The future of science and religion

The New York Times has an interesting article today examining the nature of science. Some scientists, such as Richard Dawkins and Neil Tyson, seem to suggest that science should be advocated for and evangelized just like any other religion. I think this is a mistake. Science is useful because it relies on an assumption of an explainable world, discoverable through considered and rational analysis. Why compete with faith and belief? The truth will win out in the end, as history shows.

I do think faith has a challenge ahead of it. While evolution may be one cause for a decline in the importance of religion, in my lifetime I believe we will see an even more challenging event. This will be the discovery of the physiological mechanisms underlying consciousness. It might take the form of quantum neural processes, some form of language as consciousness, and probably something I don’t understand right now. But to be able to say that the reason why we act and think the way we do is not because of some ethereal spirit, but rather a mundane series of physical events, will profoundly impact faith and religion.

The last word is Dr. Tyson’s: “Science is a philosophy of discovery; intelligent design is a philosophy of ignorance.”

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Published in: on March 6, 2007 at 11:43 pm  Comments (3)  

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Faith has no challenge ahead of it. It has challengers to it.

    This is nothing new, nor will it ever change – at least in this world.

    Those with faith have no reason to fear science. Indeed, my own faith has only been strengthened by the wonders of Creation uncovered through the scientific realm.

  2. Will your faith be so strong when consciousness is shown to be a quantum interaction in the brain? I wonder.

  3. If you have to ask, then you don’t understand faith. And why should the mechanism by which God chooses to provide consciousness have anything to do with it? This is, in my own opinion, philosophical tripe meant to once again declare that God is dead because some scientific advance proposes to explain something it is not explaining.

    In short, to answer your question, absolutely. if my faith were so weak to suggest otherwise, it would be no faith at all.


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