Science

" …the divorce between scientist facts and religious facts may not necessarily be as eternal as it at first sight seems, nor the personalism and romanticism of the world, as they appeared to primitive thinking, be matters so irrevocably outgrown. The final human opinion may, in short, in some manner now impossible to foresee, revert to the more personal style, just as any path of progress may follow a spiral rather than a straight line. If this were so, the rigorously impersonal view of science might one day appear as having been a temporarily useful eccentricity rather than the definitively triumphant position which the sectarian scientist at present so confidently announces it to be."
William James

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Stefan Lovgren - for National Geographic News
October 18, 2004


"Science without religion is lame; religion without science is blind."—Albert Einstein


"Joel Primack has a long and distinguished career as an astrophysicist. A University of California, Santa Cruz, professor, he co-developed the cold dark matter theory that seeks to explain the formation and structure of the universe.

"He also believes in God.

"That may strike some people as peculiar. After all, in some corners popular belief renders science and religion incompatible.

"Yet scientists may be just as likely to believe in God as other people, according to surveys. Some of history's greatest scientific minds, including Albert Einstein, were convinced there is intelligent life behind the universe. Today many scientists say there is no conflict between their faith and their work.

" 'In the last few years astronomy has come together so that we're now able to tell a coherent story' of how the universe began, Primack said. 'This story does not contradict God, but instead enlarges [the idea of] God.' "
News—National Geographic

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Discovery Institute News - Former Atheist Says God Exists
By: Cliff Kinkaid "Insight On The News"


"It didn't make news, on the front or back pages of leading American newspapers, but Professor Antony Flew, a prominent British philosopher who is considered the world's best-known atheist, has cited advancements in science as proof of the existence of God. This is comparable to Hugh Hefner announcing that he is becoming a celibate.

"At a symposium sponsored by the Institute for Metascientific Research, Flew said he has come to believe in God based on developments in DNA research. Flew, author of the book, Darwinian Evolution, declared, "What I think the DNA material has done is show that intelligence must have been involved in getting these extraordinarily diverse elements together. The enormous complexity by which the results were achieved look to me like the work of intelligence."

"Associated Press distributed a December 9 story by religion writer Richard N. Ostling about Flew's conversion. Flew told AP that his current ideas had some similarity with those of U.S. "intelligent design" theorists, who believe the complexity of life points to an intelligent source of life, rather than the random and natural processes posited by Charles Darwin's theory of evolution.

"Flew's statements have been covered in Britain, where he is a professor, but we found nothing about his transformation in major American newspapers such as USA Today, the Washington Post, and the New York Times. Ostling's status as a religion writer may help explain why. The secular press considers this a religion story.

"To its credit, however, the Seattle Times permitted Jonathan Witt of the Discovery Institute to write a column noting Flew's conversion in the context of discussing the usually taboo subject of the holes in Darwinian theory.

"Witt noted that Darwin and his contemporaries thought a single cell was a simple blob of protoplasm and that it wouldn't have been difficult for nature to randomly produce something so simple. "In those days the cell was a black box, a mystery. But in the 20th century, scientists were able to open that black box and peek inside," he notes. "There they found not a simple blob, but a world of complex circuits, miniaturized motors and digital code. We now know that even the simplest functional cell is almost unfathomably complex, containing at least 250 genes and their corresponding proteins."

" "Darwin's Black Box" is the title of Michael J. Behe's 1996 book. Behe, a professor of biochemistry at Lehigh University, emphasizes the complexity of molecular systems such as the bacterial flagellum. Identified by electron microscopes, it is what Behe calls an "irreducibly complex system" that is necessarily composed of at least three partsa paddle, a rotor, and a motor. He argues that Darwinian theory cannot account for it.

"But those who believe in intelligent design or find gaping holes in the theory of evolution frequently encounter a hostile press. The Discovery Institute recently provided to Accuracy in Media a thick file of complaints about the way their representatives have been treated by the media, especially National Public Radio. The Discovery Institute focuses on the issue of whether there is any evidence of design in nature, rather than whether there is a designer. Still, its representatives tend to be portrayed in religious terms by the media.

"Such a tactic is common operating procedure by the ACLU, which is determined to portray any alternative to evolution as religious and therefore not allowed to be taught or even discussed in the public schools.

"Back in 2001, when the Public Broadcasting Service aired the seven-part series, Evolution, financed by Microsoft co-founder and billionaire Paul G. Allen, it asked Discovery Institute scientists to appear on the last segment dealing with God and religion. It was a trick. The institute rejected this ploy, saying that its representatives had scientific objections to evolution and that they should be included in the scientific episodes.

"PBS went ahead with its one-sided program anyway. In response, the Discovery Institute produced a 152-page viewers guide, noting that the series distorts the scientific evidence, ignores scientific disagreements over Darwin's theory, and misrepresents the theory's critics. Because the PBS series is still being marketed to high schools around the country, the Discovery Institute critique continues to be helpful and relevant. You can find it at: www.reviewevolution.com

"PBS and the rest of the media would be well-advised to follow the lead of Antony Flew, who said that his life has been guided by the principle of Plato's Socrates: "Follow the evidence, wherever it leads." Journalists can begin their investigation of the Socratic principle by simply reporting the facts surrounding Flew's amazing evolution and the implications that his statements have for a questionable theory that continues to be taught as the Gospel in the public schools.

