Friday, May 6, 2016
Which Came First, the Science or the Atheism?
The Secular Spectrum: Which Came First, the Science or the Atheism?
Surely scientists--especially in the natural sciences--couldn't help but let go of the idea of supernatural agency in the creation of physical or biological forces. Where does God fit into it when the process of adaptation and speciation seems to run just fine on its own? To me, it seems obvious, but of course I'm biased.
So are most of the studies I found online while researching the subject. I felt I needed to add more detail to my coverage of studies of the religious beliefs of scientists in my SecSpec post, Unnatural Selection.
Though I found more studies that seemed to find what I expected, they all seemed to have been conducted by partisans themselves.
I'd love to read a dispassionate study that breaks religious beliefs down by scientific specialty, because the one thing that is clear is that when it comes to belief in God, all scientific disciplines are not the same.
Is it a coincidence that the handful of contemporary creationist scientists the Ken Hams of the world trot out are all in such fields as chemistry?
- In July of 2013, I fell into a six-week coma and nearly died. When I awoke from the coma, I could barely lift my head. It has been a hard road to recovery. The doctors advised my loved ones to give up all hope for my full recovery, but while they were shining lights in my eyes to gauge my level of consciousness, I was telling them grumpily to leave me alone because I was trying to get back to sleep...in my coma-dream. I was experiencing covert cognition, and the coma-dream was my version of a near-death experience. I'm a skeptic, so I saw surreal images instead of spirits or dead loved ones. According to my research, as many as one in five people with consciousness disorders have covert cognition.
Not a miracle recovery, but a miracle of modern medicine
In 2013 I fell into a six-week coma and nearly died after I contracted legionella. The Legionnaire's disease was in turn triggered by immunosuppression caused by the prednisone I was taking for my rare autoimmune disease, dermatomyositis.
I suffered a series of strokes on both sides of my brain when the sepsis caused my blood pressure to plummet. I fell into a deep coma. My kidneys and lungs began to fail, as my body was began dying one organ at a time. My doctors told my loved ones to give up hope for my full recovery. They expected me to die, and even if I somehow lived, I would remain a vegetable or at best left so hopelessly brain-damaged that I would never be same. But unbeknownst to them, while they were shining lights in my eyes and shaking their heads, I was telling them in my coma-dream--my secular version of a near-death experience--to leave me alone because I was trying to get back to sleep. I was experiencing what is known as covert cognition, the subject of my Skeptical Inquirer article "Covert Cognition: My So-Called Near-Death Experience," which appeared in their July/August issue.
But it wasn't a miracle--despite what so many continue to believe--that I recovered so fully. I owe my life not to God, but the miracles of modern medicine, as well as the nature of the watershed-area brain damage I suffered, as I detailed in my article and in this blog.