Scientists Do the Work, God Takes the Credit
May 23rd, 2013
From a news report that caught my eye:
Timing, faith, heroics, preparation and a bit of luck spared thousands.Really? Faith was one of the elements? How did that work? Of the elements listed, “luck,” “happenstance,” and “timing” all pretty much mean the same thing, and are true. Some people survived simply due to chance. “Heroics” I get as well—for example, teachers risking their lives to save their students. “Preparation” definitely—storm shelters no doubt saved many lives. Related to that would be “seasoned experience,” which both led to the preparation and informed people what to do in cases like these. But “faith”? Where did that come in? I mean, let's say we're assuming God controls everything, at least as far as nature is concerned (people have free will). Okay, but then that means that he sent the tornado. I don't see how faith helps you there. And if it means that praying saved people, then that must also be applied to those who did not survive: did they fail to pray? And if so, did God kill them for it? What if they did pray but died anyway; how would faith have helped them there? Surely there must be many among the survivors who did not pray; why were they left alive? So, really, I don't see how faith could possibly be included in that list. Maybe as a coping mechanism afterwards, but in terms of keeping people from harm? Hardly. So why force that into the list? Read the article, and you will see no evidence whatsoever to support the inclusion. Eventually, the “news media” was also credited, albeit only near the end of the article; acknowledgment of the communication system for warnings is appropriate, surely more than faith was. However, something far more relevant was pretty much ignored: science. You know how all those people got warned so quickly? Scientists studied how weather works. Scientists, some of whom risk their lives chasing these storms to get the data required, worked out the mechanics of tornado prediction. And scientists developed the technology which brought the message to these people. Not to mention that engineers designed the building structures and shelters that saved so many lives. So, really, the biggest thanks of all should go to scientists, who probably were #1 on the list of life savers. How many thanks did they get? How many were mentioned in stories like these? None. But faith gets a big “thank you.” Not as big as God himself, though; see the video at top, in which Wolf Blitzer awkwardly tries to actually press a “thanks” to the Lord for the woman and her child surviving the storm. It's not just that she was an atheist, but rather that Blitzer seemed so eager to get a “Thanks be to Jesus!” out of her. Next time, Wolf, ask someone if they might want to say a word of thanks to the nameless scientists who did most of the work. But then, if he did that instead of trying to praise Jesus, then he'd be part of the War on Christianity™.
Local, state and federal officials credit luck, happenstance, timing, faith, heroics, preparation and the seasoned experience that comes with living in the heart of Tornado Alley for the relatively low victim count.