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July 18, 2006

Religion and Science -- 2

Leonard Lopate had an interview this afternoon with Francis Collins, a former head of the Human Genome Project, on "how he reconciles his scientific knowledge with his religious faith." Collins has a book out on the subject, entitled, The Language of God. Stimulating fellow:

God is outside of nature. Science studies nature. Its tools are designed to study nature. So it is totally inappropriate to take scientiific conclusions and draw any particular conclusions about God.

This is the two-realms argument, which Lopate and Collins attribute to the late Stephen Jay Gould. But the question of whether anything can be "outside of nature" is precisely the issue, isn't it?

Posted by Mitchell Stephens at July 18, 2006 11:20 PM


Everyone wants a way out. Everybody wants to rule the world. And scientists are no different. When overwhelmed by what we don't know, we make something up! It is so comforting to know we are not alone. All those things we do not understand are the work of something we cannot experience, how convienient!

Imagination is an awesome, terrible force of nature! It's how we build the world we rule. How else can we possibly pretend we are in control?

Posted by: Jay Saul at July 19, 2006 8:44 AM

I heard some of what Collins said. And though I'm an atheist, what struck me as interesting is that he said that atheists strike him as the most close-minded people of all. And he said what hubris atheists have to summarily say there's no God and that's that. What think?

Posted by: moi at July 19, 2006 10:39 AM

The hubris is with those who think they can conceive of any such entity. Hubris? Well, maybe not hubris, more like self referencing logic.

Yes, we all need more "open minds" like a neo-cons and catholics, jews and gentlemen, woody allen and gracie allen. Yikes! my mind opened up there and things fell out. Can't find my keys.

Posted by: Jay Saul at July 19, 2006 5:32 PM

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