Dangerous attempts of biology and religion “synthesis”. About V.K. Zhirov’s article on Orthodox vision of biological diversity

  1. Lemma
  2. Опасные попытки 'синтеза' биологии и религии. По поводу статьи В.К. Жирова о православном видении проблемы биологического разнообразия
  3. Russian
  4. Asliturk, Miriam
  5. Scientific theories and disciplines > Biology - Scientific theories and disciplines > Biology:evolution - Concepts of knowledge and modes of reasoning > Materialism/Idealism - Ecology and the environment - Various approaches to the problem of correlation between science and theology
  6. 04-01-2017
  7. Савинов, Александр [Author]. Опасные попытки 'синтеза' биологии и религии. По поводу статьи В.К. Жирова о православном видении проблемы биологического разнообразия
  8. Полит. Образование.
  9. Biodiversity - Anthropocentrism - Biocentrism - Nature parks - Materialist methodology - Social scientists - Zhirov, V. K.
  10. Click Here
    1. <p>Савинов, Александр (2016). Опасные попытки 'синтеза' биологии и религии. По поводу статьи В.К. Жирова о православном видении проблемы биологического разнообразия. <em>Полит. Образование.</em> Retrieved from: <a href="http://www.lawinrussia.ru/content/opasnye-popytki-sinteza-biologii-i-religii-po-povodu-stati-vk-zhirova-o-pravoslavnom-videnii">http://www.lawinrussia.ru/content/opasnye-popytki-sinteza-biologii-i-religii-po-povodu-stati-vk-zhirova-o-pravoslavnom-videnii</a> </p>
    1. The text deals with the problem of divinization and rationalization of laws of nature by human consciousness, which, according to the author, drive the progress of civilization. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, materialist ideology lost monopoly in Russia. Therefore currently many scholars in Russian academia hold creationist and anti-Darwinist views. These views represent an illusionary alternative to the materialist methodology in science. The issue gets even more problematic when social scientists try not only to find a spiritual explanation for the existence of consciousness and speech but also criticize the theory of evolution, which, according to them, has negative effect on ethics and morals of society.

      The author argues that scientists who speak about the synthesis of religion and science do not understand the basic difference between the two. Firstly, the main principle in science is natural conditioning and materiality of the reality. Religion, on the contrary, speaks about the divine nature of reality. Secondly, science is based on critical thinking and doubt, while religion is based on faith. Thirdly, science argues that reality can be explained, while religion presumes that human consciousness is limited and therefore cannot explain the reality. The religious paradigm consequently leads to agnosticism and dogmatic beliefs.

      The author devotes particular attention to the article of V.K. Zhirov, who tries to bring religious element into biology. The author points out the fact that Zhirov is not a “rank and file biologist”. He is a prominent scholar, D.Sc., corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, and important administrator (director of several  research centres) who defines major strategies as far as the ecological security of Russia is concerned. In his article, Zhirov juxtaposed the theory of biocentrism to that of religious anthropocentrism stating that non-religious biologists would not be able to adapt to biotechnologies, which would dominate science in the future. In Zhirov’s view, the evolution paradigm will equalize humans with other life forms in the context of competition for resources. Therefore the division of species as human and non-human (other forms of life), provided by Christian logics, is necessary to avoid the upcoming chaos. Zhirov advocates bio-taxonomy based on the religious concept of the Trinity and rejects biocentrism, which he sees as a form of neo-paganism. The solution for Zhirov is in Christian Anthropocentrism with a human as the centre of the biological life. He argues that the existing natural life is imperfect because of the Fall, and the role of the human being is to improve nature. Zhirov’s program implies the creation of biodiversity nature parks supervised by religious institutions, such as monasteries. This doctrine contains significant dangers, according to the author, because some forms of life would not be protected in these parks because of their inutility for humans. He argues that Zhirov’s position represents another example of an unscientific approach in biology.