“Anybody who has been seriously engaged in scientific work of any kind realizes that over the entrance to the gates of the temple of science are written the words: Ye must have faith. It is a quality which the scientist cannot dispense with.”
— Max Planck
On the scientific side, Marxist writers have lamented such flagrant bourgeois idealism in a man whom otherwise they admire as a self-taught materialist. On the other side, Church spokesman could scarcely become enthusiastic about Planck’s deism, which omitted all reference to established religions and had no more doctrinal content than Einstein’s Judaism. It seemed useful therefore to paint the lily, to improve the lesson of Planck’s life for the use of proselytizers and to associate the deanthropomorphizer of science with a belief in a traditional Godhead.
Six months before his death from a stroke on 4 October 1947, a rumor started that Planck had converted to Catholicism. An engineer applied to him for the reason that had brought him to such a step. The reply was not useful to missionaries. He had always been deeply religious, Planck said, but he did not believe in “a personal God, let alone a Christian God.” A God without qualities, a religion without trappings, life without compartments, knowledge without divisions—in brief, a worldview without extremes—have little appeal to prophets and promoters.
Being that Max Planck wasn’t a Christian, he obviously spoke of a different faith: either faith in his deistic conception of god or faith in the scientists who were before him (in other words, trust in their integrity and honesty in experimentation, observation and the presentation of results) — none of which matter to you. I hate to poke fun at your kind of mentality, but the following is no less true: can’t turn Christianity into science, try turning science into a religion. Quote mining one man, who had his own unique predilections, isn’t going to accomplish that. Moreover, quote mining one man, his brilliance aside, does not imply that he was correct. Science doesn’t require faith, which is defined as belief without evidence; to the contrary, science hinges on evidence via the scientific method, which is employed to disprove rather than to prove — eliminating cognitive limitations like confirmation bias. Perhaps you should scrutinize your beliefs. Make your best attempt to disprove them rather than doing the contrary. I guarantee you, gold will not come out of the fire; I speak from experience. If someone’s view is true, it will survive scrutiny. Someone who shamelessly quote mines in this manner isn’t attempting to scrutinize his view; he’s attempting to solidify it via confirmation bias. It takes a high degree of dishonesty to do this redundantly; yet some Christians do not realize the fault in their behavior. Creationists, intelligent design advocates, apologists and “Christian scientists” quote mine criminally — taking pieces out of context and constructing a contrary message from such pieces to then present it to an under-educated, gullible and pious audience. This is intellectual crime and I will not stand for it.
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