Brace yourselves. The Friendly Atheist has shown us that Religion and Science are Incompatible:
Oh boy. Throughout Mehta’s four minute sermon, there is not one single original thought or argument. Instead, Mehta simple regurgitates old talking points that apparently derive largely from his slavish devotion to Sam Harris. From where I sit, it is kind of sad to see how New Atheism can intellectually cripple people. Anyway, let’s have a closer look.
Mehta:But I don’t think those two worlds are really compatible. I think if you’re a religious person and someone who accepts the scientific method, something’s gotta give.
Yes, what has to give is simple-minded, shallow thinking about science and religion. Unfortunately for Mehta, his talking points are premised on simple-minded, shallow thinking.
Whenever science succeeds, religion loses, because a gap was just filled by something other than God.
This is nonsense. When scientists discovered chromosomes, did religion lose because God was supposed to have created non-physical heritable material? When scientists discovered the double-helical nature of DNA, did religion lose because God was supposed to have used a different form? When scientists discovered that ribosomes synthesized proteins, did religion lose because angels were supposed to be making proteins? When scientists discovered the horizontal transfer of DNA among bacteria, did religion lose because God was supposed to have disallowed that? I could go on and on and on. The bottom line here is simple – the vast, vast majority of scientific discoveries have not caused any “losses” for the Christian religion. Christianity never entailed the denial of chromosomes, DNA. ribosomes, horizontal transfer, etc.
Part of the problem with this idea of NOMA is that science does have something to say about morality.
More nonsense. At this point, Mehta is referring to Sam Harris’s pseudoscience:
And, like I said, science has something to say about morality. Sam Harris wrote a whole book about it (the Moral Landscape). One of his ideas in the book is that science can show us what increases or decreases people’s pleasure and we can work to make the good stuff happen more often. I’m just exploring the surface here.
The only people who take Sam Harris’s whole book seriously are Sam Harris and his small community of devoted fans. That this thesis resonates only among such a fringe group should tell you something. That, and the simple fact that Harris has never been able to use science to resolve a single moral dilemma. Look, if there was anything other than pseudscientific posturing to Harris’s crackpot thesis, he would have used science to solve a moral problem by now. Then, scientists and philosophers everywhere would have noticed, praised him, and followed his lead. A fruitful track record of success would emerge and Mehta wouldn’t have to appeal to some 6-year old book that has been rejected by mainstream scientists and philosophers (even Jerry Coyne doesn’t buy into it!). Instead, he would point to the scientific community resolving the various moral disputes all around us. But he can’t.
And religion has plenty to say about what happened and how things happen. The magisteria overlap all the time. And they can’t both be true.
I don’t think Mehta understands what “all the time” means.