Article 27775 of Subject: TIME cover story Date: 27 Dec 1992 23:03:18 GMT La

Master Index Current Directory Index Go to SkepticTank Go to Human Rights activist Keith Henson Go to Scientology cult

Skeptic Tank!

Article 27775 of From: () Subject: TIME cover story Date: 27 Dec 1992 23:03:18 GMT Organization: University of California, Berkeley Lines: 36 Distribution: world Message-ID: <> Last week's TIME magazine cover story (Dec. 28) was titled "What Does Science Tell Us About God?". The story (by Robert Wright) began by saying that "if you're religious in a conventional sense, you probably don't seek theological guidance from physicists." Many people, however, are "religiously inclined, but reaching for scientific support" for their beliefs. Some of the world's most prominent scientists seem to encourage this public attitude of looking to science to provide a basis for religion. For example, Leon Lederman is publishing a book called "The God Particle," and the cosmo-theologies of Stephen Hawking and Carl Sagan has been seen or read by millions. Moreover, TIME said that "many, perhaps most, evolutionary biologists" now believe that "the coming of highly intelligent life was close to inevitable," because of a supposed inherent tendency of evolution to favor "behavioral flexibility," which demands "complex information processing - smarts." This is in line with a general physical law waiting to be discovered which "would carve out local exceptions to the general tendency of things to become more chaotic." TIME quotes Charles Bennett as saying that such a law would play a role "formerly assigned to God." TIME adds that others "would say that such a law is EVIDENCE of God -- not a God who created human beings out of dust, but a God with longer time horizons." When the U.S. National Academy of Sciences faced the threat of creation-science in 1981, it passed a resolution saying that "Religion and science are separate and mutually exclusive realms of human thought whose presentation in the same context leads to misunderstanding of both scientific theory and religious belief." My questions are: (1) Was this resolution merely a stick to beat the creationists with, or does it apply to the National Academy's own members? (2) Should we "seek theological guidance from physicists (or biologists)?" We seem to be getting a lot of it lately.


E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank