Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Scientists Speak Up on Mix of God and Science - New York Times

Scientists Speak Up on Mix of God and Science - New York Times

"At a recent scientific conference at City College of New York, a student in the audience rose to ask the panelists an unexpected question: "Can you be a good scientist and believe in God?"

Reaction from one of the panelists, all Nobel laureates, was quick and sharp. "No!" declared Herbert A. Hauptman, who shared the chemistry prize in 1985 for his work on the structure of crystals.

Belief in the supernatural, especially belief in God, is not only incompatible with good science, Dr. Hauptman declared, "this kind of belief is damaging to the well-being of the human race."

But disdain for religion is far from universal among scientists. And today, as religious groups challenge scientists in arenas as various as evolution in the classroom, AIDS prevention and stem cell research, scientists who embrace religion are beginning to speak out about their faith..."

Interesting article. It sounds like the Kruse Kronicle was prescient in initiating the Science and Christianity discussion on Sunday. It is nice to see The New York Times (you'll need to register, but it's free) present a more balanced view of how Christians can be scientists without compromising either their faith or their effectiveness as scientists. It is a little shocking to hear how a Nobel Laureate could hold such a narrow view as to declare belief in God "damaging to the well-being of the human race", but this illustrates the problems you encounter when you start stepping outside your area of expertise, and try to evaluate something you have not experienced.

I expect this discussion will be stimulating and enjoyable.

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