You show me one step forward in the name of religion and I’ll show you a hundred retrogressions.
The dehumanizing idea that illness is connected to sin is a common feature of religious thinking about disease and sickness in general. Periods of crisis, like this one, may empower religious leaders to speak openly about the way that their traditions understand disease, but these explanations are not the product only of such exceptional moments of crisis. They are, rather, deep, long-lived, and fundamental aspects of how religious communities think about the sick among them. Both the leaders who present Ebola and other crises as divine punishment and the commentators who attribute this perspective to human nature under stress — and thereby excuse it — are participating in the perpetuation of a dangerous and destructive mode of thinking.
Joel Baden (professor of Hebrew Bible at Yale Divinity School) and Candida Moss (professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at the University of Notre Dame), “Ebola Is Not God’s Wrath”, Slate
If a designer was designing us, either they’re a terrible designer or they’ve got a great sense of humour, because we’re carrying around all sorts of genes that don’t work.
It simply eludes [creationists] that science is a progressive endeavour, not handed down by rare authorities to be memorised and parroted like scripture, unchanged, untested and un-amended for centuries.
on “Jesus ‘n’ Mo ‘n’ evolution”, WEIT
I think we have every right to say harsh things about religion, clerics, sects. But I do not think we should be defending unapologetic verbal brutality across the board.
When we look at the fossil record — and the genetic record, and the geological record, and the anatomical record, and every other record from every branch of science that supports the theory of evolution and investigates how it works — we don’t see any signs whatsoever of outside intervention. What we do see is exactly what we’d expect to see if evolution were an entirely natural process, proceeding one generation at a time.