The following is an excerpt from _Isaac Asimov on Science and the Bible_ which is an inter

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The following is an excerpt from _Isaac Asimov on Science and the Bible_ which is an interview conducted by Paul Kurtz in the spring of 1982. It first appeared in _Free Inquiry_ magazine somewhere around that time, and is reprinted in _On the Barricades: Religion and Free Inquiry in Conflict_ published by Prometheus Books. Kurtz: Isaac, how would you describe your own position? Agnostic, atheist, rational humanist? Asimov: I am an atheist, out and out. It took me a long time to say it. I've been an atheist for years and years, but somehow I felt it was intellectually unrespectable to say one was an atheist, because it assumed knowledge that one didn't have. Somehow, it was better to say one was a humanist or an agnostic. I finally decided that I'm a creature of emotion as well as of reason. Emotionally I am an atheist. I don't have the evidence to prove that God doesn't exist, but I so strongly suspect that he doesn't that I don't want to waste my time. Kurtz: But the burden of proof is on the person who claims God exists. You don't believe in Santa Claus, but you can't disprove his existence. The burden of proof is upon those who maintain the claim. Asimov: Yes. In any case, I am an atheist. - - - - - - Kurtz: Earlier you said that the Bible contained fallible writings. What would some of these be? Asimov: In my opinion, the biblical account of the creation of the universe and of the earth and humanity is wrong in almost every respect. I believe that those cases where it can be argued that the Bible is wrong are, if not trivial, then coincidental. And I think that the account of a worldwide flood, as opposed say, to a flood limited to the Tigris-Euphrates region, is certainly wrong. ... Kurtz: It's not simply biology that they are questioning, but geology, astronomy, and the whole basis of the physical sciences. Asimov: If we insist on the Bible's being literally true, then we must abandon the scientific method totally and completely. There's no way that we can at the same time try to discover the truth by means of observation and reason and also accept the Bible as true. Kurtz: So what is at stake in this debate between evolution and creationism is not simply the principle of evolution in regard to living things but the whole status of the sciences themselves. Asimov: That is what I believe.


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