Friday, 12 April 2013

Science and Faith: poles apart?

Well, perhaps not, for there are many quotes which both challenge and settle my belief that my science and technology backgrounds are comfortably found in bed with the issues of faith and belief. Here are four (of many) voices from the scientific world (and one from Richard Dawkins, source of the meme):

Astronomer Fred Hoyle:
A commonsense interpretation of the facts suggests that a superintellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as with chemistry and biology, and that there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature. The numbers one calculates from the facts seem to me so overwhelming as to put this conclusion almost beyond question."

Cosmologist Carl Sagan, has this to say:
'Science is not only compatible with spirituality; it is a profound source of spirituality. When we recognise our place in an immensity of light-years and in the passage of ages, when we grasp the intricacy, beauty, and subtlety of life, then that soaring feeling, that sense of elation and humility combined, is surely spiritual...The notion that science and spirituality are somehow mutually exclusive does a disservice to both.'

It's not rocket science, but if it were then who else should we turn to for a comment but Wernher Von Braun (probably THE rocket scientist);
'I find it as difficult to understand a scientist who does not acknowledge the presence of a superior rationality behind the existence of the universe as it is to comprehend a theologian who would deny the advances of science.'

Physicist Nevill Mott, helps us further with the words:
'Science can have a purifying effect on religion, freeing it from beliefs of a pre-scientific age and helping us to a truer conception of God. At the same time, I am far from believing that science will ever give us the answers to all our questions.'

And for a bit of light relief, Richard Dawkins, being under the influence of evolutionary enlightenment is driven by his memes to tell us:
'A delusion is something that people believe in despite a total lack of evidence.'

After the other quotes it's good to have the views of someone who is a recognised authority when it comes to faith, science and delusional thinking, isn't it?

Happy Friday

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