Science and Faith: an Evolving Conversation

Transparent chemistry glass tubes filled with substances

“I left the Church,” my tablemate explains, “because my priest couldn’t answer my questions.”

We are at a gathering of scientists, religious leaders, and people who write about science and religion. We are discussing how people in these often counterposed domains can collaborate for the betterment of mankind.

I confess I am skeptical about the benefits to mankind that will accrue from elite collaboration. I’m a Madisonian in that regard: our wellbeing is safer when elites keep each other in check rather than partner.

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This Is the Way the World Ends

Confucius thought that social unrest could stem from dissociation between language and reality. A “rectification of names” was called for when words no longer related to their material referents. But how do you rectify emotions or conscience? How do you re-sensitize a world gone numb?

Lately, I’ve come across a little interjection of indifference—“meh”—that tersely appraises the emotional lethargy of our age. There’s a certain economy to the remark, a complete confluence of sound, syllable, and even appearance that expresses the languor of a soul that won’t be stirred by what’s posited for its consideration. [Read more...]