Most of what I believe about the ongoing science v. religion debate can be discerned in this post from a couple of years ago.
Dr. Karl Giberson and I are pretty much on the same page, although he does a much finer job than I ever could of deconstructing the “new timey religion” of Richard Dawkins and Bama grad/Harvard biology professor E.O. Wilson.
But let’s assume for the moment that this is possible — that science can be canonized, moralized, transcendentalized and politicized into a replacement religion, with followers, codes of conduct, celebrated texts and sacred blogs, houses of worship, “saints” of some sort and inquisitors of another sort. And let’s suppose that it’s possible for this new religion to move out of the ivory towers of academia, where it lives now, to take its place alongside the other “world” religions, attracting hundreds of millions of adherents drawn from the main streets of the world and all walks of life. What would this new religion be like once it became institutionalized? After all, if religion fills a genuine human need, something has to fill the hole created by its passing — something that appeals to billions of people.
In order for many of us to truly feel at home in the universe so grandly described by science, that science needs to coexist as peacefully as possible with the creation stories of our religious traditions. I share with Myers, Dawkins and Weinberg the conviction that we are the product of cosmic and biological evolution, that Einstein and Darwin got it right. But I want to believe that, through the eyes of my faith, this is how God created the world and that God cares about that world. Does this belief, shared by so many of our species, make me dangerous?
Like I said, anyway you cut it, you gotta have faith.
George Michael was right–sort of.