Scientists have long been the resource atheists turn to when making their case for atheism. Fairy tales in religious texts seem absurd when weighed against centuries of research and mountains of evidence that directly contradict their implausible premises. So when a scientist comes out and endorses religion as an acceptable way to parse the world around us, there’s always a bit of a cringe factor involved.
The latest case of this can be found in Dr. Michael Guillen. On face, his credentials are impressive. A former Harvard professor with a Ph.D. from Cornell in physics, mathematics, and astronomy, one might assume that he would be a staunch defender of logic and reason. And you’d be wrong. While promoting his new book, Amazing Truths: How Science and the Bible Agree, Guillen told listeners on The Church Boys podcast that there are some fundamental reasons why the Bible and Science are totally compatible. As The Blaze reports:
Insisting that these realms actually “have a very strong marriage,” Guillen said that he explored “10 big, fundamental truths that both science and the Bible agree on” in his book. When asked which one of these elements was the most convincing, he was candid.
“When you look at how these 10 truths are agreed upon by science and the Bible you cannot come away without feeling like, ‘Wow, there has to be something to this,” Guillen said. “The first truth that I talk about in the book is the belief in the existence of absolute truth.”
He continued, “That is to say, both science and religion believe that absolute truth, absolute right and wrong exists.”
He is, of course, dead wrong. The assertion that science is about right and wrong could not be more inaccurate. Science is, at its core, about the pursuit of truth, but that pursuit is not about serving as an arbiter of morality. It never has been. It’s about facts and evidence. While such information is frequently used in conversations about topics that are often framed as moral questions — homosexuality, for instance — the study that collects such information is morally neutral.
Asserting that the Bible somehow aligns with science is at best unbelievable and at worst delusional. We’re talking about a text that believes mankind was created as some sort of crowning achievement by an ominpotent force after seven days. Such myths are in no way compatible with the massive body of literature on evolution. The whole premise of the Bible is that one ought to believe in such a force without proof or questioning, a framework at odds with the scientific method. There is literally no line of argumentation that can resolve these differences.
Further research on Guillen makes his absurdity more understandable. He may hold advanced degrees, but his career has been less about science than it has been showmanship. Indeed, on the “About” section of his website he describes himself as a three-time Emmy winner, bestselling author, and beloved media commentator. Not exactly the bona fides of respected academic or researcher. They don’t discredit him, but they show what he’s most proud of, and it’s not published papers.
Make no mistake: this whole hullabaloo is about Guillen’s brand. A scientist is not claiming compatibility between the Bible and science, but a hack sure is.
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