Thursday, December 08, 2005


Here is a link to an opinion piece by Prof Robin Holliday, who has discovered all sorts of neat molecular biology stuff, entitled ‘The Fundamental Incompatibility Between Science and Religion’.

I am not entirely sure why he wrote it.

If science and religion were fundamentally incompatible, would it really do science any good to convince people of the fact?

There are vastly more people in the world committed to a religious world view than a scientific world view. Why split humanity into two camps, with yourself in the small embattled one, if you don’t have to?

I suppose it just reflects the spirit of the age: here are these people with feet in both camp ‘us’ and camp ‘them’ (f’rinstance, religious scientists, or moderate Muslims). Do we think of them as:

(i) Useful bridges to the other side, expressing a point of view that we need to understand if we are going to reach any long term solution, or

(ii) Dangerous and deluded fifth columnists who must be forced to conform to the ideals of camp ‘us’?

So that is what *really* bugs me about Prof Holliday’s article, when I think about it.

1 comment:

Marco said...

Science will lead to the truth? Religion will entrench falseties? Concepts like creation science and intelligent design will just confuse the poor layperson - are we modelling the world on pure observation or are we being guided by God? Sounds like he's preaching to the converted, in that he's not going to convince anyone who doesn't already believe "religion is bad" He'd be better off sticking with just the issues where the scientific argument is strong, such as evolution vs ex nihilo creation science, and not bringing God into it with his generalisations that because one argument or another is strong, therefore everything about religion should be doubted.