SDF: Miley Cyrus — Pro-Science Opinion Creates Controversy

Editor’s Note: It’s Science Ditty Friday. Every Friday REALscience compiles a song (generally with an accompanying video) to kick your weekend off with a musical start. Have a favorite science song? Send it to ditty@realscience.us.

Despite what some people may think 19-year-old Miley Cyrus is not a robot. She even has a song about it. Though this week the teen rock star upset many of her most ardent fans who are also religious conservatives when she posted a picture on a social network.

Normally, that type of celebrity behavior wouldn’t raise eyebrows. But Cyrus posted a picture of theoretical physicist Lawrence Krauss embedded with his quote: “You are all stardust. You couldn’t be here if stars hadn’t exploded, because the elements (carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, all the things that matter for evolution) weren’t created at the beginning of time. They were created in stars. So forget Jesus. Stars died so you can live.”

Miley Cyrus Twitpic of Lawrence Krauss with His Quote

Miley Cyrus Twitpic of Lawrence Krauss with His Quote

To the photo, she added her own comment, “Beautiful.” That seeming endorsement of the Big Bang theory began a war of words where some of her fans in an unchristian fashion attacked the pop star for her belief in the beginning of the universe.

They clearly took issue with the “So forget Jesus” line of Krauss’ quote.

This week she returned to Twitter saying, “How can people take the love out of science and bring hate into religion so easily? It makes me sad to think the world is this way. Like Einstein says: ‘Science without religion is lame. Religion without science is blind.’”

Miley Cyrus Sings "Robot"

Miley Cyrus Sings "Robot"

As a child star who grew up in the spotlight of her achy-breaky father Billy Ray Cyrus, young Miley used to attend church and even wore a purity ring as a sign of her Christian faith. Naturally the Disney megastar grew a like-minded following.

Now that the singer is a young adult, some of her growing pains are creating conflict. But as she says in her song Robot, “Stop telling me I’m part of a big machine.”

Right after the backlash began Hollywood Life editor Bonnie Fuller came to the teen’s defense. She says, “Miley, we’re so proud of you for standing up in your new tweets about your beliefs that the world was created through evolution, even though you were attacked by some livid fans!”

Well, the quote more refers to the Big Bang creating the universe not evolution but Fuller means well despite her scientific naivete. So we’ll give her a pass for now.

In a poll on the same site, Fuller reports that 57 percent didn’t think Cyrus’ Twitpic of Krauss was offensive.

But many die-hard fans are ready to take away her Southern Baptist card and some even told her to go to Hell. Again, not very Christian of them.

Miley Cyrus Tweets

One online supporter says, “I believe in God, the big bang and evolution. The heavens and the earth are so awesome that i cant imagine that it is an accident. We may have been created in God’s image but we have no idea what that image is. I dont think it was an ashton kutcher lookalike.”

But Krauss in a 2009 Wall Street Journal editorial outlines why science must be separate from religion. He says, “God is, of necessity, irrelevant in science.”

He refers to evolutionary biologist J.B. Haldane’s idea that science is an atheistic discipline. This kind of talk angers many religious people but let’s look at what that really means.

In 1934 Haldane said, “When I set up an experiment I assume that no god, angel or devil is going to interfere with its course.” And science would lack consistency, reproducibility and integrity if supernatural interventions explained how the natural world works.

While Haldane was an true non-believing atheist, Krauss balks at the title, accepting the less extreme moniker of rational atheist (as opposed to an absolutist). He says, “Faced with the remarkable success of science to explain the workings of the physical world, many, indeed probably most, scientists understandably react as Haldane did.”

Miley Cyrus Fan Tweets

And that ability to reason has allowed society to advance over the last 400 years. Krauss says that God has no place in science he also argues that the true believers in each of the leading world religions are themselves atheists regarding the specific sacred tenets of all other faiths.

Krauss says, “So while scientific rationality does not require atheism, it is by no means irrational to use it as the basis for arguing against the existence of God, and thus to conclude that claimed miracles like the virgin birth are incompatible with our scientific understanding of nature.”

When it comes to the hot topic of science and religion, those thought-provoking statements are far more incendiary than Miley Cyrus tweeting a picture of a theoretical physicist and saying his quote is beautiful. But that’s not what grabs headlines.

Robot
By: Miley Cyrus

It’s been like this from the start
One piece after another to make my heart
You mistake the game for being smart
Stand here, sell this, and hit your mark

But the sound of the steel
And the crush, and the grind
It all screams who am I, to decide my life
But in time it all dies,
There’s nothing left inside
Just rusted metal that was never even mine

I would scream
But I’m just this hollow shell
Waiting here, begging please
Set me free so I can feel

HEY

Stop trying to live my life for me
I need to breathe, I’m not your robot
Stop telling me I’m a part of the big machine
I’m breaking free,
can’t you see
I can love, I can speak
Without somebody else operating me
You gave me eyes and now I see
I’m not your robot I’m just me

All this time, I’ve been mislead
There was nothing but crossed wires in my head
I’ve been taught to think that what I feel
doesn’t matter at all
till they say its real

I would scream
But I’m just this hollow shell
waiting here, begging please
Set me free so I can feel

HEY

Stop trying to live my life for me
I need to breathe, I’m not your robot
Stop telling me I’m a part of the big machine
I’m breaking free,
can’t you see
I can love, I can speak
Without somebody else operating me
You gave me eyes and now I see
I’m not your robot, I’m just me

I’m not your robot, I’m just me
I’m not your robot

I would scream,
but I’m just this hollow shell
Waiting here
Breaking free
Set me free so I can feel

HEY

Stop trying to live my life for me
I need to breathe, I’m not your robot
Stop telling me I’m a part of the big machine
I’m breaking free,
can’t you see
I can love, I can speak
Without somebody else operating me
You gave me eyes and now I see
I’m not your robot, I’m just me

I’m not your robot, I’m just me
I’m not your robot

“Robot” written by John Shanks and Miley Cyrus
Lyrics (c) Sony/ATV Music Publishing

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