Julie MarshAs my dear readers at The Stir know well, I'm not religious. In fact, I harbor much disdain for organized religion, because evidence shows that it's at the root of far more human suffering than comfort.
But most of those who follow organized religion aren't much concerned with evidence -- historical or scientific. After all, that's how faith is defined: "Firm belief in something for which there is no proof." Evidence not required.
Which is fine. If believing offers comfort and community, I support that. I simply choose to find comfort and community elsewhere.
What's not fine is when believers cite scripture as "evidence" contrary to actual scientific evidence -- and then use it as an argument to further political and social agendas that are at best hilarious, at worst harmful.
The latest example: Andy Schlafly's ridiculous attempt to paint Einstein's Theory of Relativity as false, being "heavily promoted by liberals who like its encouragement of relativism and its tendency to mislead people in how they view the world." He cites 28 reasons why Einstein was wrong, including -- surprise, surprise -- scripture.
First off, a whole wiki just for conservatives? My mind's racing with all the fodder contained within. Oh, the hilarity!
Plus, his references crack me up. The majority are simply additional explanations by Schlafly. Only a few cite external scientific sources (linking back to another Conservapedia page doesn't count), and they're not conclusive, merely questioning based on new observations and theories. It's misleading for Schlafly to declare them as evidence.
But Schlafly also cites scripture as evidence against the inherent limitations of the speed of light (just under 300 kilometers per second). Since Jesus could reportedly "cause something to happen instantaneously in another location," he was defying relativity by acting faster than the speed of light. Even the sun takes eight minutes to shine on us here on Earth, but apparently the light of Jesus faces no such physical constraints.
Andy's a little confused about the definitions of relativity and relativism too, but even that's funny. Per Merriam Webster's entry on relativism, Schlafly is referring to the definition of relativism as "a view that ethical truths depend on the individuals and groups holding them" when he posits that liberals' endorsement of relativism is related to advocacy of the Theory of Relativity.
What Andy doesn't realize is that there's another definition of relativism that actually comes first in Merriam Webster's entry: Relativism is "a theory that knowledge is relative to the limited nature of the mind and the conditions of knowing."
Sorry, Andy. I guess there are just some things that your mind is too limited to know. Stick to the Bible.