Tuesday, 1 January 2008

Facts

Let's start the year with a fanfare for rationalism. World-class scientists were asked what, if anything, had changed their minds by John Brockman, a New York literary agent and the man behind the site, Edge. All of them confessed, for want of a better word, that new information, new evidence, had led to new formulations. Well, of course. This is how science works. Now let's ask a similarly eminent group of religious leaders the same question and listen to them ramble on about revealed truths.

As Brockman says: "When thinking changes your mind, that's philosophy. When God changes your mind, that's faith. When facts change your mind, that's science."

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

What is it when actions change your mind?
Tyla

Tyla Tingle said...

Wait, wait...I answered my own question...When actions change your mind it is call reaction. And that is actually just another name for blaming someone else.
Tyla

Charles Lambert said...

I was going to say: life. But maybe you're right!

Chancelucky said...

I remember in the US several years ago, the Mormon church was about to lose its tax exemption because they did not allow blacks to become full members of the church. The elders fo the church then consulted "God" and decided they had a revelation that they policy needed to be changed.

May have been a case of the IRS changing people's minds.

Charles Lambert said...

When expediency changes your mind, it's called hypocrisy. I believe the Mormons also changed the wording of their 'revealed' Book of Mormon from 'white' to 'pure' to avoid racism. Maybe even God can have second thoughts...

Happy new year!

David Isaak said...

When Deng Xioping came to power in China in the early 1980s, his revolutionary slogan was "Seek truth from facts."

At the time I thought it was kind of frightening that this was considered a revolutionary idea. But I've since concluded that it would be revolutionary over here, too.

Charles Lambert said...

Great comment, David, and one that would go equally well (in a tone of deep irony) with the post about Blair's rapprochement with the Vatican.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know how I can get in touch with Tyla Tingle? I haven't talked to her in a really long time!

Charles Lambert said...

If you send me your email address I'll pass it on to her.