"Discovery Institute is a non-profit, non-partisan, public policy think tank headquartered in Seattle and dealing with national and international affairs. For more information, browse Discovery's Web site at: Discovery.org"

"I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well."
Psalms 139:14

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Peter and Einstein by Doug Craigen, PhD (physics)


"With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day."
II Peter 3:8


"To someone familiar with Einstein's theories, the above quote has a certain ring of familiarity. Two observers can experience time in quite different fashion. The 'twin paradox' is a fairly well known example of this… send one twin off for a trip to the stars in a ship that travels at nearly the speed of light. When he returns, he finds his twin old and gray, even though he is still young and thinks that only a few days have passed. The faster the starship is, the greater the discrepancy in the time the two twins would experience. So if somebody took a one day round trip in a ship travelling at 99.99999999963% of the speed of light, then indeed a thousand years would have passed on the earth when they returned. (I should note in passing here that this is all a reference to Special Relativity, and it would be quite difficult to find a physicist who believed it to be wrong. When you hear of disputes over whether Einstein was right, that is in reference to General Relativity. Special Relativity's predictions are easy to verify, such as with atomic clocks on jets, or the changing lifetime of sub-atomic particles when they travel at different speeds near the speed of light.) So if the Lord is the Lord of both the starship twin and the earthbound twin, then He must be able to experience both time references. So He would have both, a thousand years would be like a day, and a day would be like a thousand years (I should note in passing here that this is all a reference to Special Relativity, and it would be quite difficult to find a physicist who believed it to be wrong. When you hear of disputes over whether Einstein was right, that is in reference to General Relativity. Special Relativity's predictions are easy to verify, such as with atomic clocks on jets, or the changing lifetime of sub-atomic particles when they travel at different speeds near the speed of light.) So if the Lord is the Lord of both the starship twin and the earthbound twin, then He must be able to experience both time references. So He would have both, a thousand years would be like a day, and a day would be like a thousand years. But is all this to say that Peter's point was a mundane mechanical description of what the Lord would be capable of. I don't think so. Relativity does much to stretch our understanding of what is possible in this universe, but the majority of Christians hold God to be transcendent, unrestricted by any bounds of this universe. He is simultaneously the Lord of every time and everywhere. To suggest that Peter is talking about relativity is to suggest that the Lord is restricted by the laws of the universe, and in that case He might be the God around here, but it'll take a few years for Him to even find out what's happening at the next star. There is no obvious reason to think that Peter's point was anything but what he said it was in the surrounding verses - that people might get impatient waiting for the Lord, but the Lord has abundant patience … . He is not bound by time the way we are.

"This reminds me of the very first Bible verse that ever struck me. I wasn't a believer at the time, I was reading the Bible out of curiosity, laying in bed relaxing. Then when I read the following, I sat bolt upright. 'I tell you the truth,' Jesus answered, 'before Abraham was born, I am.—John 8:58' Having read almost all through the Gospels I had seen a lot of claims of miracles, but here was something that really stood out! After this statement the Jews tried to stone him for claiming to be God. At the time I didn't know about the 'I AM' of the Old Testament, but Jesus claim above was still clearly a claim to transcendence. How could you talk in the present tense about a couple of thousand years in the past? The Jews had asked if he was claiming to be old enough to have seen Moses, but his answer went far beyond that, he pulled himself right out of our experience of space and time."
—Doug Craigen, PhD


"32.4 Allah is He Who created the heavens and the earth and what is between them in six periods, and He mounted the throne (of authority); you have not besides Him any guardian or any intercessor, will you not then mind? 32.5 He regulates the affair from the heaven to the earth; then shall it ascend to Him in a day the measure of which is a thousand years of what you count."
Koran

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Charles Townes wins 2005 Templeton Prize


"Charles Townes, the Nobel laureate whose inventions include the maser and laser and who has spent decades as a leading advocate for the convergence of science and religion, has won the 2005 Templeton Prize. The prize, valued at more than $1.5 million, was announced today at a news conference at the Church Center for the United Nations in New York.

"Townes, 89, secured his place in the pantheon of great 20th-century scientists through his investigations into the properties of microwaves which resulted first in the maser, a device which amplifies electromagnetic waves, and later his co-invention of the laser, which amplifies and directs light waves into parallel direct beams.

"His research, for which he shared the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1964, opened the door for an astonishing array of inventions and discoveries now in common use throughout the world in medicine, telecommunications, electronics, computers, and other areas.

