Every time Pat Robertson makes the news, it confuses me for a moment because for some reason I am always under the impression that he died a few years ago. Then I remember it was that other inexplicably influential televangelist who was always blaming people caught in natural disasters for pissing off God with their reckless sinning, not this one.
Robertson is still with us. And he wants you to know that science is legitimate, except in certain areas where it’s not, and the delineation between those two areas is, as always, whatever religion says it is. Here ya go, via Right Wing Watch:
“God created the world; the laws of nature were created by God. True science tries to find out what God put in the world. The trouble is where scientists speculate about theology and they don’t know what they’re talking about because they weren’t there. They can’t speculate about the origins of life because they weren’t there. If they tell you observable phenomenon then we ought to believe them, and I tell you if you find a geologist who tells you something existed 300 million years ago then you better believe them because he knows what he’s talking about. We don’t want our religious theory go with flat earth.”
You may think this sounds confusing. Maybe, but it’s also one of the most concise explanations of the relationship between fundamentalism and science I’ve ever seen. A religious figure or institution declares themselves to be the Speculation Police, defining what areas of physical law or common history may or may not be speculated upon by individuals not versed in the Holy Word, and that is that. Later, as that particular policeman gets more comfortable with whatever scientific premise is being advanced (usually long after the rest of the world, and usually long after said scientific premise has already resulted in a few hundred years of other scientific progress based on the obvious truth of the thing), the theology is revised to begrudgingly accept the thing, and life (and religion) goes on.
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