Events

Monday, March 8, 2010

Science in a Nutshell

The redoubtable rationalist and curmudgeon Bob Park takes aim at leading geneticist Francis Collins, who manages to be both devout and the director of the National Institutes of Health. Park will have none of Collins's attempt to reconcile science and faith. Not everyone advocates as strict a separation as Park does, and yet he here distills the difference between the scientific and non-scientific worldview into a single point:
BELIEF: FRANCIS COLLINS IS FREE TO HOLD ANY BELIEFS HE LIKES.
This week, saw the publication of his new book, "Belief: Readings on the Reasons for Faith.” But he is now the director of the nation’s largest science agency, having promised to set his personal quirks aside for the time. The argument is made that the book is work he did before he became director, but that's pretty thin cover. He could wait until he steps down. Modern science had its birth with the assertion of the Greek philosopher Thales in 585 B.C. that every observable effect has a physical cause. We should not regard any person as educated unless he understands those words, including the director of NIH.
He also draws the logical conclusion. Hard to argue with either.

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