"It was the 1966 publication of his seminal article, The Convergence of Science and Religion in the IBM journal THINK, however, that established Townes as a unique voice - especially among scientists - that sought commonality between the two disciplines. Long before the concept of a relationship between scientific and theological inquiry became an accepted arena of investigation, his nonconformist viewpoint jumpstarted a movement that until then few had considered and even fewer comprehended. So rare was such a viewpoint at the time that Townes admitted in the paper that his position would be considered by many in both camps to be 'extreme.' Nonetheless, he proposed, 'their differences are largely superficial, and the two become almost indistinguishable if we look at the real nature of each.'

"The article was generated from a talk delivered by Townes in 1964 before a congregation at New Yorks famed Riverside Church, known for its embrace of groundbreaking perspectives on philosophy, theology and social activism.

"The Templeton Prize for Progress Toward Research or Discoveries about Spiritual Realities was founded in 1972 by pioneering global investor and philanthropist Sir John Templeton. Given each year to a living person to encourage and honor those who advance knowledge in spiritual matters and valued at 795,000 pounds sterling, the Templeton Prize is the worlds best known religion prize and the largest annual monetary prize given to an individual. The prizes monetary value is in keeping with Sir Johns stipulation that it always be worth more than the Nobel Prizes to underscore his belief that research and advances in spiritual discoveries can be quantifiably more significant than those recognized by the Nobels. … "

"In remarks prepared for the news conference, Townes said, 'Science and religion have had a long history of interesting interaction. But when I was younger, that interaction did not seem like a very healthy one.'

"Townes, Professor in the Graduate School at the University of California at Berkeley, noted that, as a graduate student at the California Institute of Technology, the professor directing his research 'jumped on me for being religiously oriented.' After the THINK article was reprinted in The Technology Review, published by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the journals editor received a letter from a prominent alumnus who threatened to have nothing more to do with MIT if it ever again printed anything like it on religion.

"Rather than being dampened by such hostility, Townes said it only further stoked his interest, a burning issue he continues to aggressively examine in books, journals and lectures at venues ranging from UNESCO to the worlds major institutes of higher learning. 'I believe there is no long-range question more important than the purpose and meaning of our lives and our universe,' Townes said in his remarks, noting that the Templeton Prize founder had been particularly instrumental in that work. 'Sir John has very much stimulated its thoughtful consideration, particularly encouraging open and useful discussion of spirituality and the meaning of life by scientists.' "
 …

"Townes often cites his discovery of the principles of the maser - an insight that suddenly occurred to him as he sat on a park bench in Washington, D.C. in 1951 - as a revelation as real as any revelation described in the scriptures, and as a striking example of the interplay of how and why that both science and religion must recognize.

"In nominating Townes to the international, interfaith panel of nine judges that awards the prize, David Shi, president of Furman University, wrote, 'He points out that both scientists and theologians seek truth that transcends current human understanding, and because both are human perspectives trying to explain and to find meaning in the universe, both are fraught with uncertainty. Scientists propose hypotheses from postulates, from ideas that ultimately cannot be proven. Thus, like religion, science builds on a form of faith.'

"Shi added, 'Charles Townes helped to create and sustain the dialogue between science and theology. Thus he has made a profound contribution to the world's progress in understanding—and embracing—the wonder of God's creation.' "
 


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Navhind Times—Preserve science, religion for better society


"Panaji, Feb 27: The Governor, Mr S C Jamir advocated the need to preserve science and religion in developing a complete individual and a better society.

"Speaking as the chief guest, after inaugurating the two-day national seminar on recent developments in science and religion a quest for holistic educational at Cardinal Gracias hall, Navelim, the Governor said there has been varied opinion on the relation between science and religion. One school of thought believes that the two are incompatible and are in conflict, while the other schools believes that the two complement each other, with the former dealing with facts and the latter with ethics, she added.

"The seminar is being organised by the Indian Institute of Science and Religion, Pune, and Science and Religion, Sangam, Goa in collaboration with the Government College of Arts, Science and Commerce, Quepem. About 150 delegates including principals, teachers and students are participating in the seminar.

"While narrating some of his thoughts regarding science and religion, the Governor said both science and religion have their respective spheres. While one deals with the perceivable aspects of nature and human life, the other deals with ethics and moral value, she added.

"Religion, Mr Jamir said, is one of the oldest institutions of human beings and it is a fact that the religion in the initial stages of human civilisation was rigid and based largely on superstition. However, he said, it cannot be denied that some of the ancient religious customs and practices were inextricably woven with scientific purposes.

"Citing few instances where religious beliefs overlap science, the Governor said, as the horizons of human knowledge widen, barriers between religion and science started to collapse. He said scientific attitude has improved the lot of mankind, but to preserve and ensure that this improved lot continues, one needs the religious attitude or tolerance, universal love and brotherhood of man.

"Mr Jamir stated that scientific temperament provided material comfort but it turned man into sceptic, a creature without any faith and lofty ideas who inspire and guide him. The loss of religious faith resulted in man turning in his dishonesty, selfishness and lack of affection for fellow beings, she added.

"Speaking further, the Governor said educational institutions generally stress for greater formation and values of the individual. This leads to the overall good of the society. However, the quest today is for holistic education which includes value education. The endeavour of the educational institution should be perfectly blend scientific temperament with religious morals and values, she added."