Friday, September 09, 2011

God and Man and the Number 42

Another great Uncommon Knowledge is up: Science & Religion with David Berlinski. (part 5, click Uncommon Knowledge link to get to the others) Berlinski and Robinson discuss a favorite subject for me - Science vs. Religion. Or, as I believe - Science doesn't vs. Religion.

I didn't always think the two could coexist in harmony. I was once more of a Hitchensbot, thinking that we were an amazingly lucky consequence of a mindbogglingly complex universe. In that mindset, God always stood in the shadows, sort of an aspect that I didn't want to examine because examining the possibility of God would seem to put me under an obligation of coming to a conclusion on the matter. It became easier when I realized that I could allow for the possibility of God without negating any of the other things that I believed about this place.

Also in the shadows was something I wanted to think about even less than a deity: in the Hitchensverse, if we are all just a lucky chemical reaction, then a Charles Manson or Hitler would be pretty much equivalent to a Mother Teressa. The universe wouldn't much even notice Hitler, wanting to continue on with its expansion and formation of quasars and such.

If life means anything at all, it must be more than a lucky chemical reaction.

Listen to Berlinski, he's got his feet firmly planted on this stuff. But listen like a scientist, open to the possibility that there might be a reality out there that you would like better than the one you currently embrace.