Religious Scientists

David Galbraith reminds me of an article in Thursday's Guardian, Science cannot provide all the answers, which I thought was bogus at the time but didn't bother to mention not being big on Religion and all. He provides an interesting comment on the article.

The thing with this is that I would be prepared to give the Scientists the benefit of the doubt if they were just (insert religion of choice here) followers, by which I mean that they follow the teachings of so-called prophets. But the lot that the article deals with come out with some positive weirdness viz:

"I believe that the scientific world view can explain almost anything," he says. "But I just think there is another world view as well." - Colin Humphreys, professor of materials science at Cambridge
Russell Stannard is now emeritus professor of physics at the Open University - Does it worry him that science - his science - could be about to explain the whole story of space, time matter and energy without any need for a Creator? "No, because a starting point you can have is: why is there something rather than nothing? Why is there a world? Now I cannot see how science could ever provide an answer," he says.

I'm curious why these eminent scientists suspend rational scientific thought when it comes to religion, as I have always been puzzled why people who I respect for so many reasons seem able to believe in a God when it seems to me there is no basis for such a seemingly preposterous connivance.

I remember why I don't like to talk about religion. It's *so* frustrating.

Posted by Paul at September 9, 2003 01:03 AM |
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Would it not be logical to question applicants for science jobs as to their religious beliefs.

If they belong to any of the major organised religions would it not make sense to deny them the job as they are obviously unable to apply scientific thought or process in a logical way.

Same goes for our politicians!!

Posted by: Bonobo at September 10, 2003 05:20 PM

so gordon, i'm unsure if you're seriously suggesting that or not but yes i think it would be logical to question them as to their beliefs. i don't propose policing the thoughts of these folks, and in fact they can believe whatever they like as long as it doesn't hurt me, but it sure would be interesting just to know what kind of fruitcakes are carrying out 'serious' work! don't deny them the job on the basis of their beliefs, that would be bad, but subject them to 'security style' interrogation to point out their stupidity.

maybe scientific thought and process together with membership of a religious body is not a mutually exclusive thing, these are the people with msc's and phd's and whatnot, they ought to know better than me but thus far anyway their logic eludes me.

as for politicians, maybe let a few more nutters into parliament and the rest might seem more sensible through comparison.

Posted by: Paul at September 11, 2003 03:34 AM

So with you - never been able to get my head round how so many well qualified (and thus presumably?? smart) individuals can believe such blatantly superstitious nonsense.

Maybe I'm just daft and they understand something of which I have no conception??
Alternatively they're all loopy and somehow capable of a kind of doublethink. Possessing an ability to hold two contradictory ideas in their head at the same time.

Years back when I first decided religion was a lot of hocus I think I was fairly ambivalent to its practice in most forms. Now however I can honestly say I hate organised religion - it causes much more harm than it ever has done good - and continues to do so today. (Just look at Bush and the religious right in the US as one topical example.)

Some of Richard Dawkins writings are among the most eloquent and erudite expositions atheism I've come across.

God: I'm with Bertrand Russell and the choclate teapot on this one.

(There may well be one orbiting Mars and I can't prove there isn't but I am confortable with the logic of leading my life in the somewhat strong presumption that there isn't one.)

Posted by: Bonobo at September 11, 2003 04:50 PM

Interesting thread. Actually, there have been a number of very prominent, capable, and gifted scientists who held strong beliefs in the existence of God - Isaac Newton, Blaise Pascal, Michael Farraday, etc. And, increasingly, there is a growing body of strong, credible experimental and observational evidence that points to our universe being the product of intelligent design. Read about Hoyle (an atheist) and the dilema of carbon synthesis in stars. Food for thought - enjoy!


Posted by: Brad at October 2, 2003 08:26 AM