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Friday, October 28, 2011

Science and Religion

Science has given us many exciting moments, constantly discovering and defining things in our world.  And with these discoveries, we have been taught many universal truths.  Who can ignore the laws of gravity, magnetism, and electricity or for that matter, human DNA.  Who can forget how, when fueled on by human determination, the will to dare and reaching for the stars, science put men on the moon.  But what happens when science stagnates and does not change or move forward?  Like religion, it develops doctrine and dogma

Religion began when men desired to understand the world around them.  Somethings greater than men were responsible for the rain, thunder, crops, life and death; mankind determined that gods were the responsible parties for those things.  Through evolution, mankind's world view expanded and science began to take hold but not without its  conflicts with its forerunner, religion.

Religion had developed its doctrine and dogma before the advent of scientific discovery; anything in conflict with that doctrine and dogma was heresy.  While religion clung to the dogma that the earth was flat, science had proven that the earth was indeed round.  Science also had proven that the earth revolved around the sun while religion doggedly preached that god made everything revolve around the earth.  When it came to human health, religion insisted that the only way a man could be cured of many illnesses was to balance the "Four Humours."  A discussion on this is worthy of its own blog post.  But, for the sake of this blog, the Four Humours were balanced by a physician draining his patients' blood - in quantity.  If the patient was not dying before the blood letting, he did after the loss of blood.  And the death always was "god's will."  The doctrine and dogma of religion, in matters concerning science, were followed.  It is easier to blame a deity than admit doctrine and dogma are wrong and work to change or eliminate it.  Thankfully, science has trumped religious dogma but science, especially medical science, is not innocent from evoking its own dogma and creed.

Within the last two hundred years, humanity has been blessed with huge strides made by medical science.  From the discovery of leaching morphine from the poppy, the invention of the intravenous needle and syringe, aspirin, antibiotics, and modern surgical marvels, humanity was and still is the benefactor.  People are living longer and healthier lives, free from many things that would have killed them just a short time ago.  However, medical science, for unknown reasons, decided to create a dogma, a creed, that some might believe as being opposed to the Hippocratic Oath.  

Surgical procedures and pills have become the solution for many human conditions.  Instead of trying to find and heal the cause, modern medicine prefers to treat the effect.  High blood pressure, depression, weight problems, anxiety, and more are treated with pills.  There is even a few surgical procedures for weight loss.  But why not look for and treat the cause?  Good question.  Ask your doctor the next time you are handed a bunch of pills.

                                                    Copyright 2011 Terry Unger

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