Friday, September 29, 2006

 

Let There Be Light: Science and Religion Editorial (SciAm)

Editorial from the October 2006 issue of Scientific American (Sciam): It is practically a rite of passage that scientists who reach a certain level of eminence feel compelled to publicly announce and explain their religious beliefs. The new books by Owen Gingerich(1) and Francis Collins(2), reviewed this month on page 94, follow in the footsteps of Arthur Eddington and Max Planck. Yes, these authors say, they believe in God, and no, they see no contradiction between their faith and their research - indeed, they see each as confirming the other.

Why this enduring fascination? Doubtless it is partly a reaction to the tensions that always seem to arise between science and religion: the recurring war over the teaching of evolution and creationism, the statements by physicists that they are plumbing the instant of 'creation' or searching for a 'God particle,' the reassurances of some evangelicals that a Second Coming will make global warming irrelevant. In writing books about their own faith, religious scientists may be hoping to point the way to reconciliations for the rest of society.

Yet the tension may be greatly exaggerated...

Fiat Lux: Continued at "Let There Be Light" [Book, Review]
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(1) God's Universe by Owen Gingerich (Amazon UK | US)

(2) The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief by Francis S. Collins (Amazon UK | US)

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