Skip to content

Can Science Lead to Faith?

May 2, 2013

Gary Marcus in The New Yorker:

marcus-religion-290

The relationship between science and religion has always been vexed. Most scientists I know are nonbelievers, convinced that there is no deity, or at least that there is no convincing evidence of one. Even those who are believers, like Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, see their religion and their science as largely separate. (“If God is outside of nature, then science can neither prove nor disprove his existence,” he once wrote.)

But it has been startling to see leading scientists employ science itself in arguments for believing in a kind of supernatural: Jürgen Schmidhuber, a prominent researcher in artificial intelligence, calls for what he has dubbed “computational theology,” while Baylor College of Medicine neuroscientist David Eagleman has proposed a kind of religious perspective that he calls “Possibilianism.” Neither argues for anything like a conventional Judeo-Christian deity, but both point to something beyond the natural universe. […]

In the empirical sciences, almost everything is a matter of weighing evidence; outside of geometry, it is rare for scientists to literally prove anything. Rather, the more typical trajectory is to rule out competing theories, and accumulate more and more evidence in favor of particular hypotheses. At some level, all scientists are agnostics, and not just about religion, but about virtually everything. [More]

Advertisements
No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s