Tuesday, February 28, 2006

The Oracle Suggests a Truce Between Science and Religion - New York Times

The Oracle Suggests a Truce Between Science and Religion - New York Times:
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Published: February 28, 2006

"It may seem that the longstanding war between science and religion is entering a new phase: Darwin versus intelligent design, religious opposition to stem cell research, Western secularism versus Islamic fundamentalism. All around we see growing tensions between the scientific demand for truth through reason and experiment, and the religious desire for consolation and revealed truth.

What seems like a clear trend, however, in fact misrepresents the underlying reality. We have indeed seen many conflicts over the centuries, vividly in the case of Galileo versus the church.

But the truth is that science and spirituality, rather than addressing similar ground, speak to very different realms of human experience and, at least in theory, have the potential to coexist in peace, complementing rather than constantly battling each other...."
This New York Times essay raises some points that need to be considered in the "cultural war" between science and faith. The author holds that the scientists who make "sweeping metaphysical claims" are a vocal minority, but in my opinion, the members of the faith community who believe that scientific pursuits have little to offer are just as wrong.

Mark Noll, in The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind, makes the point that evangelicals of an earlier age had a deep respect for science, and saw it as a valuable way to engage with God's creation.

William Broad suggests that both sides need to realize that they are complementary in their pursuits, and to avoid the power struggle that drowns out the more reasonable voices.

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