A reflection upon the dismissal of science by conservative Christians in the wake of the Coronavirus.
The relationship the idea of mankind commandeering the reigns of creation has with the Dark Ages and the Black Death has to do with how their prayers were answered! No doubt tens of thousands, if not millions of prayers were being offered up to God to deliver them from the horrible affliction that had come upon them; but rather than answering their prayers in the conventional one-case-at-a-time way, God decided to change things up by moving upon the minds and wits of the humans themselves.
The end result was better than those individuals praying could have ever hoped for or even imagined! He put the purveyance of the blessing into the hands of the people themselves. And in the end, God not only provided them with a way out of this particular (albeit horrific) dilemma, He opened a door to knowledge and enlightenment which would become an apparatus that would continue to provide blessings for others, in fact for all of humanity!
The plague in a very real sense became the signpost pointed at a pathway out of our collective ignorance; it was the dawning of a new day within a dark age! To find the solution or cure for the plague, they first had to figure out what was causing it. Without getting bogged down in the specifics, their search for the cause brought forth the process we now refer to as scientific method! [The Kingdom: Apparatus, Instrument of Vehicle]
With the advent of the Age of Trump, science has been forced to take a backseat within conservative circles. Conservatives continually turn up their collective nose to the warnings scientists put out that seem, even remotely related to global warming. Other areas of denial include the biology of homosexuality and any topic related to evolution. Now that a new plague is at our doorstep, conservative-minded folks seem to be scrambling for answers from their ministers, bible passages and pet Trump-leaning political surrogates. Typically their go to sources have tended to steer them away from the scientists and the medical researchers, especially if the findings have conflicted with their religious/political views. With the coronavirus debacle, they may find themselves in a bit of a quandary about what to do—what to think.
Our national culture has brought us to a juncture wherein we “can’t see the forest for the trees”. But if we stop and take a few steps back, open our eyes and our minds to the bigger picture, we might be able to reassign our present circumstance into its proper place along the historical timeline. If we crack open our history books and read about the age that followed the Dark Ages (replete with the Black Death), we will read about the Renaissance Period; the Age of Global Exploration; the Age of Enlightenment; the Industrial Revolution; the Space Age and many other markers that trace humanity’s journey.
Through all of these phases, the human collective has been able to keep moving forward, ever forward; but in this Age of Trump this trend has been grinding to a halt. At times, it appears as though it’s being wound back in the opposite direction.
We are sitting at a place in history with many problems on our plate; global warming, lopsided economics, deep cultural divides and now this Covid-19 Pandemic. The good news is that scientists, engineers and others have accumulated many answers and techniques with which to address these problems (whether we chose to believe in them or not). The only thing keeping us from moving forward seems to be the willful ignorance embraced by the conservative-minded, well-meaning people. They seem to be caught out in a fog wherein they see scientists and progressives as their enemies.