I just came across a very interesting blog on the Discover Magazine site, called Reality Base. It’s done by Adam Frank, and his bio says:
Adam Frank is a professor of astrophysics at the University of Rochester who studies star formation and stellar death using supercomputers. His new book, “The Constant Fire, Beyond the Science vs. Religion Debate,” has just been published. He will be joining Reality Base to post an ongoing discussion of science and religion—you can read his previous posts here, and find more of his thoughts on science and the human prospect at the Constant Fire blog.
His most recent post is on “hierophany,” a term invented by Mircea Eliade to designate where and when the sacred erupts into the world. “A hierophany is the manifestation of the sacred, the act of its appearance in the world. A hierophany occurs when ‘something sacred shows itself.’ According to Eliade, this process forms the heart of all religious life.”
Like Michael Dowd, Frank is arguing for a marriage of science and religion, of updating our religious understanding with new scientific knowledge. He points out the universality of religious experience, and the need for scientists to not dismiss it as deterministic neurochemical processes.
While Frank rants against religious fundamentalists who dismiss scientific facts because they don’t agree with their doctrines, he also has little use for New Agers who see quantum physics as proof of their own rather unscientific concepts. See the blog entry “Transcending the Silly” – the title tells you what he thinks.
There’s far more there than I can summarize in a brief blog entry – go read it yourself. I certainly intend to do so.