I know from experience that the great successes of our scientific exploration of the universe can tempt us to dismiss anything other than scientific understanding as of secondary importance. But spirituality, and with it religious faith, is deeply ingrained in human culture, and many people rely on their religious convictions to make sense of life. Whatever one's personal views about religion, it is undeniable that scientific understanding alone does not encompass the range of the human intellectual experience.
Scientists who fail to appreciate this, and who attack religious beliefs for being unscientific, do their discipline a disservice, not least because such attacks are themselves unscientific. This is why, while I am sympathetic with many of the points he raises, I disagree with Richard Dawkins's unfettered attack on God. Not only is it inappropriate to try to convince people of the validity of scientific theories by first arguing that their deeply held beliefs are silly, it is also clear that the existence of God is a metaphysical question which is, for the most part, outside the domain of science.
Now more than ever it is important to understand the limits of science. The phrase often used to defend aspects of evolution has particular significance here: the absence of evidence is not evidence for absence. This is not to say that all theological interpretations are beyond scientific criticism. A fundamentalist interpretation of the Bible is in clear violation of physical evidence. Continue reading "Lawrence Krauss: Don't Pit Science Against Religion" » Jul 27, 2006 in Religion Permalink Comments (5) TrackBack (0) firstname.lastname@example.org