Monday, August 4, 2008

Faith/science--mutually exclusive?

Interesting. This is a prepublish paper by Richard MacKenzie. We are still fussing over the epistemological relationship between faith and science and it appears that people still wish to draw the conclusion that science and religion [theology] are mutually exclusive. I disagree, but you may draw your own conclusions. Presented below is MacKenzie's paper and a response from Lawrence M. Krauss.


In this article, inspired by Lawrence Krauss' plenary talk at the 2007 CAP congress, the relation between faith and science is examined. Some readers of this article may have seen Lawrence Krauss' entertaining and thoughtprovoking plenary talk at the 2007 CAP congress in Saskatoon. They may remember that the first individual to raise a hand during the question period did so in an almost-Horshackian fashion, and that he bluntly asserted that he disagreed strongly with the following statement made by Krauss on the challenge of teaching science to the public:

Faith is not the enemy.
Ignorance is the enemy.

That brazen individual was me, and I would like to explain why I disagree with this statement- to the point where I would be inclined to go so far as to interchange the words "faith" and "ignorance." Let us recall that Krauss’ talk, entitled "Selling Science to Unwilling Buyers," concerned itself with how to teach science to the general public - the unwilling buyer - by discussing applications of science which interest the buyer, rather than more traditional “bottom-up” approaches to teaching science which might themselves be partly responsible for the preconception that science is boring in the first place. Krauss talked about the current (and abysmal) state of scientific illiteracy in the US, its underlying causes, and how to improve the situation. In giving such a talk to an audience of physicists, Krauss was to a large extent preaching to the converted, and I myself was entirely in agreement with everything he said, except for the above quote, which I found surprisingly discordant with the rest of his talk.

"Is Faith The Enemy Of Science?"

Lawrence M. Krauss reply


Timray said...

I tire of certain scientist's over use of the Jehovah’s Witnesses Syndrome. Not all people of faith have this outlook. There are many people of faith who feel a very active God in their life and it has nothing to do with or without science. I do not support religious attacks on science concerning Evolution and so do many other's of faith. It is sad that either science or faith enter into these internecine discussions.

Scientist answers said...

I have just started a new blog on the topic at

anybody is welcome to ask questions there

Term Papers said...

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