Thursday, August 19, 2010

Science, Faith, and Auto Mechanics

Earlier this afternoon I finished reading "Unintelligently Designed Article...," a post in Mark Shea's blog that included this:
"...No. He really wrote that. And then he makes all the usual category mistakes ('God, under carefully controlled laboratory conditions, does whatever he wants and that makes me mad. I can't see God doing magic tricks for me, so that means he's not there. The universe has knowable laws, so there is no Legislator. It offends my pride that God has hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to babes.') and similar stupid pet tricks...."
(Catholic and Enjoying It!)
It's a short read, and focuses on a quirk in Western culture - maybe human nature. (I'll rant about that in a moment) It also prompted me to:

Faith, Science, Celebrities and Common Sense

Here's that rant. I'll keep it short.

Why is it that reporters, editors, and readers take time to learn what a celebrity says about international diplomacy? And think that it matters, except to the celebrity and maybe the celebrity's psychiatrist?

And why does the same lot think that a scientist knows more about matters of faith than an auto mechanic?

Don't get me wrong: it takes a lot of training and a certain amount of native talent to be a good mechanic. But being a good mechanic doesn't make a person an expert theologian.

For that matter, being an "expert" theologian doesn't necessarily make a person competent to discuss matters of faith.

A degree in theology, in America at least, apparently means that some dude or dudette was able to pay for several years of sitting in a classroom. There's more to it than just showing up, of course: The graduate has to become adept at spitting back what a succession of professors want to hear.

Sad. Higher education should be about learning, not indoctrination. And that's another topic.

Scientists spouting off on what they think of faith is practically a cultural tradition in this country. Maybe others, too.

I have nothing at all against science - the systematic study of this universe. I became even more interested in science when I realized that this immense creation was made by God - and that we can learn about God by studying what He made.

But, as that blog post points out, studying creation doesn't make a person respect God.

Neither does fixing cars. So how come we listen when a scientist spouts off?

Not all that long ago, I could almost see why folks assumed that scientists had superior knowledge of matters outside their specialty. Many people didn't graduate from high school - or need to - and even fewer went on to get a college degree.

One of the 'great ones' who had gone to that mystical place called 'college' and became a learned man may have seemed - special. A member of an order set apart.

These days a high school degree or its equivalent is important for just about any sort of job - and just about everybody, from auto mechanics to astrophysicists, gets some sort of post-high-school training.

I'd think that getting up close and personal with the hallowed halls of ivy would have knocked more sense into folks.

As for why reporters take notes when a celebrity blurts a feeling about the geopolitical ramifications of international diplomacy? That's yet another topic.

More:
A tip of the hat to Christomicro, on Twitter, for the heads-up on the Catholic and Enjoying It! post.

1 comment:

Brian Gill said...

auto mechanics/rankmymechanic.com,

Auto mechanics? Auto world? This is a blog about something other than mechanics. My guess is that you know someone who knows an auto mechanic: in your place, I'd ask that person to introduce me, and then start asking the person with job experience for advice.

I've copied the text of your comment, to give a context for other readers:

>>>>>

auto mechanics said...

I'm 15 and I'm really getting into auto mechanics and building them, I like to watch Motocross racing and Stock car racing, but I really want to learn how to put a car together and learn how it works. Is there something that can introduce me to the Auto world?
September 17, 2011 11:08 PM

>>>>>

I've removed your original post, since its link violated my policy about spam.

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What's That Doing in a Nice Catholic Blog?

From time to time, a service that I use will display links to - odd - services and retailers.

I block a few of the more obvious dubious advertisers.

For example: psychic anything, numerology, mediums, and related practices are on the no-no list for Catholics. It has to do with the Church's stand on divination. I try to block those ads.

Sometime regrettable advertisements get through, anyway.

Bottom line? What that service displays reflects the local culture's norms, - not Catholic teaching.