The Null Device

Science and spirituality

Quote of the day, from Robert M. Sapolsky's contribution to "What We Believe But Cannot Prove", a collection of short essays on the subject by various eminent scientific thinkers:
Many physicists, especially astrophysicists, seem weirdly willing to go on about their communing with God in contemplating the Big Bang, but in my world of biologists, the God concept gets mighty infuriating when you spend your time thinking about, say, untreatably aggressive childhood leukemia.

There are 2 comments on "Science and spirituality":

Posted by: psychbloke http://psychbloke.blogspot.com Thu Dec 29 20:56:03 2005

"in my world of biologists, the God concept gets mighty infuriating when you spend your time thinking about, say, untreatably aggressive childhood leukemia".

Surely a problem in any world? More so for the theist, whose been struggling with the problems of evil and suffering for millenia, than for the biologist.

Conversely, the physicist, especially the quantum or cosmological varieties,I guess, has the luxury of working in a world so unsullied by our day to day physical existence that such abstractions go unchallenged by kids with leukemia or tsunamis or whatever.......

Posted by: Peter http://www.frogworth.com/blog/ Fri Dec 30 06:36:21 2005

Indubitably a problem in any world, but I think Saposky's point is that while physicists aren't brought up against the (moral) problems with the God concept in their everyday working lives, some biologists might.

To me, whether you're a biologist, physicist or priest, dealing with problems like the existence of evil and the suffering of innocents must take some pretty fancy mental juggling if you want to believe in a benevolent God. Almost makes me respect religious folks. (That's unfair - I have plenty of good friends and some beloved relatives who are religious folks, but that doesn't make it easier for me to understand how they reconcile their beliefs with the way the world works...)

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