Alan Lightman asks great questions about science and religion. His answers are sometimes frustrating.
faith and science
What's the biblical God's essential characteristic? According to Cobb, it's the loving care a mother or father gives an infant.
Randomness is distinct from the Greek concept of chance. Conflating the two imports to science the sense that random events are gratuitous.
A recent Templeton Foundation program sought to cultivate local conversation on science and faith. We asked some pastors to describe their experience.
The geophysicist's talk had none of the triumphalism of efforts to prove God exists. It was the testimony of experience—and it was unequivocal doxology.
It would be dishonest to attempt to squeeze nonreligious scientists into the mold of conventional belief. Nevertheless, they do end up confronting profoundly theological questions.
"Everybody thinks the church stopped supporting science with Galileo. That's a myth tied up in the politics of the 19th century."
Modern cosmology indicates that the universe cannot have been created without any constraints. So where do we find the elusive nihilo?
Why do scientists turn to questions traditionally reserved for the humanities? Tom McLeish argues for a deep kinship between the two spheres.
"Students don't have time for electives. Rather than change the curriculum, we embedded a discussion of religion and science in the classes they already take."
Stephen Jay Gould regarded science and religion as addressing different kinds of questions. Owen Gingerich goes a step farther with a more nuanced approach.
For Ben Quash, scripture and tradition are givens. Our task is to discover and reinterpret what we have been given.
Thank you, Professor David Barash. In his first-year biology class, Barash begins with something he calls “The Talk.” He understands that a “substantial minority” of students come in unprepared by their religious backgrounds for the complexity and strangeness of evolutionary biology. They fear that the study of biology might challenge their “beliefs.” So he takes it upon himself to clear up what vestiges of William Paley and William Jennings Bryan remain among students.