May 21, 2007

God, get the frak out of my Barne's and Nobel section.

Scientists, please, I beg you, stop with this God vs Science bull already.

I went into my local Barne's and Nobel today, and started to casually browse through my favorite section of the bookstore--

The Science Section.

Last time I checked, Books about God fell under the "Religion" category. Furthermore, I am pretty sure that Science, in fact, is not religion. Now, I like reading philosophical books, religious texts, etc, just as much as the next guy -- heck, I even like reading things like the Bible or the Koran. But why the hell does my community feel it necessary to invade on religion's ground? Leave God alone, I don't want to hear about him, I don't want books about him in my section of the bookstore.

Scientists reading this right now are screaming something like, "But Jooooe! They do it to us all the time!!!" Here's my reply, Let them. If they feel that they, in order to be validated, need to shove their beliefs down other peoples throats, treat them like they act. You don't get a toddler to stop whining about not getting what they want. Religious types want you to believe what they believe. The way you teach a toddler to stop crying about not getting their way is by letting them cry themselves out. If you continuously argue with them, they will lose. The people slamming science don't take time to be unbiased about science, and unfortunately, I think that most of the people slamming Religion back are not taking the time to be unbiased about religion either. Aren't we, as scientists, supposed to be unbiased about all ideas?

I'm annoyed that people who call themselves scientists are wasting there time on this whole God business, I'm annoyed that the religious community isn't reigning in the idiots who are stepping outside there bounds. It's a community's responsibility to regulate itself. So, Science community, consider yourselves regulated. Religious community, take a hint.



Anonymous said...

Firstly, it's Barnes and Noble. Secondly, the books in question are a relatively objective view of the relationship between science and religion. They are not simply theological texts, nor are they completely one-sided.

I understand your concerns, that scientists are wasting their efforts when they could be doing something more constructive. But these people are not devoting their entire lives to this. Even the great Carl Sagan discussed the relationship between Science and Religion in his works, albeit briefly.

I would suggest you pick up a copy of some of these books; even if you just skim them. You may find them to be interesting reads, and much more objective.

If that doesn't sway your thoughts, then simply don't purchase them. Even Scientists are prone to capitalizing on a fad.

Jake said...

I'm aware its spelt differently, theres some backstory to why I spell it Nobel- long story, anyway.

I dont particularly mind one or two books about god in the section, the occasional theology/science debate is okay. Its when there are 40 books about god, and only 10-15 about actual science in the section that makes me angry.

FTR, I've read "The Science of God" and "Bones of Contention" both of which were by no means bad. I'm just annoyed that there are more of those type of books than books about what I want to read, Quantum Physics, Math, Star Trek, you catch the drift...


mme. melissa said...

Ok, I don't know what I like better about his posting.

Is it that you said frak? I am Battlestar fanatic! Here in Austin, we watch it in the theatres!

Or is that you are 'brave' enough to not only consider the separation of church and science, but also suggest it. I know that some of the zealots would say that religion has a right to invade your section of the bookstore. (BTW. You have every right to spell Barnes & Noble anyway you please...this posting was not about the perfect grammat [meant to be funny]...come on people...are you here to discuss issues or degrade and insult like Coulter?)

Plus Carl Sagan was trying to be polite, of you read his text, you will see that he indeed also appreciate the separation proposed here. Scientist tend to this to expand their audience and possibly attract more of an audience.

I loved your post, try to avoid sounding cynical though. It is a very well founded argument, on the basis of organization and regulation of meaning...not so much on disdain.

Awesome job!

Jake said...

Cynicism is kindof my deal, but the point was precisely that there should be a separation of Church and Science. I'm not against the occasional crossover, as long as its tasteful. But what I really hate is when there are purposefully antagonistic titles like "The God Delusion" that annoy me. We, as scientists, shouldn't antagonize the religious community, be they antagonizing us or not. We should strive to act better than them.

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