Friday, August 15, 2008
Beliefs on Religion and Science
Just read some of the Templeton Foundation Website about beliefs in Science and Religion worth a look. The Question is "Does science make God obsolete?" and the participants are Steven Pinker, Christoph Cardinal Shonborn, William D Phillips, Pervez Amirali Hoodbhoy, Mary Midgley, Robert Sapolsky, Christopher Hitchens, Keith Ward, Victor J Stenger, Jerome Groopman, Michael Shermer, Kenneth R Miller, Stuart Kaufmann are the participants. Of course we don't need to know Richard Dawkins view on this subject, the debates between the participants are interesting though. Dawkins, of course has a point of view which we can characterise as Extreme Atheism or Fundamentalist Atheist, more commonly referred to as The New Atheists, where all religion is equivalent to child abuse and should be kept out of Primary and Secondary Schools with the exception of perhaps Comparative Religion, Referring to a child as a Mormon child, a Catholic child or a Moslem child, assumes too much and we can't expect our children to have such fully formed beliefs as their parents, etc, etc. I personally, take a view similar to Kenneth Miller and have the philosophical rule that, if you think there is a conflict between science and the scripture, you haven't read the scriptures correctly. This was held by Gallileo Gallilei amongst many luminaries and is a good place to start when a conflict, like evolution vs. creationism crops up in a discussion. I have recently been reading Stven Jay Goulds, Punctuated Equilibrium, a contraction to a specific subject of his great Opus The Structure of Evolutionary Theory.