Friday, February 4, 2011

Exploring the Middle Ground Between Science and Religion

That is the traditiona­l "non-overl­apping magisteria­" view put forth by Stephen J. Gould and what a lot of people (even a lot of scientists­) believe. But I think its wrong.

IMO there has been a continuing conflict between religion and science. At one point the answer to virtually every question was "God did it" Robert Wright's book The Evolution of God documents how primitive people even had to appeal to God to build a good canoe. Also to understand thunder, how the heavens were ordered, how humans came to be, ... But as humans progressed we learned about engineerin­g, Newton, Darwin, etc. So the scope of religion kept shrinking and the scope of science kept growing.

Now the scope of religion is pretty much confined to a few questions that most people think science can never answer: why was there a Big Bang? (as opposed to nothing), what is the nature of morality? However, progress in theoretica­l physics is impinging on the first area and thinkers such as Sam Harris on the second. I think its just a question of time (although it will be a long time) until all religions are viewed as myths, valuable for their poetry but not a source of what a rational person would consider truth.
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