welfare and social security, Medicare and Medicaid. This would create multiple and duplicate registrations and place the burden of determining domiciles on states rather than on voters.

5) Provide opportunities for massive voter registration fraud by hackers and cyber criminals through online voter registration that is not tied to driver’s licenses or other state records. It would make it a criminal offense for a state official to reject a voter registration application even when the official lawfully believes the person is ineligible to vote. It would also require states to allow 16-year-olds to register. 

6) Ban state voter ID laws. This inexplicable and unconstitutional overreach would force states to allow people to vote without an ID and by merely signing a statement claiming they are who they say they are. This requirement would allow any and all—underage, ineligible or illegal—to vote with impunity.

World-class marketing

The Equality Act and the For the People Act of 2021 are built on straw men. One is constructed on the claim that LGBQT folks don’t enjoy the same rights as all Americans, the other on the nonsensical and unsupportable claim that voter ID laws are racist.

The party in power are experts in wordplay. By using words like “equality” and phrases like “For the People” when naming House bills, Democrats hide their ideology behind smart marketing.

Consider the Equality Act. Equality. The word soars. It’s majestic in its magnanimity. It trumpets fair-mindedness, tolerance and inclusivity. In a nation of equality, no one’s left behind. Notice the Equality Act’s central theme—discrimination.

Discrimination has become a dirty word. However, we discriminate in a myriad of ways every single day. We watch the shows we like and ignore the ones we don’t. We eat our favorite foods and pass on our not so favorite ones. We scroll past what doesn’t interest us on this Website and click on what does.

We all discriminate, but are we guilty of discrimination by rejecting the party in power’s ideology regarding gender and sexuality? Absolutely not. Disagreement is not discrimination in the way they define it or in any other way.

Neither brave nor new

Chuck Schumer and company’s vision for the world starting with America isn’t brave or new. Brave lawmaking puts country over party and national identity over ideology. Legislation like the Equality Act and the For the People Act of 2021 is just gussied-up socialism lite.

In truth, the Democrats world-changing dreams amount to nothing more than trying to catch up to European nations. As King Solomon observed: There’s nothing new under the sun. And there’s nothing brave about giving in to the spirit of the age. Virtually everything his party is pushing in 2021, President Joe Biden would’ve likely rejected as a senator in 1980 or 1990 or even 2000.

A truly brave new world would be one of honesty regarding truth and respect involving each other. Ramming through bills that counter science, biology and morality and damage one of most basic American freedoms—the vote—make us look not like world changers, but like world-class fools.

We can and should do better. By rejecting truth and morality regarding gender and sexuality and endangering Americans who hold traditional views that run counter to their ideology, Democrats are alienating not unifying most Americans.

World-changing American greatness was built on right beliefs rooted in godly truths. Democrats could very well change the world, but not for the better. Changing the world for good starts with telling the truth. It’s also the only way to true freedom. “And you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” ~Jesus

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Faith

The Twilight Zone of Belief Systems

Imagine a cabal that might murder you if you seek to leave

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In the Middle East, as the Biden Administration seeks to unravel the extraordinary achievements of President Trump, start new wars, end our oil independence, and re-arm Iran, one can only wonder how long before Islamic fundamentalists re-emerge as a worldwide threat.

Concurrently, I had a strange dream. I was invited to a locale where everyone spoke well, dressed well, and seemed to conform to some belief standard that I couldn’t fully comprehend. As a friendly guide drove me about, it seemed that more and more people were conforming to this belief system. It was like The Stepford Wives meets The Wicker Man in The Twilight Zone.

Hail to the Party

The residents seemed nice enough, but when you didn’t tow the ‘party line,’ things got  dicey. Everyone was expected to adhere to the same views. Children were indoctrinated at an early age, and, most alarmingly, no one was allowed to leave without an extremely compelling reason.

I was induced to become part of this community, while I sensed danger if I stayed. In order to depart, I had to convince everyone that I would return to my soon-to-be former home, round up key items, sell off big assets such as my car, and tie up loose ends. As far as I know, they were buying my story. Then, I suddenly awoke and began to contemplate what I had just experienced.

Dreams are largely drawn-out dramas from unresolved affairs during the day.  What led me that day to such a dream scenario, with such detail? Beyond Biden’s blunders, I had encountered a Pew Research Center study which showed the religious preferences and cultural norms of Muslims, independent of sect, in regions around the earth.

Most compelling, among Sharia supporters, the median percentage of Muslims, by region of the world, who favor executing individuals who leave Islam is as follows:

South Asia              76%

Middle East            56%

Southeast Asia      27%

Central Asia            16%

SE Europe                13%

Defectors Beware

Depending on the region, one out of eight (as in Southeast Europe), to as many as six out of eight Muslims (in Southeast Asia) approve of execution for defectors of Islam. Even if the percentages are off considerably, shockingly, hundreds of millions of Muslims worldwide agree that anyone who seeks to forsake Islam should be put to death.

Imagine a cabal where between 13% and 76% of its members believe the group has the right to murder you if you if you seek to leave. Whether you were born into the group, married a group member, or voluntarily joined, you are in this group for life.

No Way Out – Given your experiences with the group, or based on your travels, suppose that you’re inclined to leave this group. According to the group’s code, you have no right to leave and if your intentions are discovered, your life is at stake. Would any civilized society tolerate such a group?

A Religion or a Cult?

In the U.S., we’ve witnessed cult leaders who, in their erroneous belief that they had God-like powers, would rather kill themselves and their followers than allow people to defect. We have seen fanatical leaders, such as the Reverend Jim Jones, and the Branch Davidian cult leader David Koresh, who believed it was their right to sacrifice their own people when they deemed fit.

Consider a group such as Islam that contains 24% of the world’s population – nearly one in four people on earth – approaching 1.9 billion. The leaders of this group believe they have the divine right to execute anyone who deigns to leave the group. Is this not a cult that enslaves its people – at least mentally, if not physically and emotionally – with little or no hope of making free choices?

Is this not a cult where the individual is subordinated to the will of who knows what? In civilized societies should a belief system such as this be deemed a religion at all?

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